The Truth About Pat Zalewksi
by VH Frater S.R.
Patrick J. Zalewski has been one of the greatest stars on the Golden Dawn heaven since he published his first book The Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn in 1988, exactly 100 years after the birth of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He has been a prolific writer since with titles like Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn, Golden Dawn Enochian Magic, and The Equinox and Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn, which has been published through Llewellyn.
The last series of books published by Llewellyn were the Z-5 series of ritual commentaries for the Neophyte and Zelator Grades. The original plan was to publish ritual commentaries for all the Grades up to and including the Adeptus Minor Grade. But Llewellyn suddenly withdrawed their support of Zalewski, which is a bit of a mystery in itself.
Zalewski instead resorted to private printing and published the Z-5 in its entirely and also the Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. This last book has now been re-released on Thoth Publications, together with the brand new Talismans & Evocations of the Golden Dawn. The Z-5 is yet to see a wider distribution in its entire.
Pat Zaleski has also quite recently started to administrate his own correspondence course following his vision of the R.R. et A.C, called the "Adeptus Minor Study Course". Let's look into the prime motivation into doing this in his own words:
I found that most of those doing the Golden Dawn got their information straight from Regardie's books and had little idea of the culture of what is expected in the Golden Dawn temple. Culture in the Golden Dawn gave people priorities, what to look for and what to ignore. This is absent in Regardie's books and what I wanted to bring out was the way I was shown from the Adepti of Whare Ra temple. I started out myself studying Regardie for ten years before I met those ex Whare Ra Adepts, and the difference without the culture added is quite acute. My function, as I see it in overseeing this course, is to show people how to do things and not just hand out papers.
This paragraph basically sums up what Zalewski has written in his earlier books. In the preface to the first Z-5 book as published by Llewellyn, the Book I: The Neophyte Ritual, he writes:
The Z.5 document was originally intended to be restricted to members of the Inner Order of Thoth-Hermes [i.e. the Temple that Pat himself started together with his wife Chris in New Zeeland, after meeting Jack Taylor and the ex Whare Ra Adepts]. It included many of the "word of mouth" teachings passed on by [Jack] Taylor and other Inner Order Adepti from Whare Ra under whom we trained.
Reading throughout Zalewski's Z-5 you easily get the impression that the ritual commentaries were the product that evolved over the decades of collective ritual work in the Whare Ra, and that it actually constitutes the "consensus" opinion of the majority of the early Adepts in the Temple, a doctrine that later was passed on to next generations and evolving further, etc, until the late 70's.
I believe that's how traditions has been created and evolved in all times, by creative people in collaboration. Like in all kinds of sciences, collaboration gives a greater chance of a tradition och system being of a general interest and the benefit for a collective of students. That's why I have been biased to regard Zalewski's expounding of the ritual commentaries as of high interest.
As a practicing magician I also want to know where the "doctrine" originated, if it is the product of a collective genius of an egregore, or if can be attributed to one particular person. Also, I believe there can be of a significant import if the single Adept which originally may have created it belonged to a working long standing Temple and was fostered in that kind of creative environment, or if it is the result of a self-initiated, self-proclaimed Adept. At least I want to have this information to be able to assess the "doctrine" together with my own research and experience.
It's like using the heptagonal double letters combined with your knowledge of correspondences in scrying and travelling in the Spirit Vision. You use some tests and precautions intellectually and willingly to be able to ascertain if your vision is correct. Well the same principal is actually used in all kinds of ceremonial magic; you combine intellectual knowlege and Will with your imagination. Likewise I like to use both Netzach and Hod when I assess someone's instructions.
Based on what Pat Zalewski has stated in his books (and I have always regarded him as an honest writer) it has been (and still is) my opinion that the Z-5 is the most important work of Pat Zalewski's litterary career. But unfortunately it also stands out as a typical example of the writing quality of his. While it can be a highly interesting and illuminating reading for any Golden Dawn practitioner it unfortunately does has many drawbacks. One must not take it at face value; you cannot swallow what Pat writes without digesting it properly. There are many minor and less minor errors throughout his works. I use these more as a springboard to draw my own conclusions. There are to many parts missing and being misinterpreted to be used outright.
Whare Ra Building - South Side
However, without the Z-5 there wouldn't be that much analysis of the rituals at all, as there as far as I know doesn't exist any ritual commentaries beyond the Neophyte Grade in the original G∴D∴ and the later A∴O∴. For this I will always be grateful towards Pat, for doing exactly that and giving me the incitement of being creative on my own. I suppose that's the original intention that Pat had in publicizing the Z-5, but it can create a problem in your own research if the sources you are using cannot be regarded as trustworthy.
So in conclusion, the serious reader is prompted to use a big machete to wade through the jungle of errors in the texts, not counting the many typos. I personally also find the constant references to Alice Bailey and all the Theosophic references as annoying. In my opinion Zalewski is to much coloured by his yogic experiences when he disseminates the G∴D∴ tradition, and I am not at all sure that this actually constitutes the actual Whare Ra opinion, for reasons that I in a moment will explain below.
Recenty, during the past weeks, there has been a quite heated debate on the Pat Zalewski and H.O.G.D./A+O fora between Pat Zalewski, Nick Farrell and Martin Thibeault on one side of the ring, and on the other yours truly (me), Jean DeCabalis (Leonard Stevens) and Tony Fuller (Anthony Fleming).
Nick Farrell is a renowned Golden Dawn scholar and historian, also initiated into the Whare Ra tradition by old Adepts in New Zeeland. He can be regarded as a initiated source and "in the know" of much what conspired between the ex-Where Ra members in the turn of the 1980's. But then again on the other hand he is also known to be utterly biased towards the "liberal camp" and ever supporting Pat Zalewski's struggle against David Griffin and his traditionalist H.O.G.D./A+O. Martin Thibeault is the current Chief of the Horus Temple No. 2 in Canada under warrant of Zalewski.
Jean DeCabalis is the Chief of the Whare Atua Research Temple in New Zeeland which continues the tradition as promoted by Frank Salt, one of the last Chiefs of Whare Ra. He is in amity with the H.O.G.D./A+O. Tony Fuller is possibly one of the most interesting personalities in the Golden Dawn community of today, as he holds multiple lineages from both the Stella Matutina and the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, as well as sitting on one of the largest collections of private manuscripts of both the A∴O∴ and Whare Ra Temple. He was initiated into the Whare Ra tradition by the remaining group that was lead under Frank Salt and he personally knew most of the people which tutored Pat Zalewski, which makes him an extremely initiated and reliant source. Today the main interest of Tony Fuller is as a historian, not as a Chief, even though he holds the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4°. He is well respected in all the camps and has a reputation of being an unbiased third party in the current inflamed state of the G∴D∴ community. Jean DeCabalis describes him in the following words:
I must say, that of all the magicians I have come across, he is the only one who scares me. T.F is without a doubt one of the most powerful and brilliant magicians in the world. He carries multiple lineages which empower him and his magick. The fact is T.F has a responsibility to both the scantly of lineage, to Christ and retaining purity of the his G.D.
In the wake of this recent debate there has resurfaced facts and information regarding the Whare Ra and Pat Zalewski's relation to the former, which needs to be addressed. It is also obvious that Pat Zalewski isn't the only representative of the Whare Ra tradition, as one is prone to believe when reading his books, but that there also exists other and even more interesting heirs to the throne of Whare Ra. It is obvious that there exists a great deal of bitterness from some of the old Adepts of Whare Ra which didn't at all approve of Jack Taylor's decision to trust Zalewski with the old material and also lots of resentment in the wake of Zalewski's publications. Hence there exist a struggle between the factions of Frank Salt and Jack Taylor, which continues today with this new generation of Adepts in New Zeeland. I have found myself caught up between them and this decades old struggle. I will now proceed to give an honest account of what transpired between some Adepts and an aspiring student that just wanted to know who and what to trust.
Everything started with this post by Pat Zalewski explaining the raison d'être of the new developed curriculum for his Inner Order (the R.R. et A.C.):
I have said many times that much of what I writing and teaching is pretty much my own theory on GD development this also includes the grades above the 5=6. When I went up to meet many of the ex Whare ra adepts in late 1979/80 at Whare ra I saw lineage and rejected it outright as nothing but posturing. I had the fantastic experience of being taught by these wonderful people and treasure those moments. They showed me what was important and what was not in the GD. What I teach today is not lineage, but a theory of GD development and there is vital difference here. The first requires a great imagination and delusions of grandeur, while the second is series of layers of GD philosophical thought that can be passed on to other and be expanded on, based on my own perceptions.
My appreciation of Zalewski's works has always been from the presumption that he faithfully had presented the written and oral tradition of the Whare-Ra Temple. The quotation above from the advertisement of Zalewski's "Adeptus Minor Study Course" is also prone to this interpretation. Should one interpret this recent post that everything is just his own theories and speculations?
It is understandable that the tradition must develop through modern Adepts of the Tradition like Pat Zalewski, but this must be clearly stated from the beginning so that the reader can assess for himself if he want to take it seriously. That's not the impression one gets from reading his books, nor the advertisement . One has to pose the question why Zalewski wasn't honest about this in the first place? This last question naturally spills over into his earlier work and most prominently the Z-5 book. Is one to construe that even this work was the result of Zalewski's "own theory on GD development"?
To be honest, reading Zalewski's post I cannot construe what he actually is saying. What does he mean with sentences as "layers of GD philosophical thought" in the context of his "own theory on GD development"?
And why is Pat trying to create unnecessary opposites between this and conceptions of lineage? My personal view on this is that lineage isn't mainly about "pomp and circumstance" but instead about reception of an (as much as possibly) undiluted oral and written tradition, passed on from elder brethren and sisters. It's about preserving the very integrity of the tradition. Is Pat now saying that everybody should construe out of oneself what all the symbols and what the tradition actually stands for?
I do recognize that tradition has to be developed (and reformed) from time to time; a tradition can never be static but as everything else must be on the move, dynamic. But at the same time it has to be well grounded in the written and oral tradition of the past. It has to have its roots well in the ground to give it a secure and clear direction into the future. That's what separates hermetic and qabalistic (or any esoteric) traditions (as an art and science) from modern "positivistic" sciences.
Whare Ra Building - North Side
I also fully recognize the importance of students meditating on and doing personal interpretations of (i.e. working with) the symbolism and making the tradition as a part of their personal experience. But this is not at all the same as all interpretations are valid from and educational point of view. One student's interpretations and experience with a symbol can be someone else's stumble block. Besides this, later when the student rises in the grades and system, he or she should be presented with interpretations, orally or in written form, to check if he or she was right in the first place.
I fully recognize the fact that it is a difference in the personal interpretations and understandings compared between a 4°=7° and a 7°=4°. But still, as a reader, I want to know what in Pat Zalewski's (or anyone's) books are his own intellectual constructions and the result of his own practical research, and what is actually based on the "'word of mouth' theachings passed on by Taylor and other Inner Order Adepti from Whare Ra..." It would be easier for me as a reader to correctly assess his works.
Pat never addressed these issues of what exactly constituted his take on "own theory on GD development", so that still remains a mystery. But he immediately and initially made a clear distinction between his books and his latest correspondence course, i.e. he confirmed that he was honest in his books regarding what he had written about the "oral traditon" of Whare Ra. But then at July 5th Jean DeCabalis published a private letter that Tony Fuller had written to him in 2003. The pertinent sections reads like this:
Several points about Pat. He was originally a member of the OTO before joining the OTR [Order of Table Round] which led to him ex Whare Ra members. Pat has always been rather anti-Christian and never liked the Christian emphasis which Felkin and other prominent Whare Ra people were, including about 20 clergymen and even a Bishop! Frank's [i.e. Frank Salt's] father was a 5=6 member and also a clergyman. Did you know that apart from his father, Franks's mother, sister and another brother were also members for a while.
You are right that Jack Taylor and most other Whare Ra people would never use Crowley or Regardie material. You are also absolutely right that Pat often attributes his own ideas and techniques to Jack Taylor (and indeed to other GD members including Mathers). Pat does this frequently in his books (I have numerous examples). So, yes, Pat certainly does claim things to be Whare Ra when they are not. The safest rule with Pat's material regarding whether or not it is Whare Ra or GD is unless you have actually seen a photocopy of the original document assume it is Pat's own work.
This is not really a criticism of Pat, who I have remained friendly with, but it is not a procedure I would ever adopt myself. But I do disapprove of it in the sense that it misleads people and is certainly inaccurate from the historical perspective. There are many people who read Pat's books who believe that they are reading and studying Whare Ra perspectives - sadly they are not with a few minor exceptions.
Also one has to remember that Jack Taylor had his own often rather eccentric views which were not necessarily shared by the Chiefs or other members.
I recently read on the Net an interview Pat did with for some journal. It is safe to say Pat stretches the truth a little. Pat was never a member of Whare Ra. He never went through the grades and indeed, if I recall correctly, only went thorough some sort of astral version of the 5=6 where because of his objections to Christianity, changed the obligation and other parts.
Likewise the 7=4 Grade, and I'm not sure about the 6=5 but I think this was also "given" astrally. Pat told me that for his 7=4 Jack sat in his wheelchair and got him to visualise the ritual. Pat admitted to me he had no idea what the various 7=4 signs or sigils were nor knew how the ceremony was supposed to unfold (it is actually very complex and the published ritual gives none of the directions - Frank [Salt] provided me with this).
Pat does not carry any lineage (as he fully admits). The OTR does not really have any significant teaching apart from its rituals. It is a very interesting Order (I have the rituals and many other old papers from the OTR) - It reminds more of a type of GD version of a Masonic ritual.
Jack was a very interesting man who devoted his entire life to the Work. But he was decidedly eccentric and was never made a Chief because he was considered unstable. He actually left Whare Ra in the mid 1960s and devoted himself to the OTR. He changed the rituals (introducing Enochian which was never present before) and admitted women as members. By the time Pat met Jack he was in his eighties, very frail and in a wheelchair. By this time Jack believed that the GD system was no longer appropriate for the time (1980s) and while he was happy to help Pat and give his explanations, he also advised Pat (in a letter of which I have a copy) to "forget the GD" and work with other methods. So, there was no Charter nor lineage (which Jack was not entitled to give anyway).
In the wake of this letter in July 6th Pat Zalewski posted some rebuttals that constitutes a quite astonishing reading and very enlightening account of his grade advancements:
Tony get tour facts right and you certainly do not recall this correctly. This is crap. I never went through a 5=6 under Jack [Taylor] but straight into a 6=5. So that is first error. This is on record in this forum. Chris went to a straight 5-6 because we worked a temple prior to that. Jack re-wordered my oath not because it was unchristian but because he did not want to bind me to not revealing it. Christianity had nothing to do with it. That is your second. You know this anyway and I have said this many times but you have obviously read into it what you wanted.
I said I did not seen the cube of the 7=4 or know what it looked like apart from Jacks description. I know the signs and in fact I gave them to Martin [Thibeault], and he will pass them on to others when required. Jack did have some difficulty with the first one sitting in a wheel chair but the others no problem.
In a letter three days later Pat Zalewski also says regarding his 7°=4°:
I told a former student that [I] was initially given the 7=4 without benefit of ceremony, in a hospital bed. This is true. What was not said that later Jack put me through in ritual in his living room, without props and me taking directions from Jack. So what you got was part of story that suited the agenda of the person stating it and who simply ignored the rest. The problem is that too many people knew about it. Jack told Chesterman, world head of BOTA who told Paul Clarke and many others. They knew it in the US before I went there in 88 and not form me as I was not published by then. Regardie also told a few. Nick Farrell also found this out when he worked with many of the same people I did in the OTR. So this half truth falls on its face. But this does not really matter as I do not use those rituals in my work.
The first question which strikes my head upon reading this is: How can anyone teach the deeper meanings of the G∴D∴ initiatory system not going through them himself as an initiate? The most fundamental way to gain experience and knowledge of the Grade and ritual, is experiencing it as a passive receiver, as The Cup which holds the spiritual forces of the Ritual and Grade.
One more thing becomes quite obvious from reading this message: Lots of things done in the Whare Ra and by its Adepts didn't exactly meet the criteria of tradition. Giving someone the 6°=5° before going through the Outer Order process and not even having the central initiation of 5°=6° (the capstone of the Outer Order process and the beginning of yet an higher arc of initiations), isn't exactly according to tradition. Giving a person the 7°=4° (the controlling grade of the R.R. et A.C.) through an "etheric link" ritual and later without a full ritual and props, just being talked through it, isn't exactly according to tradition either. What else then in Pat's accounts and teachings is not according to tradition?
Interesting information about Pat not using the Stella Matutina 6°=5° and 7°=4° Rituals (as presented in his The Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn). I wonder which does he use? Perhaps his own inventions?
Tony Fuller's witty reply on the same day is a quite amusing reading:
You obviously agree with me that you did not go through the Outer Grades, as I state, and now you are saying you did not go through the 5=6. Does this not say in other words what I was saying other than what is a new fact to me, namely that you did not through the 5=6 either. In any event I stand corrected that you entered at the 6=5 rather than the 5=6 level. and I apologise for my error.
It should also be noted that in your first book [The Secret Inner Order Ritual of the Golden Dawn] you say (p.60), "When I was first initiated into the R.R. et. A.C. by Jack Taylor, I found myself at loggerheads with the Christian viewpoint in interpreting these energies". I hope you will agree that it was not an unreasonable assumption to make that you were referring to the 5=6, given the fact that this is the first of the RR et AC ceremonies where the Christian symbolism is most apparent.
Nevertheless, with this more recent news I am all the more impressed. Knowing how very strict the Whare Ra members were about the Grade system they clearly broke every single rule for you, not merely skipping all the Outer Grades but also the first vital Grade on the Inner. Evidently they fully recognized your high adept status and I congratulate you on this.
Actually I did not ask you for the 7=4 signs but whether you knew what they were. The reason why I asked you, if you can recall, was that there were a considerable number of errors in your published ritual and, trying to be helpful, I wanted to know if you wished me to give you these. Similarly, I pointed out to you that considerable errors and gaps were also in the 6=5, particularly the obligation. As I remember, you were not interested and said you had published it as you had received it. Yes I was active in BOTA but also simultaneously active with a dozen or so Whare Ra people who, with the blessing of John von Dadelszen (which I have in writing) wished to keep the Order going. Most have died since but three are still alive and in contact with me. We worked all the Grades and as I was not, alas, considered by them to be of your stature, was made to go through them all.
On July 6th Nick Farrell tried to defend the reputation of Pat Zalewski, which brings some interesting points to this unfolding drama:
He has also gone on to carry the GD tradition further in his own way, as Taylor did before him. There is nothing wrong with this unless you see the modern GD as an attempt to recreate something that died in the 1970s. I don't see it like that, and I doubt any sensible GD person would do so.
I don't regard the G∴D∴ as being a walking mummy either, but there's a difference in attributing the material to one's self and claiming it to be traditional Whare Ra teachings. Nick basically admits that Jack Taylor did "carry the GD tradition further on his own way". So, the question still remains: How much of the alleged "Whare Ra" tradition is actually the Whare Ra tradition and what is the "Jack Taylor tradition"?
I fully endorse there being new "side-lectures" and "flying rolls", etc. being produced, but then it has to be properly identified with the original author, as has always been the case in the G∴D∴ and R.R. et A.C., as it is in academic circles. The situation as it stands now is unacceptable as regards Zalewski's published works, as the impression one gets from reading his books (with a few exceptions) is that he presents the authentic Whare Ra oral and written tradition. As a reader I have the right to know what is the personal opinions of the persons that Pat had contact with and what exactly constitutes the old and original Whare Ra tradition which stems from the Felkins.
On the same day Martin Thibeault made an official declaration on his forum. I only quote a small part of it which is pertinent to the current discussion at hand:
Past all of the Th[eoricus] A[deptus] M[inor] material there never was much implemented in the GD and this is where Pat, his genius and Golden Dawn training, come in and make tremendous contribution. In Pat's system (which in my opinion is official Inner Order teaching) all sub-levels of the 5=6, 6=5, 7=4 and Third Order are developed and/or continue to be developed. Now these are developed entirely through his study and working of the system, how else can it be? Who (that is still alive) could teach Pat on the GD and initiate him to higher levels? Many Order Chiefs out there go to other traditions to add them to the GD structure or merge them with it and while this is fine, it is simply different then what Pat has done. He has chosen to make everything purely GD through how he, as a member of the 9=2 Grade (a self-proclaimed grade which he openly states in full integrity) envisions it. He is very honest about this and in fact should be proud of it; some bring Thelema, others bring GuRC or Arcana Arcanorum, some claim Secret Chiefs in the flesh…Pat simply works out the patterns in the GD system and builds on them with more GD type workings. The above are all different takes and not one is better than another, simply different. I guess Pat's view is: why bring something not GD into the GD when you could simply bring more GD into the GD?
Solely judging from Martin Thibeault's post, which is possessed of a very sincere spirit, it is quite clear that Pat Zalewski doesn't possess these Higher Hermetic Mysteries. Martin says in his post that Pat has taken another route, with the ambition of keeping the Golden Dawn tradition clean and unmixed with other traditions instead of bringing in Thelema, GuRC (Gold- und Rosenkreutz) or Arcana Arcanorum (one of the smaller parts or systems of the Higher Hermetic Mysteries possessed by several orders in Europe, originally deriving from the Misraïm Rite of Cagliostro), or The Third Order in the flesh. I can really respect the reason behind this decision considering the context.
Hopefully for his students he has created something substantial by himself. But it is important to know in this respect that it is the creation of his own creative genius, not the transmission of an older oral esoteric lineage (which actually is the real basis for the G∴D∴ tradition). But it's well that he finally chooses to be honest about all this.
On July 8th Tony Fuller posted a wery interesting account of the prevailing atmosphere of the Whare Ra Temple as regards "official" teachings:
I am sure Pat would agree with me that there was no 'actual Whare Ra opinion' in the sense of there being an 'official opinion'. Indeed, other than the basic material which existed amongst the GD, AO and SM the members worked and studied on their own. Advice and guidelines were sometimes provided on certain issues but it should not be presumed that this constituted ;'Whare Ra' , SM or GD doctrine' Even the side papers issued to members were not regarded as 'gospel'. I believe that this is a matter not well understood in current times where there seems to be almost a desperate wish that every aspect of the Mysteries, and how one approaches the Mysteries within the GD system, is all mapped out in a grand architectonic plan. Not merely was this never the case it was never intended to be like this. Even many of the papers that have been published are just the personal workings of individuals, valid for them but having limited use for others and certainly not blueprints to be slavishly followed. The entire point of the Order work was to do your own work - to become independent - i.e. dependent on the inner., not on an external authority. I believe it is for this reason that several of the SM papers stressed that the Order is NOT a school, in the sense of passing on a mass of information to be digested. As one Chief said, 'Thou does not enter the Holy Place by reading'.
Given the above, Pat has achieved a very significant record of expanding the core symbolism of the Order for himself in ways that are interesting and suggestive. In my view, as long as one takes these ideas as the work of another, and USES them as useful and suggestive ideas/explanations for one's own work then they can have great value. But if viewed as 'the opinion of Whare Ra' or 'official SM' or as a rigid map of how things actually were or are, little progress as an aspiring adept will be made. The essential thing is the practical work in all its many guises and all this work fundamentally rests on the rituals which, as Pat rightly points out, are capable of infinite expansion. But such expansion may it is my belief, be quite different for each Frater and Soror. The most useful assistance a senior Adept or Chief can give a junior, is to sometimes point them in another direction, "Have you thought of this possibility?", "have you tried this method?" and so forth.
All of the above is to be differentiated from questions of history. I do agree, from this historical perspective, with those who complain about the blurring of historical claims with modern work. Because the GD and its immediate successors are rightly of significant interest as historical entities it is extremely unhelpful for any writer to give the impression that a certain view or practice was current in these Orders when in fact it is the recent idea of a recent writer [i.e. Pat Zalewski].
Following Tony's message Pat Zalewski finally made a honest account on July 9th were he admitted to most of our concerns about the authenticity of the "Whare Ra oral tradition". I present the pertinent parts with my own comments imbedded in the text (in one instance substituting the usual name callings of Pat's):
To make some of my works coherent I had to blend in different thoughts of different people with my own.
Yes, it's oftentimes very hard to detect who said what in Pat's ritual commentaries. At least he confesses that the have contributed with his own thoughts aside from the obvious references he sometimes does make to himself or the Thoth-Hermes. It's still open to speculation as to how much of it is his own invention and how much is the work of others.
If I would have said "this is from whare ra" on every bit of teaching then the 0=0 and 1=10 books etc would be impossible to read.
No, not at all. Pat can easily follow the long standing tradition and practice in the academical world of using extensive footnoted references (Examples: 1. Oral teaching from Jack Taylor. 2. Unpublished document from MacGregor Mathers. 3... Etc.) Very easy and not at all as cumbersome for the diligent reader as he believes it to be.
But as I have understood it, Pat originally used his Z-5 for his members of the Thoth-Hermes Temple, which operated for a few years in the 80's. When that Temple no longer were active, he probably decided to publish the official Z-5 documents. It's alright not to use academically rigid referential footnoting in official order documents (that has never been the practice in the G∴D∴, neither now nor in the beginning). But he should have re-edited the Z-5, or at least provided a thorough footnoting, when he published it in book form.
Where things were clear I placed them in modules like the inner teachings book and carefully explained where each part came from, a point Thomas did not mention.
I have said before that Pat sometimes do provide citations from others in the ritual commentaries text, but in the main body of the text he seldom gives any references. And yes, he also imbeds some side lectures and papers, most of them already published. But these latter isn't the topic of this discussion.
Tony's post on the David Griffin forum was essentially a good one and pretty well sums up the type of teaching except for the snide remark in the last sentence.
So he concurs with Tony that there wasn't any official Whare Ra oral tradition. This is in contradiction to what he states in his books.
Whare Ra had different teachers for each area and each went their own way to a certain extent. Frank salt for example wrote his own papers for his group. Jack on the other hand was anther Gemini like me and was incessantly giving out information that was not always written. He was a feel person with remarkable clairvoyant gifts. So to work an established norm was difficult and what I did was say what the group I knew told me. I stress group here and not just Taylor.
So here Pat finally admits in his own words that there never has been an official oral tradition of the Whare Ra that goes beyond the "core tradition" of the G∴D∴. There existed different groups making their own developements. Basically nothing dissimilar to was common in the old G∴D∴; "The Sphere Group" for example, headed by Florece Farr.
The course structure for each level was not always shown. The Nairns, who were under Frank were not given the standard course structure when they went through in the 1950s and Frank substituted biblical studies instead. Bill Oliver and the Gilmore's did the same. So the Christian element was strong and often substituted for order teachings in some instances by more than one officer.
This more seems like an irregular group work in my eyes. It's one thing to complement the "core tradition" with expanded teachings, but another thing to substitute it with foreign inventions of the free creative imagination. I wonder: Was this the standard way of doing things inthe different study groups of Whare Ra? What's about the O.T.R.?
Jack who was devout Church of England would not hear of it and said when they did that the GD was like Sunday School. Percy Wilkinson who was a leading light in the C[hurch] of England also commented to me the magick element was being taken out of Whare ra by teachers like this. So In my book when I gave whare ra teachings I gave what I was told by essentially a group of people who lived in different areas and were taught by different teachers in different periods and that to me were the ingredients of establishing a norm.
What Pat basically is saying is that there existed several groups being given different teachings, and that his own synthesis of it has become the "Whare Ra" teachings in his books. What he admits here is that there wasn't any official Whare Ra teachings at all, just different developments from the "core tradition" which took different routs depending on where people were living and which teachers they got.
I can understand that based on the fact that the Whare Ra Temple provided initiations for the whole NZ-area and that membership were scattered over a wide area. This probably provided the structural basis for the teachings to evolve (or devolve) in different directions.
So what Pat basically did was that he for some years picked up the different traditions of the different scattered groups of members, which he blended using his own creative genius. So basically he admits that the package he is presenting is something new and unique compare to what he did learn from others, because blending must by necessity take away something, combine other things of old and fill in the gaps with something totally new. The end result must become something unique in the process of blending, like Mathers had to do with John Dee's material for it to fit the overall G∴D∴ teachings.
It's good that Pat finally explains or admits what the "Whare Ra oral teachings" actually amounts to. A synthesis of the different opinions of different people, including Pat's.
The OTR was the place where they all met and I worked in full ritual with many of these people over the years and also when they would turn up at Jacks, Jack would often tell them to take me down to the hall and show me. Some times Jack would come and sometimes not. So that is where my experience came from.
So basically, some of the old Whare Ra members continued to meet at one of the off shots of the Whare Ra, the Order of the Table Round. It's like the Sphere Group. Interesting stuff by itself, but hardly constiutes any G∴D∴ teachings. O.T.R. could hardly constitute official Whare Ra teachings either, atd it wasn't an official body of the Whare Ra, nor the S.M.
I had my own temple at that point and was already initiating but had to go down to the OTR hall and start from the 0=0 up and work through each GD ritual and analyze it. I did this with Jack on his own and with a small of ex whare ra group at different times. That way they picked up my ritual errors, and there were many when learning form a book, and offered my much advice, a great deal of it is in my books.
Well, this is again an important thing to do, and I'm sure that Pat learned a lot, which we all can benefit from in his books. But it's still a fact (and does raise certain questions about validity) that Pat actually never took the initiations himself up to and including the 5°=6°. He admits that Jack initiated him right into the 6°=5° in a post on his own forum, which is brand new information. It's of course good that he was trained by experienced people (remember with different personal opinions of what actual happened during ritual) but it's my firm belief that one learns foremost from going through them yourself and experiencing the forces as a receiver, living it out in daily life as a part of your initiatic process. I hope for Pat's sake, for the Temples he has chartered, for his pupils and for his readers that the teachings he did receive at Order of the Table Round could compensate for this lack of fundamental personal experience.
But Tony as a member of BOTA was never a member of the GD and never had a working GD temple when I knew him.
Neither was Pat initiated into the G∴D∴. He wasn't even initiated into the S.M. or the Whare Ra Temple. He was an initiate of the O.T.R.
I worked with the Whare ra people in ritual from the OTR which also incorporated many GD teachings such as pentagram, hexagram, rituals and talisman work.
The O.T.R. in my (and probably many other's) opinion hardly constitutes the G∴D∴ or S.M., but if we want to stretch things a bit, for the benefit of the doubt, perhaps a "irregular" body of the Whare Ra.
But, that said, I don't deny that there were lots of knowledge summoned within the egregore of the O.T.R., or that it was highly interesting from a general occult perspective. But it was not G∴D∴, not even under a different name.
I also had a chance to be trained in GD ritual with them by them taking me down to the OTR hall and showing me pertinent points of ritual that I needed more work on or could not understand from written instructions.
Hopefully this may be a benefit for Pat's readers if we apply a general view, but in the restricted G∴D∴ sense, we cannot be sure what the benefits actually amounts to and if there are any.
Mine [views] were though collecting papers and listening to stories and doing the GD and OTR rituals with the people concerned.
Again, this may be beneficial for Pat's readers which has an general occult outlook. But this doesn't constitute any official "Whare Ra oral tradition".
Perhaps the O.T.R. oral tradition.....
I knew the GD was left unfinished and what I wanted to do was try and finish some of the teachings. To do this I went my own way. As Martin says I pick up patterns in the GD and extrapolate them.
I fully respect Pat's decision and this direction he has taken. But it has to be known that it's the creation of his own mind, from the perspective of an 7°=4°, creating the 8°=3°, 9°=2° and 10°=1° grades, which lacks the traditional Higher Hermetic Teachings. This constitutes the principle of self-initiation. That said, it may rest on its own merits and be beneficial for his correspondence students, and perhaps giving them something "authentic" beyond the Abyss. Miracles are known to have happened before. I'm not the person to say it's impossible.
The full levels of the 5=6 is an example of that by following the way Mathers was originally going in the Z[elator] A[deptus] M[inor] and TH[eoricus] A[deptus] M[inor]. The view for these higher levels is clearly my own- but through Mathers frame for each level. That was pattern I deduced, and that is the pattern I use today.
It's a pattern easily deductible. It doesn't take a genius to do that.
I do not worry these days about who had what rank unless they make an issue of it. Rank only relates to what your are in your own temple and outside of it does not matter. It is who you are, what you are doing and what you have accomplished in a certain areas that count within a GD context. Either you know your stuff or you do not.
Basically I agree with Pat here. But one thing doesn't exclude the other, as Pat often tries to persuade people to believe. If the lineage is truly genuine, you will know the real stuff.
So, in conclusion, a reading through the Z-5 and other works of Pat Zalewski must be done knowing that they hardly constitute any traditional or original official Whare Ra teachings, oral or written. I have always had a feeling, when I read the Z-5 for the first time, that there were portions of it that could have been attributed to someone's fancies. Now I am lead to believe, considered the facts, that they were part of Pat's own inventions.
Some examples: Regarding the Sentinel being used in Grades beyond 0°=0°, I agree with Pat, but not that he should be within the Hall. Sentinels are open to Neophytes (as is easily discernable by reading the original writing of S.L. MacGregor Mathers, as in the Z-1 paper) which would bar any entry into a 1°=10° Hall. I recall that Pat states that he (or was it Whare Ra?) recommended Adepts in the ritual. But even here I don't agree with him, as I am firm in my belief that it's important for Outer Order members to be trained in ritual by partaking as officers in Temple, starting as Sentinel in 0°=0°, then advancing to Stolistes or Dadouchos in 1°=10°, etc. through the Grades. It's even more important now after the 1999 reformation where the student works ceremonially with the forces of each Grade. These notions, and notions that the limits of the "Hall" are inside the temple room just because its big, hardly constitutes official Whare Ra teaching as these seems quite ridiculous. If they were, I'm not at all impressed by the developments at Whare Ra. So I invoke the benefit of the doubt, for the benefit of Whare Ra; it must be Pat's own invention.
The Whare Ra "Vaut of the Adepti"
Pat openly admits in his message that when referring in his books to the "Whare Ra Oral Tradition" he is merely referring to the opinions of several members of the non G∴D∴, i.e. the O.T.R., mixed with Pat's own innovations. So he basically confirms (and vindicates) Tony Fullers opinions that what we have in Pat's writings is either his own inventions in the first place, or partly so and partly the personal opinions of certain Adepts, non of them ever holding office as Chiefs (Jack Taylor was the highest initiate of the O.T.R. group but in the Whare Ra he only held office as Hierophant).
In reading his Z-5 it's obvious that Pat doesn't present an official Z-paper as it is easy ascertainable just by reading the language. It's not that formal and verbose as the official Z-1 and Z-3 papers from Mathers. If there were officially written papers they would be more akin the original order papers. This fact makes the matter suspicious in the first place. It is either the oral tradition written down by Pat or Pat's own invention. In some instances he gives references to how they do (or rather did, as Pat's Temple is now defunct) in Thoth-Hermes. But the language is overall quite casual so it's clearly Pat's own wordings. With the exceptions of some obvious Thoth-Hermes references and quotations, I have a hard time knowing who is the original source of the different parts of the texts.
On July 10th Tony Fuller finally wrote the letter which put the last nail on the coffin of the myth of Pat Zalewski and of his supposed connection with Whare Ra:
For a period after the shock announcement from the Chiefs that the temple would close in August 1978 and after the temple building and surrounding land were sold there was something of a hiatus. By this stage there were approximately 50-60 members. Around one third decided to 'call it a day' and accept the closure. The group who were members of the side Order, the Order of the Table Round, continued in this Order and it was this group that Pat Zalewski encountered. Another group of around 14-18 (a few of whom had also been members of the OTR) decided they wanted to continue the SM or Whare Ra Order and sought and obtained agreement from the last senior Chief to continue which they did in secrecy. Separately from this, there were one or two individuals of higher Grades, who continued a loose connection with the latter group but continued the Order work largely independently. From this last group and individual there was, as it were, a legacy, but it is not relevant or appropriate to discuss this here. It was this group I was associated with and although it no longer exists in its original format it was determined to remain secret and take a different route from the OTR group.
And the legacy of Pat's association with those who remained in the OTR is clearly his various books. Within the Order were many strong individuals with their own specific interests, likes and dislikes, and views, which not unnaturally came to the fore when the Order began to experience problems and official closure. Undoubtedly these views have at times inevitably coloured the views of Pat and probably also myself. Those with whom I was associated with were, it must be said, deeply angered by Pat's first book on the Order which they felt was a betrayal. Certainly they blamed Jack Taylor and noted with some bitterness that Jack had ceased attending Order ceremonies for the previous 13-14 years prior to closure. I have a letter from Jack Taylor dated 1965 where he clearly states that he had lost interest in the Order and wanted to devote his remaining years to the OTR. Although they were upset with Jack they reported that they were not unduly surprised because he had always been considered somewhat indiscreet and 'that he loved nothing better than to talk', a trait which in the past had often led him to lose the employment which Order members had assisted him to obtain. Despite this he was otherwise regarded as a 'character', was generally liked, and considered a particularly competant clairvoyant as Pat rightly says. Because of the strong feelings regarding Pat's book and the leakage of information it is understandable that I had no desire at the time to acquaint Pat with the existence of this group that continued to work under the sanction of the ex Chiefs.
Although I do not doubt his sincerity at all Pat is partially misinformed regarding some of his account. Although his account attempts to minimise the role of Frank Salt the fact is that he was both the Order Cancellarius for a period and then Demonstrator for several years. This was not a shared role as stated. I have the official announcements of the Order of these appointments. Frank Salt was highly regarded by the Felkins and was a pall bearer at the death of all the last three original Chiefs (excluding Dr. Felkin himself); that is, the deaths of Reginald Gardner, Mrs Felkin, and then Miss Felkin. He never at any stage substitued Biblical teachings for the Order curriculum. Ironically, it was his strong objection to certain members including what he felt to be extraneous non-Order material which led to later personality clashes. But he did, like the Felkins, strongly believe that the Order had close links, if not was based on, an esoteric interpretation of Christianity. Such papers as he produced on this subject and an esoteric interpretation of Biblical Hebrew (which he never regarded as 'teaching') were supplementary to the curriculum. Pat is correct that people such as Gilmour did emphasize the Christian aspect unduly and Frank Salt objected to this also.
In the last few years of the Order there is no doubt that it lost direction and various people tried to introduce other occult and spiritual elements. BOTA was one such infusion which initially attracted many but then later repelled many. I have a letter from the last senior Chief of Hermes, Mrs Carnegie Dickson, dated 1963, expressing considerable concern about BOTA and Ann Davies. Frank Salt was particularly concerned about preserving the purity of the Order system and he was incandescent with anger about Pat's first book not just because it revealed matters he believed should remain secret but also because he believed that it misrepresented the truth about the Order and contained inaccuracies. His view was strongly shared by many others, including Mrs Beryl Renn (the wife of the last Cromlech chief, and his successor) whom I actually dissuaded from attempting to sue Pat and Falcon books. (this may be a new fact for you Pat - I helped you out here - I have the correpondence).
I must say also that I did not really agree with all of Frank Salt's views regarding Pat's book, although a few of his criticisms were valid. By and large it accurately portrays what several ex members believed. Similarly, ...the Z5.. But if I may be permitted a small criticism I do think that there are occasions where Pat has (accidentally or otherwise) rather fudged or not made sufficiently clear the boundary between his own ideas and what he describes as 'Whare Ra' teaching. Moreover we also disagree on what constitutes 'Whare Ra' teaching. My own view is that he has exaggerated this concept and not taken suffiently into account the prevailing ethos of the GD, AO and SM. Until its very last days Whare Ra was still very much the result of the fin de siecle thinking, which eagrly sought out spiritual parallels in other religious systems. While there was a rejection of the emphasis of eastern methods increasingly found in Theosophy it was not a wholesale rejection. Many theosophical concepts were adopted as illustrating the western processes. Brodie Innes, Carnegie Dickson, and the Felkins all employed such terms and used comparisons between east and west. I have several papers from Whare Ra, Hermes and Amoun which talk of chakras and other estern concepts. But it would be a mistake to view these as being official Order teachings any more than the many papers which focus on Christian occultism. I must also say that the view that 'magical elements were being taken out of Whare Ra' is entirely new to me and certainly alien to those members I knew well. But perhaps some did feel that way.
I have absolutely no wish to criticise Pat or anyone else regarding what they believe to be their occult attainments although naturally I have my own views. Contrary to his comment I do trust him and understand his wish to stoutly defend what he sees as his life work. Nor have I the slightest intention or desire to contradict his account of Grades he received. I must confess however, and I hope he can see this, that it has not always been easy to follow the accounts he has presented which have lacked some clarity. Frequently I have been asked this question by correspondents. I have always tried to reply truthfully as I have understood the situation. Probably this has been a mistake and I should have refused to comment for, after all, it is none of my business. But I do believe that the answers I have given, which clearly he objects to, only reflect the somewhat unclear situation which he himself has placed at various times in the public domain. To this degree, there is no rift on my part. Pat is certainly an integral part of the post-Whare Ra history of the Order and his hard labour in producing so many books blending his understanding of the SM system with his own research and insight have always been of interest to me. And, I have little doubt, his books have proved to be of considerable interest and value to many other people.
The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that if you choose to read any of Pat Zalewski's works, take it all with a grain of salt. It can be an interesting and entertaining reading, and even illuminating at that, but you can't be sure of what you actually receive. You cannot take anything of what Pat Zalewski writes at face value. But then again, nor can you with anyone else's work, not even the original G∴D∴ teachings. This little sad story is a good remainder of how things oftentimes are done in the occult world; the line between facts and fiction is oftentimes very thin. Many teachers are prone to wrap their teachings in a shroud of romanticism to give it a aura of legitimicy. The history of the G∴D∴ (and of Rosicrucianism) is full of these instances, so basically Zalewski is in good company and his conduct of twisting the truth to suit his aims is unfortunately part of a long standing tradition.
The aspiring student must take this fact into account when he or she seeks a teacher. In the final analysis, everything must stand on its own merits when it comes down to spiritual teachings; either there is a truth in it, or it isn't. This is up to the individual practitioner to decide for him- or herself. I for myself am conviced that there are truths lying hidden in Pat Zalewski's writings. But one has to apply the alchemical formula to his writings, to separate the subtle from the gross. Or to use a more blunt and brute alchemical saying; there is gold to be found in the feces.