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Stephen Brown…

Posted in The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown with tags , , , , on July 23, 2009 by cosmion


Stephen Brown to Dr. Aquino and Back…

Posted in The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown on July 16, 2009 by cosmion

P.O. Box 4
Church Stretton

7th September 1990 ev

Dear Dr. Aquino, It was with interest that I read your letter in a recent issue of ‘Brimstone’ after my attention was drawn to that magazine by a friend. An open (rather friendly) reply to some of the points you raised has been sent to the Editor – I am sure he would send you a copy should you be interested. However, there are some points which perhaps are best raised in a private letter. First – and perhaps inconsequential out of its context – no one has ever claimed to be ‘Head’ of the ONA: no such position exists. You statement on this was somewhat surprising because I felt you would be above using ‘Kennel’ type tactics re mis-information about other LHP individuals and groups. Am I mistaken? Or perhaps the information was supplied by a not altogether too reliable scource here in the U.K.? Second – and most important – your mention of the NSS concerning sacrifice. These were published basically because they form part of an esoteric tradition, which tradition was being made accessable to those who might be interested following a decision to publish Order methods, teachings and traditions. Essentially, such publication lets others decide what is or is not worthwhile or valuable or interesting from an esoteric point of view – there is not, within the ONA, any control of esoteric information as a result of one or more individuals deciding what is ‘right’ or ‘true teachings’ – simply because individuality is the foundation of the “ONA way”. This way is the development of self-insight and magickal mastery via individuals following the seven-fold way. But this background aside, you raise an interesting point in your use of the term ‘ethical’. Does Satanism have ethics? And if so, what are they and who formulates them? By the nature of the Temple of Set I am led to assume the answer would be affirmative and that it is the ToS which formulates these. Is this assumption incorrect? If it is not, then I and some others would offer dissent – based not only on the principle of individuality mentioned above but also on the reality of there existing divergent LHP and Satanic traditions (some of which existed before the foundation of the Church of Satan). Speaking for myself, I consider debate about ethics futile in a LHP context – except to express the obvious Satanic assertion (qv ‘The Dark Forces’ in “Fenrir” 4) that one essential personal quality is honour born from the quest for self-excellence and self-understanding. One either has this personal quality (or the potential to possess it) or one does not: intellectual debate about it is irrelevant. This quality is expressed by the way of living an individual follows and as far as the ONA is concerned this quality is one of those that marks the genuine Satanic elite from the imitation.

Yet we accept that others may disagree since we feel there can be no religious dogma about Satanism or the LHP: no subserviance to someone else’s ideas or ways of living. Each individual develops their own unique perspective and insight as a consequence of striving to achieve Adeptship – a perspective and insight which derives mainly from practical experience, both magickal and personal. Thus we uphold anarchism. Hence the publication of the many and various Order MSS. Yet, all this notwithstanding, I do understand that some may believe that tactically the time was not right to publish some of these MSS. However, is the time ever right? Once again, some interesting questions arise. For example, for the benefit of those groups (like the ToS) which do adopt a high media profile, is it necessary and indeed desirable for other groups and individuals on the LHP to restrict what they say and teach and publish in case such things are mis-interpreted and/or distorted and used against the LHP in general? This would imply some sort of concensus among those individuals and groups on the LHP – a concensus which it seems both the ToS and the Church of Satan wish to achieve by claiming a religious ‘authority’. To this end there seems to be developing an almost Church-like mentality – with schisms and prohibitions and proscribing of other groups and individuals. Rather ‘Old Aeon’ values. If such a concensus is indeed necessary (and I and some others have doubts whether it is) then it would seem better achieved on a mutual basis by recognition of diversity and traditions and then the development of mutual understanding rather than one group trying to impose its dogma by a religious type belief: such dogma and such belief being entirely contrary to the basic principles of Satanism and the LHP – self-development via self-experience. I and others like me respect your right to promulgate the Setian philosophy just as I trust you have the sagacity to understand that what La Vey codified and what the early Church of Satan represented is not the only form Satanism can take. Satanism existed in many forms long before La Vey, and the ONA simply represents one such form: a form that has changed and is still changing – developed as it is and has been by creative individuals within it. As I mentioned to you in a previous letter some time ago, this does not mean we claim to be a ‘peer’ organization with a claim to some kind of ‘authority’. We are simply a small group following our own way – a way somewhat different from that developed by the Church of Satan and the ToS. Our tradition, such as it is, is not static – indeed in many ways the most significant developments (e.g. the Star Game, Grade Ritual codification, Deofil Quartet) have occurred quite recently. Doubtless these developments will continue. When in the past we and others like us have said thing that others interpret as being ‘against’ the ToS or La Vey, we were simply assuming the role of Adversary – challenging what seemed to be becoming accepted dogma that the only ‘real’ Satanists are either in the ToS or the Church of Satan. Such a dogma is an historical absurdity and its acceptance an affront to the Satanic desire to know and understand and not meekly believe. If you have any comments about these matters I would be interested to read them.

Cordially yours,

[Signed: Stephen Brown]

Temple of Set
Post Office Box 470307, San Francisco, California 94147
MCI-Mail: 278-4041 * Telex: 6502784041

Michael A. Aquino, Ph.d.
High Priest of Set October 7, XXV

Mr. Stephen Brown
Post Office Box 4
Church Stretton, Shropshire

Dear Mr. Brown:

Thank you for your letter of September 7th.

Under your several aliases every single letter and publication of the O.N.A. is authorized over your personal signature, whether as “pp” or otherwise. Personal contacts by our former Priest Martin [blanked] confirmed that you are the leader, if not indeed the sole member of this institution.

The old Church of Satan used to play games with mythical officials and executive bodies behind the scenes. As a senior official of the Church I helped to keep this particular hot-air balloon inflated, initially assuming that it did no harm and made the Church a bit more colorful to the membership. Ultimately I became uncomfortable with it, however, because in the last analysis it involved deceiving the very persons – the membership of the Church – who had come to it in good faith depending upon it to not deceive them, even in so “playful” a fashion.

It was also responsible for a more serious kind of damage. It enabled Anton LaVey to announce policies in the name of a fictitious “Council of Nine”, or in the name of a fictitious official, and thus to escape personal responsibility for his actions. Nor was there any executive body or other official to whom he was accountable. Had there been, the catastrophe of 1975 might have been averted without the entire Church of Satan organization having to be scrapped. [Even if it had evolved into a Setian mode, as in many Lesser Magical ways it was indeed doing prior to the crisis, it still might have continued as an unbroken organization – and Anton LaVey might be its High Priest today.]

When the Temple of Set was founded, therefore, the old occult game of “Ascended [or in this case ‘Descended’] Masters behind the scenes” was ashcanned along with the other practices of the old Church with which we were ethically uncomfortable. From the moment of its founding, the Temple has made all of its officials and executive bodies a matter of record, known to all Setians [and to non-Setians with legitimate interest]. And neither the High Priest of Set nor any other official has the sort of dictatorial power that Anton LaVey had in the Church.

Given the present climate of witch-hunting hysteria in England, publication of a “Satanic ritual” by an avowedly “Satanic” institution which includes human sacrifice is thoroughly irresponsible. In fact it would be irresponsible even in a normal social climate, as the Satanic religion is not and has never been based upon the principle of human sacrifice. [It is Christianity which espouses that principle, sacrificing its god in human form every Easter.]

If you were presenting that ritual text as an example of Christian hate-propaganda against the Satanic tradition, making clear that it has no basis in fact, that would be one thing. But the ritual which you have published makes no such distinctions, and is thus a dangerous “loaded weapon” to be used by any child (of any age) who picks it up. And of course it plays right into the hands of any anti-Satanic maniac who is looking for “evidence” of “Satanic ritual murder”. Your argument that the O.N.A. does not consider itself responsible for such uses may satisfy you, but it certainly doesn’t satisfy the Temple of Set as guardian of this religion.

Indeed Satanism is an ethical religion, and yes, I do consider the Temple of Set the institution consecrated by Set to establish and maintain such an ethical environment – which is carefully developed in the Crystal Tablet of Set.

As a non-Initiate of the Temple, you are of course at liberty to dissent from this ethical standard. But neither, by your non-Initiatory status, does the Temple consider you a member of the Setian/Satanic religion. You are, in our eyes, simply one more individual affecting “Satanism” as a personal hobby. In this you may be more or less skilled, more or less articulate, more or less artistic: these we do not judge.

But what we do judge is that in all of this you have not been Recognized by the Temple which exclusively is consecrated by Set. We consider the Temple a sacred institution, not just one of a number of “Satanic clubs” around the world. From 1966 to 1975CE we held precisely this view concerning the Church of Satan, which welcomed the interest and enthusiasm of amateur “Satanists” and “Satanic” groups such as the O.N.A. but considered only its own membership and Priesthood formally deserving of the religious titles they held.

This last point deserves further elaboration and emphasis. Just because we regard the Temple as seriously and exclusively as we do does not mean that we hold non-Temple “Satanic” groups in blanket contempt. Some of them are indeed amateurish and embarrassing to the Satanic tradition, and the sooner they disintegrate the better. But others are quite serious and sophisticated, and deserve our respect and admiration – which are quite freely given when due. Some, upon encountering the Temple of Set, have voluntarily dissolved and commended their membership to it. Some have retained their independent structure and interests while at the same time encouraging/allowing their members to affiliate with the Temple as a formal religion. Some have simply gone their own way, maintaining a polite non-acceptance of the Temple’s avowed Infernal Mandate.

The distinction we draw in all cases is dictated simply by our sacred regard for the Priesthood of Set, and the Temple under its care, as established by Set in the Book of Coming Forth by Night. If we did not draw that distinction, then we would be, at our heart, and insincere and fraudulent religion.

Therefore the exclusiveness of the Temple of Set is not born of either arrogance or competitiveness, but simply of the utter seriousness with which we regard ourselves. It is this same attitude which makes the Temple of Set reject any “council of churches”, occult or conventional, for the simple reason that we consider our religion correct and their incorrect. As is stated in our informational letter, “they may serve a useful social function as purveyors of soothing myths and fantasies to humans unable to attain Setian levels of self-consciousness”.

I have re-read the comments I made concerning the O.N.A. and yourself in Brimstone, and I see nothing in them that I think should be amended – including the compliment to you at the conclusion of those comments. You are, from what I have seen of your writings, an intelligent and creative individual who could become an influential and respected philosopher of the Left-Hand Path if you can bring yourself to cast aside all of the fictitious “lumber and wreckage” with which you are unnecessarily crippling yourself. If I didn’t see Setian qualities in you, I wouldn’t even bother to say such things. But just as in my university classes I speak most bluntly to the students who do have the intelligence to master the curriculum and aren’t doing so, so I speak thus to you.


[Signed: Michael Aquino]

cc- Adept John D. Allee, Editor, Brimstone


20th October 1990 ev

Dear Dr, Aquino, Thank you for your letter of October the 7th. I appreciate your comments and before passing on to specific points raised, would like to make some general comments. What I sense (an I use the word advisedly) is that you and I, despite our differing methods, are fundamentally trying to achieve the same thing. I here mean in terms of ‘esoteric’ magick and not in terms of outward terms or expressions. We are both aware of the potential inherent within individuals and how certain forms, magickal or otherwise, can be used to explicate that potential, bringing thus an evolution of consciousness both individual and beyond the individual. Thus are individuals, and ‘society’, changed over varying periods of time. You have established and maintained an organization and imbued it with certain forms, which forms via their various transformations, create and establish conditions for changes in tine with certain energies. Because of the nature of this organization, and the energies, there is a need to maintain a coherence, a magickal continuity and thus the establishment of a system which protects the viability of all aspects. As to myself, I deal with similar forms but make them manifest in a different way – building in to some of those manifestations a random or ‘chaotic’ element and into others a ‘numinous’ aspect. Thus, further forms are developed, in both causal and acausal time, and achieve certain goals, some of which are quite long-term (beyond my own temporal lifetime at the earliest). All these energies are ‘sinister’ (or Left Hand Path, if you prefer) – at the most simple level this means they enhance our creative evolution; at another, it means they ‘disrupt’ already existing forms which may hinder such evolution and explication of individual potentional. Where we might (and seem to) differ is in our respective time-scale for fundamental change and in making some elements more manifest than others, to achieve specific ends.Of course, I accept that my understanding may not be complete (and might possibly be incorrect on some points) as I assume that you, claiming the title ‘Ipssisimus’, understand the preceding four paragraphs without me having to elaborate at length.

You have accepted a “role” within the Temple of Set with all the duties and obligations implied, and there is much to admire in this. This of necessity means adhering to the principles of what you describe as the ‘sacred trust’ placed in you via-a-vis the ‘Infernal Mandate’. Thus there is a religious attitude and acceptance. All this I myself regard as natural and necessary, given the vehicle chosen – that is, the Temple of Set. The way of the ONA is, however, quite different – we see our way as guiding a few individuals to self-awareness, to Adeptship and beyond, via various practical and magickal techniques. The emphasis is on guide, on self-development, on self- discovery. There is no religious attitude, no acceptance of someone else’s authority, and no mystique: the methods, as divulged in the recently published book ‘Naos’, are essentially practical. All this arises from the understanding that changes such as I mentioned earlier (regarding individual potential) will occur slowly and for the most part on a small scale for some time to come: bringing changes to ‘society’ (a generalization here, for brevity) – and this to larger numbers of individuals – on the timescale of a century or more. The present aim of the ONA is to make these techniques – which give all individuals the means to achieve the next stage of individual evolution should they so wish – more generally available. These techniques (the Grade Rituals for example, and the Star Game) will probably and indeed should be refined and extended in the future, as they have been refined in their creation over the past decade or so. Older techniques, inherited by me, have served their purpose – and to an extent have made possible the present advances, including preparing the way, on the level of mystique, for a dissemination of the ‘new’. To be more explicit – an ‘aura’ was created around the ONA (quite deliberately) by using certain methods, magickal forms, and by publishing certain material. This aura, existing, becomes transformed – and serves a very useful purpose on the acausal level. (In simple terms and on an elementary level, it provides a certain impetus to seek out and try the ‘new’ techniques, the ‘new’ way – on the level of individuals.) Thus, as the new techniques (and hence the new forms deriving from them)become more widely distributed, via books such as Naos, the Deofil Quartet and the Black Book of Satan (these last two due for publication this Winter Solstice) then the methods used hitherto are no longer needed, and are abandoned – they have served their purpose. It is the same with the ONA: once the techniques and the essence are more widely available then ‘membership’ as such is irrelevant, since everything is available and accessable (and this includes past methods and teachings) – the individual taking responsibility for their own development ultimately rests with individual desire, just as each individual must make their own assessment of what is valuable and what is ‘ethical/just’ from their own experience, it being the aim of the techniques of the seven-fold sinister way to provide the character-building, evolutionary, experiences. There is no pre-judgement by me or anyone, no set rules. The function of the ONA is now to guide, simply because its members have undergone the experiences of the way and can speak from a position of experience – an experience which may or may not be of value to others. Thus the fundamental difference in our approach.

It was made quite clear to the former Temple of Set Priest you mentioned that each individual is expected to work on the practical level to achieve his or her own magickal development – to actually practice magick, to use magickal and other techniques, rather than just talk about them. This takes quite a number of years, and is a personal effort. Most people cannot be bothered – they want easy solutions – and most people who enquired in the past about the ONA were not prepared to work toward their own self-development. They either wanted someone else to do it for them (be such a someone a ‘Master’ or an Infernal Manifestation) or would not/could not undertake the life-style necessary for achieving genuine Adeptship (such as spending three months alone under special conditions). Ultimately, their loss. I, for one, do not believe there is a ‘religious’ solution to Adeptship and beyond – a gift, Infernal or otherwise. There is only self-experiencing, in the real and the magickal worlds, and that is it. Wisdom is acquired by the alchemical process of internal change over a period of time: the techniques developed by the ONA may shorten that time for several decades to perhaps a decade or just under, but they do not do away with it, just as those techniques make the possibility of such change available to all. For this reason, the ONA does not attempt to define what is or is not of the Left Hand Path and what is or is not Satanism (or even what Satan is) – each individual arrives at their own understanding via experience. Occassionally, as I have mentioned, there may be the adoption of an adversarial role in order to attack accepted (or even unconscious) dogmas within the broad spectrum of the LHP movement – but that is as it should be, for individuals questing after knowledge who refuse to meekly believe. Once again, a ‘role’ is only a role, played out in the quest for understanding. On the specific point of membership – yes, there is more than one (not that it really matters anymore now that dissemination is being achieved). Not many, it is true, but enough – some only beginning their quests, some more advanced along the way: in this country, in Scandinavia, in the countries of Europe and elsewhere. Of course, all this may confirm your opinion that the ONA is not ‘Satanic” (or ‘Setian’ – this latter I would agree with). Do you therefore understand ‘Satanism’ as now the exclusive preserve of the Temple of Set because of the ‘Infernal Mandate’ you mentioned? If so, this raises rather interesting questions regarding ‘Infernal’ authority, revelation and such like – questions partly answered by your use of the term religion. What then of Satanic organizations which existed before the revelation: such as (to take an odd example) the Order of Satanic Templars here in England which existed (and was undertaking Initiations) before the establishment of the Church of Satan? (It later became known as the Orthodox Temple of the Prince.) Personally, I see Satanism more as a way of living than as a religion: an attitude to life, and one which is ultimately personal, striving to ever more.

However, as mentioned above, I believe our ultimate goals are the same even though our methods may differ. Of course in this, as in many things, I may be mistaken: I claim no authority, and my creations, profuse as they are, will in the end be accepted or rejected on the basis of whether they work (Satan forbid they should ever become ‘dogma’ or a matter of ‘faith’). I also expect to see them become transformed, by their own metamorphosis and that due to other individuals: changed, extended and probably ultimately transcended, may be even forgotten. They – like the individual I am at the moment – are only a stage, toward something else. In the interests of sinister fellowship I could arrange for a copy of ‘Naos’ (and other works as and when they become available) to be sent to you, should you be interested. Enclosed please find a copy of an article due to appear shortly in the journal ‘Balder’. It may make you smile.

Cordially yours,

[Signed: Stephen Brown]

Stephen Brown to Dr. Aquino

Posted in The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown with tags on July 16, 2009 by cosmion

P.O. Box 700 Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England

9th September 103yf

Dear Dr. Aquino,

Enclosed please find a copy of a reply to a letter by Mr. Austen here in the U.K. With this letter, he included a copy of yours to Mr. Bolton in which you made mention of me. Thus, I consider a letter from me to you to be in order.

Apropos of sacrifice. To the material originally published, to which you took exception, there has now been added much more – and some of the MSS are enclosed since they might be of interest. You will probably regard the publication of this material as ‘mistaken’ – among other things.

I however, regard it as necessary at this moment of time, for three fundamental reasons.

1. It expresses what traditional Satanists regard as Satanic practice: i.e. Satanism in action.

2. It restores to Satanism that darkness which belongs to it.

3. Such distribution of such material is a part of sinister strategy – an exoteric aspect of this being an obvious dialectic: opposition, synthesis, change.

If you study the literature we have made available on this subject, you may appreciate that what is stated is rather different from what most assume or believe is stated. (I refer to the MSS “Culling – A Guide to Sacrifice II”; “Victims – A Sinister Expose”, “Guidelines for the Testing of Opfers” and so on.) We are expressing the philosophy of the noble and the strong in forthright terms – not shying away from difficult issues, not pretending we, as Satanists, are some kind of altruistic, pacifist, kind folk who are ‘misunderstood’. The fundamental principle behind the action is that some people are worthless – and, because of their deeds and character, do not deserve to live. In fact, that their demise is healthy – akin to an act or acts of ‘natural justice’. This is a statement of genuine Satanism – as is the statement that opfers are human culling in action. The MSS make it quite clear that opfers – victims for Satanic sacrifice – deserve what they get: they have been judged, tested, and found suitable. Thus, no victimcan be ‘innocent’ or a child. It is the deeds of those chosen which condemns them.

It is to be expected that you will not find this acceptable. I could give many examples of creatures who by their actions have shown themselves to be worthless – who deserve to die. Any individual who possesses a noble character, who understands the concept of ‘honour’, will know what is meant here – they will have a healthy instinct, not to be perceived by the sickness of the Nazarene, and so will possess real judgement. Accordingly, I will give a general examplein the hope of explicating the matter. [A few specific examples are given in the MSS.]

Those who adhere to the real philosophy which underlies Satanism [to be precise I suppose I should say ‘philosophy of life’ rather than just ‘philosophy’] accept the battle, war. Combat and conquest are necessary – the strong thrive, the weak perish. And perhaps most important of all, through struggle, character is bred – and individuals exposed for what they are: noble or ignoble, brave or cowardly. In battle, there is no hiding place – words are no good, it is deeds which count. Intellectual sophistry is of no avail – one either is noble, or one is not. In facing death, there is truth – within each one who faces death. I quote from a fragment of an ancient Greek poem which is of interest here (my translation):

“Noble and glorious is he who fights

For his folk and family against the foe.

Since death comes when chosen by Fate –

Bringing to an end the thread of life

Go forward with spear held high and shields shielding brave hearts

When battle is joined:

There is no flight from death, for that Destiny comes to all mortals

Even they claiming descent from the gods.

Many from the battle fury of roaring javelins have fled to their home –

But even there, their fate of death awaits:

And they die unloved and unmourned by their folk

While both the high and the low born lament for the brave.

All of a community weep for the courageous, who die:

And if they live, they are hailed like a god,

Exalted by those who behold them

For the deeds of the many, they did alone.”


In battles, people die. Someone kills them. In an important sense, a battle is a culling – a test, a trial by the gods. A warrior society (such as that of ancient Greece or Rome) is one where I call ‘Satanic’ values are upheld. There is no guilt about certain things, no morbid ‘ethics’ to condemn certain things, like conquest and combat. There are warrior gods – gods to whom sacrifices are made. In a sense, those slain in battle are offerings to these gods.

Of course, some of these attributes are instinctive – certain deeds and beliefs arise from a ‘thinking with the blood’ rather than from cerebral contemplation. As such, they describe the individual of action rather than the gentle Nazarene mystic or the monkish philosopher. The morality of such a society represents natural justice – a balance, and as mentioned above, a part of this is that some people are worthless.

As you are aware, this morality, this natural balance, has been supplanted by a morality deriving from the Nazarene – in the societies of the West, at least.

I state what I understand to be Satanic truths openly and honestly – for example, what Satanism means and implies both for the individual and aeonically (particularly this latter) – while the Temple of Set seems intent only on creating a ‘good public impression’, with promoting an ‘image’. This ‘image’ is of a respectable, ethical religion. Of course, I have heard it said, that the real work of the Temple of Set ids hidden from those who have not proved themselves loyal members – or something similar. If this is true, then who is being deceitful? Who is using duplicity? If it is not true – that is, similar. If it is not true – that is, there is nothing beyond this ‘image’, this playing at Satanism then the Temple is meaningless, in aeonic terms, and probably in personal terms as well. I hide nothing – the ONA hides nothing. All its teachings are now accessible. There are no ‘secrets’, no doctrines for an ‘inner circle’ of trusted acolytes. The only thing that is secret, is connected with the identity of members for obvious tactical reasons. This brings me to the ONA itself. It is not a fictitious organization used as a front by myself. Its members are few, and for the most part stay well away from the ‘occult scene’ and other organizations. But I imagine you and others in the Temple will continue to claim otherwise, and repeat ad nauseam your claims. Personally, I do not care – the other members do not care, for we all know such claims bolster the image of the Temple of Set.

On the personal level, I do not hide behind a claim like having an Infernal Mandate. I cultivate no personal, demonic image. I do not claim that what I teach and write is sanctified by the Prince of Darkness Himself. What I teach or write is the result mostly of my own experiences, my own creativity, my own insight. It should be judged on that basis – whether it is useful, it works, is significant. It should be judged by otherson its merits. I did inherit some teachings from she who instructed me before and after one of the many Satanic Initiations I underwent. But even these are to be judged on their own merits – they are not sanctified. Some of them are merely fables. Some derive from other sources and traditions (e.g. the alchemical one).Some, like Esoteric Chant, seem original. Whatever, it does not really matter. They are all means; steps to something beyond. They serve a purpose and then are mostly discarded. It is for each and every individual to judge them. Maybe a fruitful dialogue will result from this letter. Maybe not. One trouble with playing a role, and maintaining a standing in an organization, is that it is often difficult to admit one is mistaken – and that someone, or some others, may be just as ‘advanced’ as oneself. One strives so hard not to ‘lose face’.

I, unfortunately, can just be myself. I am not infallible, have no position or even ‘authority’ to defend. Accordingly, I send you my best wishes.

Regards, Stephen Brown [signed]

Stephen Brown to Mrs. Stockton

Posted in The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown with tags , on July 15, 2009 by cosmion

Shropshire, England

19th june 1991eh

Dear Miss Stockton,

Thank you for your letter inquiring about the ONA which has been passed on to me to reply to.

Essentially, the ONA is a Satanic organization which seeks to guide its members toward Adeptship and what is beyond Adeptship. This is an individual quest, which involves the Initiate striving to achieve the goal by their own self-effort. Initially, on joining the Order, the new member has one Order contact. This contact offers advice and guidance, and makes available Order Initiation. Thereafter, they work at their own pace, following the techniques and so on as explicated, for example, in the MSS ‘Naos’. This takes some months, during which time they meet their contact to discuss matters and during which the contact may give advice if such advice is sought.

Following this initial period of basically hermetic and solomagickal workings and tasks, the Initiate usually goes on to the next stage – the formation of a Satanic Temple to undertake ceremonial workings and gain experience in people-manipulation and other Satanic skills. The Initiate is expected to recruit members for this Temple – which is solely under the Initiate’s control. Thus, the Initiate learns by experience – no constraints of any kind are placed on the novice who runs the Temple. Generally, the novice in running the Temple, follows the guidelines and rituals as given in the Black Book of Satan – i.e. they use the magickal energies of traditional Satanism and so enhance the sinister, rather than the energies associated with other ‘traditions’ which tend to undermine the sinister.

The novice then, after some further time, moves on to the other tasks which await along the sinister path – i.e. undertakes further workings, magickal ordeals, and gains further experience. Generally, their Order contact remains the same, although occasionally it may be changed. The novice is free to continue with and expand their Satanic Temple, and may if they wish, turn it into a teaching Temple – i.e. the novice teaches and trains those who may be suitable to follow the path of traditional Satanism, as they themselves have done. Or they may keep the Temple as an instrument for their personal edification – or they may disband it; it is entirely their choice.

All this takes from a year to a few years. There are then other tasks, other knowledge to be gained, other experiences to be learnt from. Thus, there is a commitment by the Initiate to follow the path of Satanism. The path is not easy, and requires effort. Adeptship is achieved, by each individual who gets that far – it is never a gift. Furthermore, the individual is for the most part alone – they rely on themselves, they have to rely on themselves, make their own mistakes, and learn from them. Their contact only guides, only offers advice. There is no contact with other Order members, at whatever stage of development – no secret gatherings, no Order rituals which members attend, no group discussions. Thus, there is self-effort, and self-achievement. There is only the unique journey you undertake and whhich you learn from in your own time according to your commitment.

This is so, because Satanism is a commitment – by each individual. One aim is to find your unique Destiny, and fulfill that. No one can do this for you.

You write that you are at present studying at University. Well, you attend lectures, may read, may discuss matters with others – but in the Finals, the effort is yours alone, and you may on your own efforts pass. Of course, someone could sit the Finals for you – but then the achievement, the Degree, would not be yours. It is the same with magick – what really matters is the amount of effort you put in. The achievement of genuine Adeptship requires you to learn: no one can do this on your behalf.

This lack of meeting with other members also has a very practical point above and beyond the fact that it encourages a uniqueness and the development of strong character [both traits a Satanist has or aspires to] – i.e. it ensures the security of those other members. They remain secret, and so continue with their work. Unless, that is, they decide for themselves to the contrary.But the number who do this are very few, for obvious practical reasons, most connected with the dark nature of Satanism and its still heretical nature insofar as the majority of non-Occultists are concerned (and, indeed, as far as the majority of Occultists are concerned!).

It is the fact of the nature of most individuals that gathering in groups is necessary: few possess the strength of character to be and act alone. Most require the comfort of others around – of knowing they are not alone, that help is near, that problems can be discussed, and so on. This is true magick as in life – in fact, more so, particularly in the Left Hand Path. People like to compare experiences, like to be re-assured, like to feel part of a larger grouping. But this is actually detrimental to the development of the qualities a Satanist must possess or develop. An Adept of the Left Hand Path must be self-sufficient, must be strong – must be an individual who has developed a unique ‘view of life’, a unique ‘philosophy of living’ from their own experience. A being-with-others implies a social or ‘peer’ pressure, a conformity, and an expectation – an ‘image’ to strive toward and conform to, a ‘role’ to fulfill. A genuine uniqueness of character can only be forged through a certain isolation – through struggling alone, through finding solutions to ones own problems by ones own efforts. The path of Satanism (or rather the following of the path by an individual) poses problems for each individual – it is the nature of the path itself for this to happen. It tests, it presents the individual with ordeals (and rewards of course – but we are considering the formative experiences which breed Satanic character). There is and must be a ‘self-overcoming’ – a development of the individual. Thus is the Adept born.

Of course this is very difficult, and there are easier options. These, however, do not lead to real Adeptship, but to the illusion of attainment. The Satanic path sorts out the strong from the failures. Only the strong, the gifted, survive and prosper. And that is as it should be, for Satanism is elitist.

Thus, we maintain the isolation of the novice from other novices. If they want contacts – they find their own, via the Temple they form, as explained earlier. But here, they are the ‘role-model’ for others – an obvious inversion which has benefits insofar as developing Satanic character is concerned. Since their Order contact only guides them, each novice ha sno image to aspire to – they must find their own. Often, they try many ‘images’, then discard them, and so gain experience, the hard way.

I have gone into this matter at some length, since the person with whom you have been in contact, has intimated that you thought the Order was akin to some others who held the ‘social’ type gatherings and rituals for members. In fact, most individuals who inquire about the order have this misconception – and most are disappointed when they discover or are told of the reality! To be honest, the majority dislike the notion that they are expected to work at their own development via their own efforts without the support and comfort of other members being around. Thus, do they show themselves unfit for the order – not possessed of the ‘right stuff’!

You ask who has authority in the Order and what this authority represents. Basically, the only ‘authority’ is that which arises or develops because of experience. For example, the Order contact you may may have should you decide to begin the Satanic quest, offers advice, or decline it. Your contact teaches what they have learnt from practical experiences – they offer no ‘theory’, they demand no obedience, no subservience. As for myself, I “represent” the Order, in a sense, simply because I have more experience. Perhaps I have learnt more. I certainly consider I have achieved something – perhaps some little Wisdom. But I  am not infallible – I have no ‘authority’ in the real sense – I simply offer advice and guidance based on my own experience. I am still learning. What I teach is not ‘sacred’ – hopefully, it will be surpassed, refined, changed, when others discover and experience and attain. I inherited some esoteric knowledge, and have added to it – and that really is what esoteric knowledge is: a slowly accumulating body of knowledge which represents both what Is and what is Not. Gradually, this representation is refined – gets closer to being a genuine representation.

Thus, when I speak or write I speak or write from my own experience – I do not claim some supra-personal authority, to be in contact with some entity (like Satan) who has chosen me, or empowered me or whatever. I am a unique individual, and what I say or write should be judged by its merits – by whether it works, is effective, is a genuine representation of what it is supposed to be. My creations do not pretend to be other than what they are – my creations. They are not the ‘sacred works of the Devil’ or whatever. I may sometimes have been inspired by the prince of Darkness, but the works are mine – and should be judged as mortal rather than the product of some entity. I leave it to others to claim that their works are imbued with a sacred quality (or Infernal power) and so they deserve ‘obedience’ and all that religious stuff!

The same applies to the traditions I inherited. They are simply traditions, and like most traditions are a mixture. Some contain a little Wisdom; there are bits of insight; bits of real esoteric knowledge. And an awful lot of mystification as well as some fables. Each individual must assess them for themselves – if they are useful, fine. If not – fine. [If you are interested, the traditions are: some of the rituals in ‘The Black Book of Satan’, certain techniques of magick (e.g. Esoteric Chant; Insight Roles) and certain esoteric ‘knowledge’ connected with the Dark Godsmythos and the Septenary system – the sigils, some chants, words, and the septenary correspondences.]

To end, I must repeat that our Way is not easy. It requires many years of effort – you will receive little help, and a lot will be expected of you. It will be your effort – not mine, not that of your contact or a friend or anyone else. You will be faced with ordeals, with tests of character. There are rewards, of course – including the obvious ones of carnality and wealth, if that is what you desire. But there is an awful lot of other things awaiting…I make no promises – if you succeed, you will succeed. You might fail. It is you who will decide.

No one will or can you award Adeptship – or any other magickal Grade. You will have to achieve them. It usually takes five or more years to reach the stage of Adeptship – few get that far. Most who begin, give up, because the quest is just too hard or they are too soft. It will probably take fifteen or twenty years to reach the stage of Mistress of Earth, the fifth stage of the seven that mark the path. Are you prepared for this?

Should you be interested in taking the matter further, I can arrange for you to meet the person to whom you gave the letter. She will be able to answer any questions you might have regarding the next step, should you decide to undertake it.

Incidentally, there are no fees, no dues of any kind connected with membership of the Order. And all Order MSS are available to members, at cost – none are ‘secret’ or withheld until you reach a certain stage. Once Initiation is complete, and the first tasks are achieved by you, all Order MSS are accessible.

With best wishes,

Stephen Brown [signed]


Stephen Brown to Mr. Milner

Posted in The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown with tags on July 15, 2009 by cosmion

Shropshire, England

14th March 1991eh

Dear Mr. Milner,

Thank you for your letter.  I have sent items you requested by separate post. You raise two matters which are of considerable interest-viz. is the obtaining of wealth and power the sign of a  ; and can there really be such a thing as a Mandate given by the Prince of Darkness.

I shall answer your first question, first. The pursuit and obtaining of wealth and power, like all worldly things including the pleasures of the flesh, is a worthy Satanic goal – indeed, it is one which all Satanic novices should aspire to. However, the fundamental aim of the way of Satanism is the achievement by the individual Satanist of a unique Destiny – i.e. fulfilling the potential of existence latent within. For some, this Destiny is the obtaining of wealth and influence in the world. For others, however, the goal is different – it may be creativity (e.g. inmusic or some other artistic form), or discovery (e.g. in knowledge, science) or exploration or the achievement of Wisdom (i.e. a deep esoteric understanding and skill in esoteric Arts, particularly Aeonic magick). For all, however, the fulfillment of Destiny implies excellence –achievement in a specific field or fields. Thus, while one Master or Mistress may because of their unique Destiny achieve material’success’, another Master or Mistress may to all outward appearances be ‘poor’, and mostly bereft of material possessions. Fundamentally, what matters is what each achieves with their lives – what is internal, what is known, learnt, experienced, rather than what is outward appearance or show.

The common image of a Satanic ‘Master’ as someone possessing great wealth who dresses in a certain way (e.g. like Mephistopheles in an amateur production of Faust or like Mr. Lee in Dracula) is a fictional image. That some who call themselves Satanists ape this image, just shows their lack of understanding of genuine Satanism. A Satanist is a chameleon – someone who adapts and blends into their surroundings, for the most part. However, sometimes a Satanist (e.g. during the novice stage of development) may assume a certain ‘role’ or ‘roles’ (such as the fictional and popular image of a ‘Satanist’) for a particular purpose. This purpose is usually to obtain experience – e.g. in manipulating others; enjoying playing the ‘role’) – but once the purpose is achieved, the Satanist moves on, to other adventures. The role has served its purpose.

Regarding your second question. I presume you refer to certain organizations who base to claim to representing Satanism on the factthat they claim to be empowered by the Prince of Darkness Himself.One organization, based in America, uses the term ‘Infernal Mandate’ – they claim their Priesthood and only their Priesthood are truly representatives of the prince of Darkness because of this Mandate.

In reality, the very concept of a mandate is anti-Satanic – it is, in fact, a Nazarene concept. The Prince of Darkness desires Comrades, not sycophantic followers – that is, He wishes us, as individuals, to be like Him. He is proud, defiant, individualistic and creative. Satanists seek to be like Him – to become gods, to be Satanic in their own lives. Of course, Satan Himself and His Comrades likewise, often use  others for Satanic ends – and this is natural and necessary. For essentially individuals divide into two groups – those who lead, and those who follow. Satanists are always leaders – they are the manipulators.

Further, the concept of a mandate means a religious approach – a dogma, a zeal in upholding that dogma, a rigid structured grouping wherein individuals are rewarded for their zeal, for their conformity to dogma and authority. And also the religious approach means a certain attitude, a certain way of being – it means acceptance, observance, a mental weakness, a lack of defiance, of pride.

The whole of Satanism is a defiance against this religious spirit, this religious attitude. Thus, an organization which upholds or claims to uphold Satanism as a religion cannot be Satanic – it is, in short, a fraudulent organization.

I repeat, that Satanism is a rebellion against all those forms which hold our being, our spirit in chains – which bind us, which restrict our potential, our evolution – and the most potent form which has bound us, and which still binds the majority, is the religious attitude, the dogmatic approach, be this overtly expressed via a religion or a religious approach or covertly by social and political zealousness and conformity. Religion emasculates us.

Naturally, groups like the Temple of Set cover their religious approach and dogma in fine-sounding words. For instance: “The Temple seeks merely to be a forum for Setians to communicate and cooperate with one another constructively and courteously…” [Extracted from the General Information and Admission policies of the Temple of Set]. To which  should be added – ‘provided they are obedient to what their ‘Master’ says or lays down as law or policy’. They are forbidden to associate with certain people/groups (of which I am one, and the ONA one group) because those people/groups are “proscribed” – for a reason or reasons devised by the ‘High Priest of Set’ himself. In effect, certain people/groups are cast out as ‘heretics’. Does this all sound familiar? The Temple of Set uses subtle intellectual ideas to propagate what they say is ‘an individual striving’ for becoming (or ‘Xepher) – but what it amounts to in reality is an individual subservience to the Temple, its ways, its authority and its ‘Master’. This reality is ‘justified’ by the ‘Infernal Mandate’ – i.e. Aquino in particular and the Temple of Set in general have a “sacred duty” apparently given by the Prince of Darkness Himself. What this means is that Aquino claims his authority because he claims to have received a Mandate from some entity. Real religious stuff.

A genuine Satanist, on the contrary, has authority by virtue of his or her Wisdom – and has achieved Wisdom by virtue of practical experience. There is no need to claim a ‘spiritual’ authority given by some ‘entity’ be that entity Satan or Set whatever – indeed, to so claim such authority exposes the individual who so claims as needing this spiritual crutch because they lack real Wisdom: i.e. they rely on something external to themselves, something external to their own achievements. Such individuals have to rely on something external because what really matters is missing – that which is created by the following of the Black Arts to their ultimate ending. In brief, such ones who claim and so need to rely on an external mandate are charlatans.

This neatly returns us to the first question. A genuine Satanic Master (or Mistress) can be known because they possess character – i.e. they are unique charismatic individuals (although often the charisma is veiled) who have depth: it shows in their eyes, in their attitude. They have been to Hell and back – and been to Heaven and back; they have experienced, and so learnt. They do not need to pose, assume a ‘role’ or claim some ‘mandate’ or even an ancient lineage. They just are themselves.

I trust this will be of interest.

With best wishes,

Stephen Brown [signed]