In High Priest of Ra-Hoor-Khuit by David Bersson, an idiotic and inane bit of gibberish meant to rationalize his violent madness, the self-proclaimed "Master of the Temple" who constantly proves that he has not mastered his "temple", wrote:
When the formula went together I immediately awakened these powers and attempted to align them with the Book of the Law. Of course, they were already aligned. With all the delight of a young sorcerer about town I wrote my worst enemy, proclaiming to him that he was going to fear me like a God.
Bersson was, of course, referring to me and the insane letter that he had sent to me earlier and which I then published complete and unabridged here in the Castle of the Silver Star. What most amuses me in the above quotation is that despite the fact that under his own name and the many pseudonyms he writes under he constantly does his utmost to make others believe I am of no consequence, he unwittingly acknowledges me as "a man of power", someone of consequence, by referring to me as his "worst enemy". I, on the other hand, see David Bersson as little more than an insect, an annoying bug that must from time be stepped on. However, a bug can do great harm, especially if this pest is joined by others to eat away at the fabric of Thelema and society.
While I have done my best to acquire "good press" for both Aleister Crowley and Thelema, with some success, by simply and clearly explaining matters in an honest, open and truthful manner, Bersson and those of his kind have done just the opposite. Thus the reason for my efforts with the media, The Newaeon Newsletter and the Castle of the Silver Star.
Study, for example, the following article which originally appeared in The Nashville Banner, published in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, December 15, 1981 E.V. [Vol. 105, No. 214, Music City Media, First Edition]. It began with an article entitled
by Frances Meeker, Banner Religion Editor, which opened with the following:
The family - who will be called the "Adamses" in this account - say they were forced into the bizarre realm of the occult last summer when their 15-year-old son, "Mike," experienced a strange phenomenon of another personality being in possession of his body.
The parents blamed the problems on Mike's association with the Society Ordo Templi Orientis in America, an organization whose purpose is to promote the philosophy and works of the late Edward Alexander Crowley, known also as Aleister Crowley, the most celebrated occult magician of modern times.
Adams had just returned from a business trip last July when his wife told him she believed their son was involved in something evil. After confronting Mike, the parents searched his room, uncovering books and literature from the Ordo Templi Orientis as well as books, magazines and jewelry concerning the occult.
What followed was the usual tale of a dysfunctional Christian family whose rebellious adolescent son decided to turn to "the occult" with the impression that it is by nature "satanic" and the complete antithesis of "Christian values". This time, however, because of David Bersson and his less than ethical monkey antics, Crowley and thus Thelema were misrepresented and the fraternal name of Ordo Templi Orientis was once more presented to the general public as the unsavory thing the various pseudo-o.t.o.s today have proven to be.
A picture of The Devil tarot card [not Crowley's] and S.O.T.O. letterhead were used in the article, followed by a second piece entitled:
also by Frances Meeker. This, in turn, preceded the following article, which I present in its entirety.
The dark-haired man chain-smoked and moved his hands nervously as he talked about the Society Ordo Templi Orientis.
He is David L. Bersson, 28, master of the O.T.O. lodge of Nashville. He said he came to Nashville from New Orleans seven years ago and makes his living as a cook in a fast-food restaurant. In the lodge he is known as "Frater Sphinx."
Note the somewhat less than impressive impression he made upon the Banner's Religion Editor. Ms Meeker, unlike Bersson's all too willing victims, his young and naive devotees, had absolutely no trouble seeing him for what he is.
"O.T.O.'s reputation is at stake when something like this happens," Bersson said, referring to the charges by the parents of "Mike Adams" that their son's experience with demons was in part caused by his association with O.T.O.
But Bersson discounts this.
"Mike wasn't in the organization long enough to learn anything about it," he said.
So Bersson said, but of course there is not much to learn about the "organization", such as it is, and nothing of worth to learn by way of membership - nothing, that is, of an esoteric nature. However, if one is lucky after being unlucky enough to foolishly associate oneself with David Bersson, one may learn something about oneself, wise up, get out and be a better person for it.
According to Bersson and Mike's parents, the boy joined the organization last summer by forging his parents' names on a letter of consent. He had a couple of meetings with Bersson, received some of the organization's literature and corresponded rather frequently with the lodge master, all in preparation to becoming a member of O.T.O.
"Mike was into something different from other people and when he heard about our organization, he was interested in it," Bersson said. According to the lodge master, the organization welcomes people who might not feel accepted in traditional groups and organizations.
"If a person is into black magic, we welcome him, of course," Bersson said. "Also, if he is interested in ancient religions, if he is homosexual or has beliefs that might cause him to feel persecuted in other places, he can come to the O.T.O. and feel welcome."
He added emphatically, "We don't worship devils or demons, though."
Not very long ago I met one of Bersson's followers. Currently I am both managing my apartment building and working in a downtown Pittsburgh office, part of a team composed of City, County and State employees. [Thus, because of my current period of transition and change, the lateness of this upload to the Castle.] I have quickly become the man everyone turns to when they have a problem with the computers, Microsoft programs, the team web site, troublesome clients and so forth, while I am also viewed as a colourful character, partly because of my consistant and unrestrained good humour, and partly because of my delight in playing "dress up", as I call it. This particular day I was dressed in a black suit, with well polished black cowboy boots, black shirt and black silk tie. It was an appropriate "costume" for the unexpected event after leaving work, at the bus stop. There my eyes were immediately attracted to a glowingly lovely young lady whose name I later learned is Brooke. I was first attracted to this petite girl's beautiful face, then, yes, my jaded 49-year-old eyes slid down to her cleavage. Hey, I may be "enlightened", but I'm still a man! There I saw the unicursal hexagram pendant that Brooke wore. "If I said 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law'", I said, "would you know what I meant?" Her face lit up with absolute delight and she replied, "Love is the law, love under will!" At the bus stop and on the bus we had a pleasant conversation. When I introduced myself as Kelly she seemed to vaguely recognize the name. When she looked at the Newaeon "business" card I handed her full recognition showed on her bright young face. She proclaimed herself a member of "the O.T.O." and the "A.·.A.·." whereupon I immediately recognized her as a Bersson groupie. One learns to distinguish between them and Caliphate members early on, although both groups prey upon the young and naive.
Brooke found me unexpectedly "nice", charming and friendly, not at all what she had been led to expect of the infamous G.M.Kelly, and I found her to be quite charming, yet also characteristically inexperienced and naive. "I've been into this forever!" she first told me, but a bit later confessed "since 1998". I don't think Brooke was even 20 years old when we met a month or two ago.
My stop came before hers and Brooke took my hand and held it lingeringly as we said our goodbyes, and I exited the bus hoping she would visit this web site and that it would bring her to her senses, convincing her to break away from David Bersson and his insane sham. Not everyone who becomes a member of a "destructive cult" is necessarily a "bad" person. Many are young and naive. Most feel that they are lacking something in their lives and/or in themselves that, at least for a time, they mistakenly believe they have found in the "cult". What weakness exactly drew lovely young Brooke to Bersson and blinded her to his obvious idiocy and insanity I can't say for certain, but one can only hope that before any serious harm can come to her she will mature and become aware enough to see this lunatic for what he is.
In this long digression I have referred to Bersson's small group as a "destructive cult", a term coined by fundamentalist "Christians" and anti-cult groups that were receiving a lot of press during the height of the Satanic Panic some years back. I used this term for the simple reason that it aptly describes such groups as Bersson's, and also because, although it no doubt was not intended, the phrase implies that there is such a thing as a "constructive cult". Obviously Bersson's does not fall under this latter heading. Even more recently I was told about another young woman's odd behaviour and how it was disturbing her friends. Once more the girl proves to be young and naive, in her early twenties, and she has chosen to associate herself with Bersson and says that his group "is like a family". I'm sure. The Manson Family. Undoubtedly this young lady, Daisy, has a less than wonderful relationship with her family, not at all uncommon really, but to her it must seem to be something especially bad, and her aching desire for a surrogate family proved to be the weakness that Bersson could prey upon. This is, perhaps, the most common way a "destructive cult" leader acquires his youthful following, becoming a kind of substitute father or big brother.
The purpose of this long digression is simply to establish a pattern of behaviour. I have encountered other followers of David Bersson and they are all inevitably quite young, quite easily taken in, absolutely [and mistakenly] sure that they cannot be fooled and that they have found a great and mysterious master adept of magick. They are rebellious and lonely, perfect and all too willing victims for the leader of a "destructive cult". Now to continue with the article by Frances Meeker:
Bersson said he does not think Mike's association with the O.T.O., which he described as a fraternal and social group, had anything to do with the experience which Mike's parents believed to be the manifestation of demons.
"His parents came down on him pretty hard," Bersson said. "We are sorry for our part in it and certainly meant nobody any harm."
This from the fellow who threatened to cut out my heart if I refused to accept him as my teacher and my god, created an e-group devoted to trashing me which he called "shootthebastard", and who might know more than he will admit about a drive-by shooting at around the same time, targeting my apartment building. David Bersson, who "certainly meant nobody any harm", and yet curses people in letters, "Restriction be unto you!" and idiotically brags about performing black magic against others to bring them to harm, as his High Priest of Ra-Hoor-Khuit article proves. And it is "black magic" for it acts against others in an unthelemic restrictive manner, but it serves no other purpose than to defend his petty ego, the false self, albeit only in the realms of his own warped imagination.
Mike admits he learned very little about the organization in the brief time he was going through the first steps to become a member. He said, however, he thinks O.T.O. might "have danger in it because it tries to control the mind and manipulate people"
In one of Bersson's early letters to Mike, the lodge master told the youth that in order to become a member, he would have to have his parents' written consent and have it notarized.
"It doesn't sound like you will be able to do this by the description of your parents," Bersson wrote. "You would have to be quite a clever 15-year-old to do this."
Of course, there isn't much to learn from Bersson in the first place, but apparently "Mike" did learn something of importance: he learned to recognize Bersson for what he is - a petty, manipulative little cult leader who can only feel important when he controls the lives of others. And true to the stereotypical cult leader, Bersson here proved once more a lack of ethics, on the one hand insisting upon a letter of consent from the minor's parents, while on the other manipulating him by way of his ego to encourage him to forge that letter of consent so that if things go wrong, as they did in this instance, Bersson can claim that he had been lied to. However, Bersson is indeed a "master", that is to say, a "master fool", for while other cult leaders are far more subtle and clever, this idiot gives himself away in letters that his ego must produce to assert itself.
In a later letter, "Sphinx" chastized the new member for buying a deck of Tarot (fortune telling) cards from a certain Nashville bookstore, saying the woman salesclerk who sold the cards was a "second-degree member" of the Black Lodge, another secret organization with opposing views from O.T.O.
"She has done everything in her powers as lodge member to sway people" away from the beliefs of O.T.O., "Sphinx" wrote Mike.
Here is another instance where Bersson's paranoia is proven, along with his tactic of calling anyone who disagrees with him a "black brother". The so-called "'second-degree member' of the Black Lodge", I have been informed, is actually a Wiccan, a member of a pre-Christian Pagan religion that worships God/dess manifest in Nature and which does not even recognize a "Devil" as does the Christian religion. Bersson will chastize his followers for doing anything that he does not personally approve of, ignoring the fact that what another chooses to do may be a necessary step in discovering and/or accomplishing his or her True Will or purpose for existing.
The lodge master also told the new recruit that membership usually requires the member to give 5 percent of his income to the lodge, but because Mike was a student, he would not be expected to pay anything.
Of course, this is akin to the drug dealer who gives his prospective new customer the first few hits for free, hooks him and then after he has created a market by way of creating a need in his victim, begins charging him for the addictive substance. Then, the stronger the hold of the addiction becomes, the higher the price of the addictive substance. And make no mistake about it, membership in such a group as Bersson's small cult is addictive to those individuals who crave the companionship and love that they feel has been otherwise denied them, and which they mistakenly believe the cult and it's leader provides. "Mike" would have eventually had to pay the price had he not awaken to the truth when he had.
David Bersson eventually left Nashville, found his way to New Mexico, fled that state and reestablished his cult here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am wondering just how many indiscretions will lead to his decision to flee Pittsburgh, and precisely what event will encourage him to run before he sees either the inside of a lunatic asylum or a jail.
Apparently, to judge from one of the few messages I took the time to read posted on The Aleister Crowley Message Board at www.aleistercrowley.com/board/messages, which seems to deal more with David Bersson than with A.C., "Frater Sphinx" is claiming that my quoting of the article above is "lame". Basically that's his reply to it. It is a reply that could more rightly be considered "lame".
In a message posted by someone under the pseudonym of "Farter Sphinx", dated "July 06, 19100" [a Y2K glitch?], addressed to Brooke:
:Oh dear! Taking articles written by the prophane [sic] about an adolescent confused boy who can't handle his own invocations is, like, so lame.
Lamer than posting under other people's names like Farter Sphinx has done on this board over and over again. Lamer than posting praising himself as Farter Sphinx under other names in hopes of appearing to have more than a handful of real followers as Farter Sphinx has done repeatedly on this board? Lamer than impersonating Ben Stone in hopes that someone will take his false claims to Motta authority seriously, as Farter Sphinx has done on this very board?
:The Book of the Law is a powerful insight and many people are going to misinterpret it. Demons will spew to them and feed on their confusion. Obviously, he was too young to handle the ordeals.
And the Book of the Law says this where? You might want to read Crowley's own intro to the Goetia if you really believe what is obviously Farter Sphinx's ignorance.
:Not to mention that journalism and history books throughout time are popular for not telling the other SIDES of the story.
Wasn't it Farter Sphinx or your boyfriend Jacob Lot that called for the actual articles to be posted and now you are complaining when the embarrassing details actually come out, talk about lame. You might want to be careful little girl or someone might show Farter Sphinx the polaroids of you and GM Kelly in your little "secret meeting" and bus excursions Farter Sphinx might get upset when he realizes GM Kelly actually has a bigger penis than Farter Sphinx does.
Following this posting was a link to the article above which read Brooke and GM Kelly's Secret Affair, an intentionally misleading statement sure to encourage people to click on the link and read the above article.
No doubt this posting on the so-called Aleister Crowley Message Board was prompted at least in part by an article to be found at http://www.castletower.org/games.html. By the way, it has been suggested that David Bersson, lacking in imagination as he is lacking in so much else, so liked the name of this web site, Castle of the Silver Star, that he tried to mimic it with his later use of Castle Tower. I try to remember that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".
The article in question is entitled "Silly Games" and supposedly it was written by Brooke [deleted*] - apparently the young lady mentioned in the above article. However, "Silly Games", which Bersson is more guilty of than the people he accuses, seems to be written by David Bersson himself and not Ms. [deleted*]. This is par for the course. Even if Brooke had written the piece, you can be certain that Bersson was right at her side dictating most of what she wrote. There are ways to determine Bersson's authorship that myself and others have discovered - odd sentence structure, misuse of punctuation, et cetera, peculiarities of personality, ego and ignorance beyond the self-proclaimed Master's control - but to point them out here would only make it easier for him to try and better disguise himself in the future.
The article, "Silly Games", begins as follows:
After months of searching for an instructor I came across David Bersson's website. I read about William Breeze, Kevin Bold and the king of ego, G.M.Kelly. (such an uneducated little worm!) After studying these people I knew they were all wind. My impulses told me to email David Bersson and ask about the A.·.A.·.. I was entirely too enthused about finding a teacher in the Great Work after months of reading about the basic nature of Thelema and not speaking to anyone about it.
Indeed, this does sound like Bersson using the name of another to praise himself with the hope of attracting more devotees, a common practice of his. I have become the Archfiend in Bersson's mind. He has unwittingly flattered me numerous times in making this clear to all when I, in fact, view him as an annoying insect, unimportant in himself, but dangerous in that he carries a disease which infects some people, misrepresenting Thelema. If I have an archfiend it is simple ignorance, a "sin" against intellect that is the true "root of all evil".
As for the claim that I am "an uneducated little worm", well, the atrocious grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling and everything else that is part and parcel of anything that David Bersson and/or his few followers write shows more clearly who is "uneducated". As is often the case, I am accused of something that my accuser is guilty of. [Pardon my dangling participle.]
It turns out that I could not have stumbled upon a more superb place on the internet. "Brooke" continues, praising David Bersson's web site - yatta yatta yatta. It's only that some people feel like taking that energy and putting it in an awkward and disturbing direction. Frater Phoenix is calmly pursuing his path and does not seem bothered by the challenges of William Breeze, Kevin Bold,G.M. Kelly, or chat bunnies like David R.Jones who like to make up silly stories. The stories?
The errors and odd sentence structure above are as they were originally printed in "Silly Games". As for "the stories", "some immature shit," as "Brooke" refers to them, are relayed to the reader and I tend to think these particular stories were made up by Bersson himself to "prove" the immaturity of others. Aside from this, the paragraph is absolutely absurd in claiming that "Frater Phoenix", A.K.A. Frater Sphinx, A.K.A. David Bersson, [A.K.A., A.K.A., A.K.A.!], is "calmly pursuing his path". The "man" is a raving lunatic. Light a spark of real criticism anywhere near that conglomeration of noxious flammable gas called David Bersson and he explodes in a manic fit of ranting insanity that rivals the phenomenal lunacy of the late Marcelo Ramos Motta! And perhaps it is true and to Brooke comments regarding Bersson do not "seem" to bother him, but I am sure that he does his best to act unaffected, yet it never takes much more than a nudge to push him completely over the edge. There is ample proof of this in material written by Bersson and quoted here in the Castle alone.
The idiot article concludes with the following.
Regarding Kevin Bold, William Breeze, G.M. Kelly; David Bersson has determination to the Great Work and it's deplorable he has had to have such immature people trying to judge Him. Must be some type of karma? It's time to end all these silly games and return to the pursuit of our Paths. These silly games are all ego based and if you are really sincere about discovering your True Will you have no time for anything but the glorious beauty of the Path!
Well, of course Bersson would love to have people stop criticizing him, to cease exposing his ignorance and insanity, to go foward unopposed, unchallenged, uncriticized, as it makes his admitted habit of deception easier. Bersson, through Brooke, is painting himself as a martyr besieged. This is especially amusing as he often goes off on a rant about those nasty, evil "Christists", completely unaware of the fact that he himself is more of a "Christist" than the Thelemite he pretends to be! And please note the capitalization: "Him". Don't ignore his Messiah Complex, as indicated here and elsewhere in many and numerous ways.
As for these "silly games" referred to, it is Bersson himself who is guilty of said "silly games", as for instance this particular article. Is my insincerity "about discovering [my] True Will" proven by the articles I write about Bersson and others? No. In point of fact, it is part of my True Will to write these articles, the aspect of my Will that I often refer to as "taking out the garbage." An undesirable but necessary chore beneficial to the future health of Thelema. It has nothing to do with ego, it is neither silly nor a game - it is simply something that must be done.
Following the article is a note by David Bersson, well, that is to say something that Bersson takes direct credit for. It begins with
No Brook, I do not cut fingers off or break arms. I am an Instructor and I follow a unique method of purging the worthy and eliminating the unfit. You will hear many stories. ...
And it goes on a bit in an effort to try desperately to make Bersson seem like a reasonable, unfairly slandered individual. Oh poor, noble David Bersson. Yeah. Uh huh. Right. This is the same guy who threatened to murder me if I did not accept him as my teacher and my god, and who later claimed that this was all part of a "magical" Horus-knows-what he was performing so that I would be punished [for what? and by what right?] in the afterlife - his idea of which is, by the way, very "Christist".
With "Silly Games" and all of David Bersson's silly games, every time he opens his mouth, puts pen to paper or taps out some drivel on his keyboard, under whatever name he is speaking at the moment, he never fails to prove his ignorance of magick and Thelema, his incompetence in writing, and the astounding insanity of his outrageously inflated and perversely twisted ego. I encourage Bersson to respond to this with his usual slue of Internet articles and postings on this, that and every imaginable message board, e-group and the like, for every word that he utters is another nail in his coffin. Am I David Bersson's archenemy, as he obviously views me in his warped mind? No. He is his own worst enemy, and as such anything but the Master of the Temple that he loudly and frequently claims to be. Quite simply put, "The body [mind, et al] is the temple of the soul [Daemon or True Self]", and a Magister Templi is one who has utterly mastered his "temple" and is no longer mastered by it. David Bersson's degree of self-control is almost too little to gauge, easily upset, and even in his attempts to appear in control of himself, in control of his ego, he proves to every intelligent reader that it is his personal demon, his ego, that is in control, having divorced himself as much as is possible from his own True Self. He will, I am certain, lost in his delusions, now proceed to further prove my comments and criticisms absolutely true.
[*2008 E.V. Note: Brooke, no longer with Bersson's version of the O.T.O., informing me that "Silly Games" has been removed from the Net, concerned about possibly prejudicial employers, asked me very nicely to remove her surname from this article. Because of her polite approach and the fact that it was David Bersson who first used her last name I saw no reason to deny Brooke's request.]