I am afraid, my friends, that I must write yet another Encyclical Letter along Sword of Horus lines. There is a kind of 'spiritual cancer' eating away at the body of human society and it cannot be ignored. It must be attended to. So out comes the surgeon's scalpel, or perhaps we had better use a laser as only concentrated Light can effectively do the job, and, well, here we go!
It may surprise some of you that from time to time I watch certain television programs and read certain materials that most occultists would not bother with. It shouldn't. I am not like most occultists, of which I do not have the highest opinion. I am a Thelemic Magician. And again, because of what I am, many of you may be surprised by my occasionally expressed opinions of Jesus. Many of you think that because I am a dedicated Thelemite, thus a follower of Aleister Crowley, the Beast 666, the Antichrist, that I should be completely opposed to Christianity and thus to Jesus called the Christ [a term, by the way, which only means "anointed" or "Anointed One", as does the Hebrew Messiah]. Well, in my opinion, today's so-called Christianity has very little to do with the teachings of the initiate named Jesus, so while I may oppose Roman Catholicism and various other forms of Christianity, I do not oppose the man and the teachings which these, in my personal opinion, mock. To me the demonic caricature of Jesus that most people barbarically worship as a god has nothing to do with Jesus the Nazarene, a man who proved himself to be a loyal Jew, more loyal than the Jewish priesthood of his time, as well as a student of various Eastern philosophies, a skilled if primitive psychologist and physician, and a down right blessedly simple man possessing and exercising a great deal of not-so-common common sense and logic. Jesus was an initiate, and the gross caricature that is today mistaken for Jesus, the demonic form shown to be agonizingly suffering on a cross of the elements with its earth-arm abnormally extended and exaggerated, has nothing to do with the true Jesus that once walked the earth - a World Teacher like others such as Lao Tzu, Gotama Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, and yes, most recently the Master Therion, Aleister Crowley.
[Question: Why do the Christians insist upon employing the figure of a dying, suffering Jesus on the cross upon which to focus their thoughts and prayers? Why not the child Jesus in the manger, symbol of promise? Or better still, the resurrected and glorified Jesus, a symbol of that promise fulfilled?]
Jesus was a man, not a god. Not any more of a god than any of us at any rate. It was Simon-Peter and others, including the demons Jesus exorcised, hardly a reliable source of information! that claimed he was the one and only Son of God - a term of respect long common to Egypt's pharaohs and Greek heroes and leaders, as it was with most other nations and people. Son of God, Saviour, the Anointed One, and so forth, are all terms very common to special men and even women of the past, faint hints of which only, for the most part, exist in myths and legends. Surely even Osiris was once only a man who achieved a high degree of intellectual and spiritual attainment to then lead his people to a new way of thought and life. At any rate, Jesus, in the four Gospels, always claimed that he was only the Son of Man, which, of course, everyone of us is by the fact of having had a father. Jesus continually told us that he was essentially no different, no better and no worse, than anyone of us and thus that what he achieved we could all achieve. By raising Jesus to a position that makes him seem absurdly unique - the one and only Son of God - Christianity undoes the work that Jesus initiated. He was, as all World Teachers, unique in his way, but still quite human and part of his purpose was to make of himself an example for all of us to follow. If he was not flesh and blood as you and I, if he was indeed so special as to be the one and only Son of God, or God Himself as some people barbarically believe, then he is a useless example for us to follow since it would then be impossible for the rest of us to even hope to approximate the high level of intellectual and spiritual advancement that Jesus the Nazarene obviously achieved! If there were indeed a "second coming" as the primitive-minded pseudo-Christian believes, and Jesus were to return to the world in the same persona, he would no doubt be thoroughly disgusted to see how his teachings and the example of his life have been perverted and twisted completely out of their original true shape.
I was raised Roman Catholic. The things taught to me, the hours upon hours of enforced catechism classes and masses I had to attend at St. Mary's Catholic school, prayer hours and so forth, special devotions in May and other months, I simply went through without being terribly impressed one way or another. I never felt like rebelling, and I never felt like becoming a so-called Christian in more than the nominal way to please my family. I was baptized, confirmed and so forth, went to church as regularly as my family, which fortunately was not too regularly as mine was a family of relaxed Catholic farmers, more Pagan than they realized. And I was not at all impressed because even as a child I recognized too many absurdities, too much illogic, too many unrealities. I let it roll off my back and because of it I was never once interested in even reading the Judeo-Christian Bible.
Then I became interested in the occult [a word which only means "hidden" and implies the arts and sciences of the difficult-to-perceive aspects of humankind and nature], and finally, but quickly, I was drawn to Thelema as my natural Path in life. It was not until I was dedicated to Thelema and the Beast 666, the Antichrist, that I became interested in learning more about Buddhism, Taoism, for which I have a strong affinity, partly due to a past incarnation as a Taoist priest which also explains my special affection for oriental culture and faces, especially female oriental faces, and of course I also became interested in the personality and teachings of Jesus the Nazarene. [By "Nazarene", by the way, I do not refer to the town of Nazareth which may not have even existed during Jesus' lifetime, but rather does this term refer to a sect of mystics that, like the Essenes, Jesus most probably studied with. But that is another story!] I have not only, because of my dedication to the Antichrist, read the Bible, but I have studied it and dissected it and now have a massive compilation of work pertaining to the Greek Qabalah which includes a great deal of the New Testament material.
I have little regard for such things as the letters of Paul. There seems to have been at least three men writing under that name, one of which was the fanatic persecutor of the early Christians who turned around, as is more common than most people realize, and became a fanatic convert and evangelist for Christianity - serving to begin in earnest the perversion of Jesus' simple and sublime teachings which have so much in common with such things as Buddhism and Taoism, not to mention possessing a great degree of common sense! Another "Paul" was obviously a Gnostic - many of the Gnostic sects persecuted out of existence by Mother Church, by the way, were probably truer to the original teachings of the initiate Jesus. Thus it is within the letters of Paul mostly that the contradictions arise and the perversions of the original teachings seem to have actually begun. Yet, despite their faults and inconsistencies, due to the error of the men, not God, who wrote the accounts, elaborating with myth and legend sometimes borrowed from earlier religions, and despite the sometimes deliberate and sometimes accidental altering of the original text down through the centuries by men either politically motivated or intellectually impaired, the four Gospels clearly represent a man of a special nature, not so special that no one can become like him, but a man who achieved his full potential on earth and with his words and by example hoped to show others the way to achieve their full potential.
The Acts of the Apostles are more faulted than the four Gospels but still worth a careful study. Then we can skip through the rest of the New Testament - although for the well-informed and educated scholar or initiate there is yet worth therein if he can distinguish between gems and the sewage that they are sunk in - and move right to the Revelation of John, otherwise called the Apocalypse. This last book of the Bible is most interesting but also faulted by the errors of translators, commentators and so forth over the years. There is, for example, a confusion in symbology regarding the Lamb and the so-called Lamb with horns. Obviously one originally was a Lamb while the other was a Ram, which is another thing altogether, indicating two concepts instead of one illogical concept. Lambs do not have horns! True, the horn, originally a metaphor for the phallus, is a symbol of power, as were the phallic designs of the so-called primitive pagans. It symbolizes the creative power of the universe and man, basically. However, initiates, and John seems to have been that, do not use real things as symbols unless they are accurate representatives of those things that they symbolize as they are in nature, and in nature a lamb does not have horns but a ram does. John, of course, we must remember, although an initiate, was also a human being, and there were many things that from his point of view, in his time, he could not quite understand. For instance, he speaks of the end of the world which many pseudo-Christians are still fearfully awaiting. [And yet they seem to delight in the idea of worldwide disease, death and destruction, their eyes glistening with hope and longing for that day and the Rapture that they expect will save them while the rest of us perish - so much for Christian Love and Charity!] They should wake up and look around them. The end of the world, as John knew it, has already happened and there is now a new world, or more properly a New Æon, which the Ram is a symbol of as opposed to the Lamb that symbolized the previous æon. As for the dreaded Antichrist, of which we will speak more of a bit later, speculation as to his identity is absurd since he has already come and gone and begun his work on earth! Pseudo-Christians and nominal Christians all over the world seem to expect this Antichrist to come into the world and "ba-bing!" [as David Addison would say] everything instantly goes to hell in a handbasket. Forget logic and reason. However, as Christianity itself was not even formed until about one hundred years after the death of Jesus, and few people, relatively speaking, for centuries thereafter had even heard of Jesus and his teachings and so could not be much effected by them, so too is it, naturally, with the Antichrist, the Beast 666, and Thelema.
Come on, folks, let's get real about these things. We are not supposed to be irrational barbarians. We are supposed to be enlightened and intelligent civilized beings - supposed to be! Everything that John spoke of in the Apocalypse was quite natural, quite the normal course of life and the universe, and therein was there nothing of true and absolute "evil". The "evil" is in the ignorance which does not respond to reason and simple common sense and logic, that views something relatively new and different as bad simply because it implies change, and yet change is stability in life. Death, for instance, is not "evil" or "bad" in itself, for it makes way for the birth of others, for new life. The death of the old makes way for the birth of the new and it is such change as this which stabilizes humanity in more ways than one. If it were not so humanity would have died out long ago. Furthermore, there is no such thing as the unnatural or supernatural in nature. If it exists in nature it must therefore be natural. And what is natural for one aspect of life is natural for other aspects of life. Ideas grow old and die and must be replaced just as surely as anything else. People grow out of things and need new things to continue with their intellectual and spiritual evolution.
Those individuals on television, the so-called Christian evangelists, for instance, for the most part, who hold one hand heavenward in blessing and the other held out for donations, which sometimes, most times, seems to benefit them more materially than anyone else in any spiritual way, these are in my personal opinion the "false prophets" and "false Christ's" that the Bible speaks of frequently. True, I agree that most of the occultists and so-called new age "teachers" also fit into these categories, but when the Christian, the truly Christian, initiates like John foresaw the future the ones he called "pseudo-Christ's", for instance, were those who tossed about the word God and the name of Jesus left and right, trying to look and sound like what people imagine to be Christ-like, while perverting the teachings of Jesus mostly for their own personal gain and/or ego-gratification.
Not too many months ago I tuned in one an evangelistic television program because it, with the utmost gauche and crassly commercial and sensationalistic manner, advertised a special program on "The Occult World". I turned it on and was not at all surprised by what I found. The program was typical and what I later called "The Jack Van Impe Evangelistic Comedy Hour". First Rexella Van Impe interviewed two people. One was a lady who once worked with a psychic healer who has since been "born again" and now declares that "all" such people as this psychic healer are "evil" or at least misguided and are in league with the Devil, that good old barbaric Christian perversion of natural forces in humanity and nature that the pagan, i.e. rural, religions never considered an absolute evil but simply a natural aspect of life. Now while we can agree with the lady interviewed that most so-called psychic surgeons are probably either crass charlatans or very misguided if well-meaning individuals, we cannot be as absurdly illogical as her. She declared, without question, very firmly, that "all" of them are either "evil" or misguided. This is an irrational statement for the simple fact that she could not have possibly met ALL of these people and so is incapable of knowing that ALL of them are in error. Of course reason and logic from such people may be a bit too much for us to expect.
Next Rexella interviewed Mike Warnke who wrote a book entitled The Satan Seller, which I long ago forced myself to read and have now, thankfully, tossed in the lower basement of my memory as being an almost totally useless piece of literary junk. Warnke was supposedly a high priest of Satan in San Bernardino, California, and had over 1,500 members in his group. Jack Van Impe and evangelists of his caliber as well as fellows like Mike Warnke, first of all, love to throw sensational numbers out at the people and do their damnedest to impress and frighten. I sincerely doubt that the number of members was even far into the hundreds let alone thousands, and most of them were probably only paper Satanists who exchanged a letter or two with Warnke. Be that as it may, Warnke then goes on to tell of the ghastly things he and his friends did - things that he is still, obviously, reveling in, things that gentlemen like Jack Van Impe also seem to revel in. It is curious to note that the nominal as well as the sincere students of the so-called occult most often think in beautiful terms and images while the fanatic pseudo-Christian evangelist and his multitude of equally fanatic followers think in the most horrible and perverse terms and images, constantly dwelling upon mutilation and death, suffering and torment, the everlasting fires of hell, and so forth. They seem to be positively obsessed with ideas of this kind.
Well, Warnke goes on to explain that they would sacrifice the tip of their little fingers to the Devil, sometimes shredding the flesh from them and incorporating this and other materials repugnant to the true and sincere student of the esoteric arts and sciences into a mockery of the host and then consume this. Warnke admits to having been badly addicted to drugs and it is not difficult for even the common person with at least a little good sense to soon realize that Mike Warnke had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the real occult community. Those people who sincerely study and practice the occult or esoteric arts and sciences such as Magicians and Witches [the genuine Witch, remember, is a worshipper of God/dess manifest in nature and represented by the Sun and the Moon, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Christian's almighty and absolutely powerful and evil Devil, a perverse concept students of the esoteric find absurd and disgusting] - these people that individuals such as Jack Van Impe condemn as absolutely "evil" are far more tolerant and respectful than the evangelistic horde of bible-thumpers. The true and sincere student of the "occult", admittedly a minority as are the true and sincere Christians following the actual teachings and example of Jesus the Christ, respect ALL religious symbols and teachings, ALL esoteric, mystical and magical belief systems that uplift humanity and teach values that assist humankind in its treading of the Path of the Wise, life, its intellectual and spiritual evolution. The Cross, properly viewed, is just as holy a symbol to the true student of the esoteric as is the Hexagram or Star of David, the Pentagram, the Cross within a Circle, and so forth, yes, even the Swastika that Adolph Hitler took, employing only its reverse aspect, perverting it, and used it as a symbol of his perverse Nazi party.
Mike Warnke was not, I repeat, WAS NOT, even a true Satanist - of which, generally speaking, I myself do not have a high opinion of due to their concentration upon ego-gratification at the expense of everything and everyone else. And Warnke certainly had nothing whatsoever to do with the genuine esoteric or occult arts and sciences. He was, quite simply and by his own admission, a drug addict who had perverted his mind because of a concentration upon ego and a constant ABUSE [as opposed to USE] of illegal drugs. Period. It may be interesting here to note that while many sincere students of the "occult" do not consider drugs, generally called, absolutely evil, most do not find them particularly beneficial but rather more often than not an interference to true spiritual progress. I myself have tried grass, hashish, cocaine and a few other things, however, only AFTER ten years of study and practices that prepared me by magically training my will, and I have found them for the most part ineffectual and certainly of no benefit to me personally, and I prefer to reach what I call the "marijuana state of mind" or the "cocaine state of mine" without the actual drug itself, but by a simple effort of will, if even effort it can now be called. I do not disapprove of the proper USE of drugs, but I find drug ABUSE, any abuse, repugnant to my senses and degrading to the divinity which is, in a manner of speaking, within each and everyone of us. But I digress.
After the absurdities of Rexella's interview with these two most illogical and irrational individuals, Jack Van Impe himself stands before us [and thank God we can turn him off any time we want!] and begins speaking out against the occult and those who become involved in occult studies. He condemns Witchcraft, Magic/k, Astrology, and so forth, even going so far, as has become the custom, to condemn rock and roll as "evil" machinations of his Devil ... HIS Devil ... the demonic perversion of modern pseudo-Christian dogma. On and on and on he went, ranting and raving, the spittle fairly flying from his mouth, foam almost forming, maniacally condemning this, that and every bloody thing, leaving practically nothing uncondemned, occasionally punctuating his wild raving with a calmly stated chapter and verse of the Bible to indicate where that verse he crazily quoted could be found. I sat there and never in my life have I laughed so hard. I literally grabbed my stomach and rolled over with laughter. There he was, Dr. Jack Van Impe, talking incessantly about the evils of the occult and how even an interest in the silly newspaper astrological columns [that sincere astrologers scoff at] can cause a person to become possessed by the Devil. On and on he rants and raves, wildly, maniacally, about how easy it is for someone to become possessed if they even show an interest in the occult, the esoteric, and damned if it didn't look like it might be so! It certainly seemed to me, busting a gut with laughter at the absurd illogic of it all, that Jack Van Impe's fascination with what he thinks is the occult has indeed opened him up to possession by his Devil. Damned if Van Impe, during his raving monologue, didn't look and sound possessed! And not, I might add, by "the Spirit of the Lord".
After, what was it? thirty? forty-five minutes? of raving, Jack Van Impe then held up a book that the viewer could receive for free. Free? From a TV evangelist? You just knew there had to be a catch. Its title is Exorcism and the Spirit World and it is, of course, by Van Impe himself - undoubtedly an authority on the subject - a legend in his own mind, as the saying goes. I sent for it. What the hell! I was willing to give him another chance to prove himself intelligent and reasonable - although he just blew his latest chance spectacularly on nationwide television. I got the book - a small thirty-seven page booklet regularly priced at $1.95 - then continued to receive Perhaps Today magazines from the Jack Van Impe Ministries and numerous other things, one of which brazenly screamed AIDS in large brilliant red letters on the front of the envelope in a typical crass attempt to sensationalize and capitalize on a current fear. I have gotten so much junk since then that I may have to write and ask to have it all stopped. And naturally, with every bit of mail I get from the Jack Van Impe Ministries there is a thoughtfully enclosed self-addressed return envelope along with a request for monetary donations. Even via the mail his god damned hand is stretched out for more money which I am sure he insists is spent only upon worthy causes. I do note, however, that the suits he wears on his program are far more expensive than anything I can afford to buy and wear, in fact, more expensive than anything I would buy since one can be well dressed without spending a lot of money that could otherwise be spent to actually do more important things to benefit others!
In the January/February 1987 issue of Perhaps Today there is a very big advertisement for both a videotape and an audio cassette version of "The Occult World" that masquerades as an article. In it he tells us how the Devil struck out against him, trying to stop his mission to save the world [yeah ... right], and caused a freak accident that burned the reels of videotape that dealt with the occult. Van Impe, of course, thwarted the Devil and now those tapes are available, priced at $25.00 and $7.00, and again "good" triumphs over "evil". Tah dah! Bull. Well ... maybe not entirely. It MAY be that the negative and perverse energy that his maniacal belief in "the Devil" and "evil" as well as that energy generated by his followers has indeed created an independent non-physical entity that feeds off of their negative and perverse emotions and ideas, strengthens the imbalances in them that creates this negative source of energy, and from time to time strikes out against Van Impe and his followers only to prove that it exists so that they can continue to believe in it and feed it and keep it alive, constantly strengthening the thought form. That is to say, their "Devil" may exist, albeit in a very limited way and restricted to their particular circle, but Jack Van Impe and his following created it, it is a composite of their own negative natures, and they constantly feed it and give it strength, even and especially in fighting it, for fighting their "Devil" is a way of admitting that it has a separate existence, and had it not been for their irrationality, their unreasonableness, their perverse intellect and emotions, that thought-form that they call "the Devil" would not exist. The Devil is a creation of perverse pseudo-Christian dogma; it has absolutely noting to do with the true occult community. However, having created their "evil", continually feeding it and strengthening it, making it so strong that it now controls them, feeds on them, twists them ever more each day, they, with Jack Van Impe and men like him taking the lead, condemn ALL parties interested in the esoteric side of life, the so-called occult, as "evil" or misguided. Jack Van Impe, those like him and their followers, judge ALL students of the esoteric arts and sciences and condemns them to the hell that in all probability they have created upon some level of consciousness and to which only they will go upon death. To their condemnation I can only reply with the following:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." [Matthew 7.1-2]
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" [Matthew 7.3]
And finally: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." [Matthew 7.15 & 20]
Of course at this point I expect Jack Van Impe to state that even the Devil can quote scripture and appear as an angel of light, whereupon I agree and suggest that perhaps the Devil had found the guise of a television evangelist to be more effective than that of an angel of light.
Speaking only for Thelema and Thelemites for a moment, while men like Jack Van Impe condemn our words and symbols, our prophet, Aleister Crowley, the Beast 666, the Antichrist, it is worthwhile to note that our holy book, Liber AL vel Legis, otherwise called The Book of the Law, and bound to be misinterpreted by impaired minds, states in Chapter I, Verse 56, that
"All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little."
Jesus and Crowley, to name but two, were prophets and even they were limited by their humanity and so could not possibly understand all that is. We Thelemites - and I refer to true Thelemites and not the silly occultists running around and miscalling themselves Thelemites as the majority of pseudo-Christians claim to be true Christians - we Thelemites respect all of the true prophets, their words and teachings, consider all religious symbols sacred and holy, and we do not condemn any group of individuals just because they have a different Way of reaching the same Goal that we ourselves seek to achieve, even if it is in the darkness of ignorance that others sometimes walk. We call this Goal the Knowledge and Conversation of and eventual Union with the Holy Guardian Angel or True Self. Another might call it such things as Atmadarshanna or God Realization. What the Goal is called does not really matter. The Goal is the Goal and we as Thelemites, followers of the Antichrist, respect any man, woman or child who lives life fully and considerate of others, doing one's best to harm none, with that one Goal in mind, the Goal some have called the return to God. We are tolerant, understanding, rational, logical and considerate individuals. Not "God fearing", but God loving and loving the concept of God, the totality of all that is, life in its fullest aspect, Existence, the Existence that includes and implies Non-Existence, to put it crudely. A Taoist would say the Tao. A Thelemite, Hadit, Nuit, their interplay and the product thereof, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Finally, while I am on the subject and have mentioned the Antichrist several times throughout this particular Encyclical, although in the first series of Encyclical Letters there was a very long one entitled The Nature of the Beast which dealt with the concept of the Antichrist, it might be wise to speak a little of the concept in this place.
On pages 21 and 22 of Jack Van Impe's little booklet, Exorcism and the Spirit World, "The Coming Antichrist" is dealt with. Well, wake up guy! He has already come and gone and you bloody well missed it! Van Impe writes that
"Mankind's increasing infatuation with the spirit world will lead to the appearance of the Antichrist or world dictator who will rule over all nations during the Tribulation Hour."
It is the typical barbaric, ill-informed attitude regarding the Antichrist which at least gave us a few amusing and entertaining motion pictures. The Antichrist or Beast 666 is not a "world dictator", but he is, he was, a World Teacher whose teaching, Thelema, will eventually be widely accepted throughout the world. Further, Van Impe writes:
"We should note that the word antichrist does not always mean 'against Christ.'"
Here I found myself smiling and thinking that perhaps Jack Van Impe is not such an absolute fool after all. He can at least pick up a Greek-English lexicon and learn something. Then I read on:
"It can also mean 'in place of', or 'a substitute for the true Christ.'"
He almost had it for a moment and then he had to go ahead and pervert the truth that anyone with a couple of minutes to spare can read in any Greek-English lexicon or dictionary. I pick up my copy of Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon and look up the Greek word or prefix "anti" and discover that it can mean "in opposition to" as well as "instead of" and "for the sake of", as well as variations of these. As a student of the New Testament I also note that the word "antitheos" therein is invariably translated as "God-like" whereas "antichristos" is translated as "opposed to Christ" - in one edition of the Bible I even found it most incorrectly translated as "the enemy of Christ". Does something seem wrong here? A little on the arbitrary side? If "antitheos" can mean "God-like" why cannot "antichristos" mean "Christ-like"? Thus Antichrist would imply that the Beast 666 written of in the Apocalypse is a Christ-like being! An "Anointed One". Indeed, it is my opinion that a distinction was made in the final book of the Judeo-Christian Bible between pseudochrists and the antichrist. "Pseudo" means "false" and the word, pseudochrists, is pluralized to indicate that there would be, and thus is now, a multitude of individuals claiming to be Christ-like but who are totally false in their claims. [Remember that Jesus is called "the Good Shepherd" and Christians are referred to as a "flock" of sheep, thus the "false prophets" are, at least for the most part, the "ravening wolves" that come "in sheep's clothing", i.e. disguised as true followers of Jesus the Nazarene.] On the other hand, there is only one Antichrist, one Beast 666, although we are told that there is a second Beast who rises up from the earth to cause the people thereon to worship the first Beast [Revelation 13.11-12], and by the very nature of the word "anti" I am convinced of this: (1) The Antichrist is Christ-like. That is to say, a World Teacher, an Anointed One, who comes from the Highest, or rather realizes the Highest within him, and so seeks to show the rest of us the Way to God Realization, by whatever terms we wish to refer to this. The discovering and accomplishment of the True Will which is God's Will, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Whatever. Thus the Beast 666, the Antichrist, exists/existed "for the sake of" Christ, or rather the Christ Principle. (2) The Antichrist was to and will take the place of the Christ as manifested through Jesus. He is to lead the way to the New Æon, or Age as some call it, "instead of" the Christ as recognized through the persona of Jesus. The word Antichrist does not by any stretch of the imagination mean "a substitute for the true Christ". The Antichrist is not a substitute for anything. It simply means that [although there often seems little evidence of the fact!] human consciousness as a whole has progressed to the point at which the teachings of Jesus as well as other World Teachers of the previous age or Æon of Osiris can lead humankind no further. Now it is time to go beyond that point, to take the Next Step, and so the Antichrist came to show the way to go yet further upon the Ladder of intellectual and spiritual evolution. To use a crude example: the tires of your automobile wear out and become bald. They can no longer take you safely on your way. This does not make them "evil", simply worn out, inefficient and useless, even dangerous because of it. Quite naturally then you replace the old tires with new ones, but just because you have done this it does not mean that the new tires are "evil" for having replaced the old ones. Although the old tires are no longer useful as such the rubber can be cut up and utilized for other purposes or simply recycled, while for the greater efficiency of the vehicle and the traveler's safety new tires must be employed. So it is with the Christ [the old tires] and the Antichrist [the new tires]. It is just ... well ... natural. It is that simple. The Revelation of John, Apocalypse, if one cares to carefully read it, not only speaks of the ending of the old æon, the Æon of Osiris [i.e. the end of the world as John knew it] and the beginning and course of the New Æon of Horus, which we are currently in, but it speaks also of a time of truth and justice, attributes of the Egyptian Goddess Maat, and thus the eventual end of this present æon, approximately 2000 years [more likely several thousands of years] in the future, and the next one which Thelemites refer to as the Æon of Maat. This does not mean that the Æon of Horus is "evil" or will become "evil", but simply that human consciousness as a whole will progress yet further to the point where the teachings of this particular æon will no longer be enough to assist humanity in its intellectual and spiritual evolution.
Finally, then, we come to (3), "in opposition to", but this does not mean that the Antichrist is opposed to the Christ Principle or the essential teachings of Jesus, but rather to the perversion of those teachings and the caricature of Jesus that is now so barbarically worshipped as a god in the best primitive "pagan" tradition. Little do the pseudo-Christians of today realize it but their self-created Devil and the caricature of Jesus that they have substituted for the true Jesus are one and the same - and in more than a metaphysical and conceptual way. Ain't that a kick in the pants, Dr. Van Impe!
Perhaps the worst aspect of fundamentalist pseudo-Christianity and this raving television evangelism is that not only does it bring out the worst in people, feed it and make it worse still, but it causes an equal and opposite reaction in the other direction and brings about the very thing it says that it is against. If you condemn something you raise interest in it and interest makes con artists and lunatics crawl out of the woodwork to capitalize on that interest, and so it goes. Today we are seeing a resurgence of the typical mumbo jumbo spouting occultist that sincere students of the esoteric, the occult, loathe even more than the bible-thumping evangelist, and guess who we can blame for this...
To conclude: In my considered and intelligent opinion, my personal opinion which you may accept or reject as you, the reader, will, as variously stated in this review, the majority of people interested and at least somewhat involved in the occult are just toying with a fad that will hurt no one and which they will eventually grow tired of. The greatest danger to society is the rabble rousers, the alarmists, the bible-thumping fanatics who see their Devil in everything but where "he" actually is - in themselves - and who, because it is only natural that there should always develop an equal and opposite force, engender the fortunately small minority of individuals like Mike Warnke who mistakenly think that they are having something to do with the genuine arts and sciences of the occult community. In truth both are only the fanatic perversion of that which is sacred and beneficial to humanity, and neither represent that which they claim to represent. Although I am too rational to expect utopia to ever exist upon the physical planes of consciousness and think that utopia would only be the ultimate boredom anyway, I do hope for a better day when these pseudo-Christian bible-beating ranters and these pseudo-Satanists and devil-worshipping occultists ravers become very much the minority in human society.
[Frater Keallach 93/676]