Thelemic Jihad

Originally published April 15, 2010

"Now this age is pre-eminently a 'time of war', most of all now, when it is our Work to overthrow the slave-gods."—OR—"So you killed them not, but it was Allah Who killed them...that He might overthrow the disbelievers. " The first is Thelema. The second Islam.

At some point, all Thelemites know this, there will be a call from without and within the Thelemic current of divine destiny, and Thelemites will go to war. The enemy will be easy to locate, for he shall be anyone who is not a Thelemite; specifically he shall be anyone defending the faiths, powers, and practices of the Old Aeon.

If this war were declared today, it would not last long. Indeed, it likely would not amount to much of a war at all, as the vast majority of Thelemites are cute little hippies who wouldn't die for much of anything except more drugs and sprout-burgers. Their leaders, on the other hand, are pasty neg-heads, who couldn't command or plan an insurgency if their lives depended upon it, which they assuredly do not.

At most, the OTO might be able to stage a newage festival, and hope some SCA types would show up so at least an ornamental threat might be engaged against the tanks and planes and highly-trained killers of the combined militaries of the Old Aeon. Imagine Lon Milo DuQuette attempting to wipe out brigades of enemy warriors with his singing—well, OK, that MIGHT have the intended effect, but a chorus of lousy singers and magicians on the Thelemic side would not win a military battle, much less the war.

How then shall this war ever come about, and when shall it be declared, and even more importantly WON by the Thelemic side?
"It’s only too easy to form a cult,
To cry a crusade with “Deus Vult”—
But you won’t get much of a good result
from empty-headed Athenians."
Well, we get some idea about this by looking at Crowley's vision of that other religion which came close to being Thelema centuries before Thelema—and that is the martial faith of Islam. Of course we have listened to endless American meatheads tell us "Islam is a religion of Peace!", while trying to wipe enough blood and gore off the Koran to find those peaceful verses. But, the fundamental truth about Islam is that it was born, and spread, and flourished in greatness by the sword. An Islamic theological argument was the edge of a sword on the neck of an infidel. These days, the blade is used only ceremonially, to make horrific decap-vids for the Jihadist web. Generally, Muslim faithful prefer to blow motherfuckers the hell up (or down) using IEDs or suicide bombers.

Now, let me interject here that this sort of discussion is likely to make the Thelemic managers extremely uncomfortable, as it raises serious questions about their commitment to real versus carny Thelema; the real sort being that which engages in a serious manner Liber AL (LAL), and its many provocative verses; the carny brand being what OTO operates as an Old Aeon business. The latter necessarily kowtows to the laws and traditions of whatever state in which it resides, sets up the Abomination of Desolation and gladly worships it, and of course collects a living for the managers out of the blood of the ignorant members.

It is a comfortable, pestilent, pond of saturnine aspic (see Eight of Cups). But it is no training ground for Thelemic warriors, or Thelemites of any sort at all.

For anyone truly obeying "Do what thou wilt", but also truly acknowledging and accepting "I am a god of War and of Vengeance" AND "Kill and torture; spare not", understands that before Thelema can flower upon the Earth, it first must conquer and destroy the gardens of the enemy—and of course the gardeners and worshippers of those dying beds.

As we said, it is to Islam that we might apply ourselves to see what Crowley particularly valued about it, to such an extent that he even used the Islamic term "Caliphate" to describe the global goal of Thelema—world hegemony.

Many people may be surprised to learn that, at least in the view of Aleister Crowley, Mohammed was in the same holy order as himself, and was in fact, a founder of one of the "originating constituent assemblies" of the OTO.

More than this, Crowley speculated that Mohammed may have been a forerunner of the Equinox of Horus,* i.e. a kind of bridge between the Aeon of Osiris and that of Horus. Mohammed was based in the cultures and the theology of the dying gods, while looking forward in style and vigor of faith to the Aeon of war and vengeance of Horus. Thus, Crowley suggested there were aspects of Islamic faith that Thelemites should admire and aspire to copy.
*—See Old Comment to AL III, 34

One virtue of Islam, or its believers, as Crowley noted, was their willingness to "fight and die for their ideas".* Crowley constantly reminded Thelemites that a life lived in fear and compromise of one's liberty is no life at all. This is certainly not a new message of course, as most of us have heard the notion of "Liberty or Death"—which sounds great when you're young, male, drunk and not looking at much of a future anyway. To most people, that famous exhortation to fight for ideas is like a nostalgic bit of advertising, approximately the same in real force and depth of meaning as "Merry Christmas", or in these secular days maybe "20% off all housewares". It's just something some crazy guy said a long time ago that doesn't mean much of anything to anybody.
*—Crowley, Collected Works

For one thing, most of us know quite well that our choices are infinitely greater than liberty or death. If in fact that were not the case, maybe that binary would be more urgent in its appeal. But we can do many more things than be free, or completely free as we would have it, and many of those alternatives are infinitely more appealing to us than being dead. Now, of course the premise of the charge—to fight for the idea of Liberty—is that having the freedom, for example to decide what freedom even means, is a better thing than being a slave. That is the easiest way to understand it. Would you fight to the death to keep from being chained to—what exactly? A plow? A job? A set of expectations others have for you? A life that is as alien to you, though you live it every day, as a Martian meatloaf? The Devil?

And what does fighting to the death really mean? We can mostly agree I imagine that what we would prefer to do, if fighting is required, is to fight to the other fellow's death, not our own. Indeed, to have much chance to work on any future Work, we had better survive the battle to be available for it. Thus, either discretion or valor had better come to our aid, and some hard and effective training in combat wouldn't be bad either. Nobody is going to lease us a warrior's body, mind, or spirit, although we may be able to purchase mercenaries, which is to say people whose principal ideas are symbolized by little dead pieces of clinkage, to fight for us. This is what Americans have decided to do. And it has only enabled repression of liberty, because the citizens no longer demonstrate the ideals of the nation, such as those can even be agreed to, are worth fighting for.

Crowley, in that infamous exhortation to the violent defense of liberty, Liber OZ (Devil Book), said: "Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights." It is in fact the role and purpose of the Devil that calls us to liberty, and to the defense of liberty, because it is the force which pulls the Sun north (towards Life), and a Martian (individual) expression. Its counterpart, which pulls the Sun down to the darkness of Bliss, is called appropriately Death. Yet Death paradoxically yields Netzach-Victory, the apprehension of Beauty through individual valor and devotion. It is all about fighting for the Love of God, and for Love as God. And here Crowley placed Mohammed and his faith. On the opposite side he placed Buddha, and the heartless rationale of Indolence. In the synthetic position, in 6-Tiphareth, he placed himself, and Thelema,* and one can see many borrowings from the antecedents. But chiefly from Islam, is its heart and passion to express and defend the faith with complete prejudice favoring the Will and Work of God.
*—See Liber Tisharb, 10, for the basis for this discussion.

Now, you may reasonably ask what I am saying here, respecting practical action on the part of Thelemites and their organizations. Am I saying that the only truly Thelemic life must be martial in nature, and aimed at, for the time being surreptitiously, preparation for Armageddon?

Yeah, that is what I am saying.

What I am not saying is exactly when this battle shall be fought. It might happen only in the aftermath of a cataclysmic exchange of military destructive force between the OA powers. But if that happens, if that is the opening that allows the Thelemic rats to conquer the OA dinosaurs, it may be centuries before civilization can right itself into anything Thelemites, or anybody else, would wish to rule.

This may be inevitable. Human beings, faced with utter annihilation if they refuse to deny their gods and their most cherished beliefs, often choose death for everyone and everything. So it may be for the OA ministers and armies. So it may be for many or most Thelemites too.

Of course, there is another way—there usually is. And that would involve an appropriation of the OA means of command, an infiltration of its command structures, and an indoctrination of key command figures allowing for the subversion and overthrow of the various OA regimes. This is essentially the Christian method, used successfully to overthrow the pagans of the Roman Empire. That could take a very long time, and certainly would put Thelema into the position of being labeled by the old regimes as a "terrorist" movement. No doubt many Thelemites would be thrown to the lions before emperors would start declaring Thelema to be the state religion.

Finally, and I will talk more about this soon, but there is always the possibility that Crowley's writings about war and about the martial nature of Thelema were just literary exercises, or attempts to satirize religious extremism. That seems unlikely to me, since to take seriously that notion, one has to think Crowley the most devoted satirist in the history of the world. Of course, a satire taken to a globally transformative level of seriousness might have been the cosmic joke Crowley (or Aiwass) intended all along.

jk(30)—(AKA Jess Karlin), Adjustment avatar for Glenn F. Wright

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