Order of the Trapezoid: Nazi?

From: Ammond Shadowcraft
Aquino's Response, part i

   Paul Suliin,

   Thanx for calling me on the phone with your questions. Tim
   Maroney's article has stirred the pot some and I think it's a good

   Point One: In the years I've seen Tim on the networks I've come to
   appreciate him. I've also come to recognize his electronic tricks
   (Tim seems to heavily identify with Trickster archetypes). Tim is
   correct in saying that the Order of the Trapezoid employs Germanic
   magikal technique used by the Nazis but that's NOT his game here.
   Tricks, there are tricks...

   While no one would be justified in saying the Order of the
   Trapezoid does not employ magikal techniques (many of which were
   used by the Nazis) it would be more correct to say that the Order
   of the Trapezoid, one of ten *independent* orders integral and
   loyal to the Temple of Set, employs *Germanic* magikal systems and

   It's very, very easy to slide down Tim's slippery (Trickster) slope
   into mistakenly believing that anyone who employs Germanic magikal
   techniques is by default a Nazi and a racist simply because the
   Nazis employed most of them. (I've seen Tim use the words Nazi and
   racist with respect to the Temple of Set on Usenet.) It takes only
   a little mental horsepower to separate the two--Germanic and Nazi.

   I understand the suspicions. It's easy to slide down that slope.
   It's easy to believe that anyone employing the Germanic magikal
   techniques which the Nazis use is neo-Nazi in some secret
   contrivance. By the same logic one shouldn't be a pagan on the
   basis that ancient pagans sacrificed humans. Or that one shouldn't
   be a Wiccan practicing herbalism because some herbalist used their
   knowledge to poison their enemies (a la Etruscan Witchcraft).

   Similarly if one displays a remarkable knowledge of Germanic and
   Nazi history the easily led mind could surmise that the person
   with such knowledge is a neo-Nazi sympathizer. Dr. Aquino, by his
   professions--PhD in Political Science and his interest in the
   Germanic *state of mind* and the magikal philosophies generated by
   that "state mind"--displays those characteristics which can cause
   the easily led mind to think the Dark Doctor is a Nazi sympathizer.
   It's readily apparent that he has gone out of his way to warn of
   and address that slippery slope, but many still find it emotionally
   advantageous to take the quick trip.

   Point Two: Some have voiced objections as to the Temple's
   association with AMER. One of the main objections is "The Temple of
   Set is using AMER to further its own ends." My answer to this is
   B.F.D.  Every organization I know of from Windfire Association
   (which I designed), to DAWN, to Boulder Pagan Alliance, to the Bay
   Area Pagan Association exists to *further* its ends. To insist that
   *other* organizations are evil or bad if they organize and/or form
   alliances to further their ends is simply hypocritical. NIH

   Point Three: Another objection is that associating with avowed
   Setians/Satanists is bad public relations for neo-Pagans. If that's
   the way an individual feels they are justified in _not_ associating
   with AMER or the Temple of Set. I am not interested in the petty
   squabbles most pagans enjoy endlessly. It seems evident to me that
   pagans are suffering the same fate as the Irish--squabble until
   they are made subservient to a greater power. Weak minds will enjoy
   this enervating pastime.

   It is my opinion that the incessant chewing of the fat on this
   issue is simply another form of mindless *discrimination*.  Isn't
   discrimination one of the many things neo-Pagans attempt to expose
   and avoid? Dr. Aquino has publicly stated that the Temple is
   neither pagan nor neo-Pagan. Why discriminate against the Temple on
   the basis that it isn't neo-Pagan??!! I haven't seen any AMER
   documentation which says AMER is *purely* neo-Pagan. Why
   discriminate against AMER on the basis that it isn't purely neo-
   Pagan??!! In this issue I sense hypocrisy, Paul. If an individual
   doesn't want to associate with AMER, then fine, they don't. If they
   don't want to associate with the Temple of Set, then fine, they
   don't. The "Not Invented Here" syndrome is as fully active in the
   neo-Pagan ranks as it is in any corporate bureaucracy.

   What follows is Dr. Aquino's and Oz Tech's responses to Tim's
   article. Read these for yourself and make your own decision. I will
   say that neither Oz Tech nor the Dark Doctor have ever lied to me.
   In fact it's a Temple protocol never to lie to or use any form of
   magik against a Temple member.  I sensed no deception or lies while I
   was a member of the Temple. I see good reason to take these two
   witnesses at their word until something solidly proves otherwise.
   Tim's article does not solidly prove otherwise. They are his
   speculations based upon faulty reasoning and a lack of access to the
   Temple activities and its members.

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


Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.
High Priest
Temple of Set
Post Office Box 470307
San Francisco, CA 94147
MCI-Mail: 278-4041

    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
 sciences, etc.

    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
 Dexter Ward_:

      "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
   to exist."

    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.

    Oz Tech

    Note: I received more comments from Oz Tech from her normal net
 mail address.


    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

    Oz Tech


   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...

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