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A SKEPITCAL LOOK  AT  FAMOUS OCCULTISTS     
   by The Notorious Doctor Zoom Zoom

 SAMUEL LIDDELL"MACGREGOR" MATHERS (1854-1918)


    One of the founding members of the Golden  Dawn, along with Dr. Wynn Westcott and Dr  Woodman. Mathers lied about being in contact  with secret chiefs in Germany who supposedly  gave him the instructions to start the Golden  Dawn. 

    Mathers did many things that anyone  would find at least "eccentric". Among other  things, he used to play "ghost chess", with a  spirit that only he could see. He would move the  piece wherever his invisible opponent would tell  him.  He also told people he was a descendant  of  King James II, even though he wasn’t. Even  more bizzare, he sometimes claimed to actually  be King James II himself! Not the reincarnation  mind you, but the actual King James II  who had  somehow lived into the 19th century, even  though history records he was killed in battle! 


     Arthur Machen was not quite as naive as the rest, and left the Order of the Golden Dawn after about a year (1899-1900), just prior to the schism that splintered it. He became skeptical of all mystical orders and secret societies after this. Perhaps the most telling piece he wrote about his experience in the G.D. comes from one of his autobiographical writings. He saved himself from potential libel suits by changing or omitting the names of the players and changing the name of the G.D. to the "Order of the Twilight Star". An excerpt from his autobiography Things Near and Far (1923) tells the whole story:


 " Among the members there were, indeed, persons of very high attainments, who, in my opinion, ought to have known better after a year's membership or less; but the society as a society was pure foolishness concerned with impotent and imbecile Abracadabras. It knew nothing about anything and concealed the fact under an impressive ritual and a sonorous phraseology. It had no wisdom, even of the inferior or lower kind, in its leadership; it exercised no real scrutiny onto the character of those whom it admired .


 “And yet it had and has an interest of a kind. It claimed, I may say, to be of very considerable antiquity, and to have been introduced into England from abroad in a singular manner. I am not quite certain as to the details, but the mythos imparted to members was something after this fashion. A gentleman interested in occult studies was looking round the shelves of a second-hand bookshop,...when he found between the leaves a few pages of dim manuscript, written in a character which was strange to him. The gentleman bought the book, and when he got home early eagerly examined the manuscript. It was in cipher; he could make nothing of it. But on the manuscript -- or perhaps on a separate slip laid next to it -- was the address of a person in Germany. The curious instigator of secret things and hidden counsels wrote to the address, obtained full particulars, the true manner of reading the cipher and, as I conjecture, a sort of commission and jurisdiction from the Unknown Heads in Germany to administer the mysteries in England. And hence arose, or re-arose, in these isles the Order of the Twilight Star. Its original foundation was assigned to the fifteenth century.


 “I like the story; but there was not on atom of truth in it. Its true date of origin was 1880 at the earliest. The 'Cipher Manuscript' was written on paper that bore the watermark of 1809 in ink that had a faded appearance. But it contained information that could not possibly have been known to any living being in the year 1809,  that was not known to any living being till twenty years later. It was, no doubt a forgery of the early 'eighties. Its originators must have some knowledge of Freemasonry; but so ingeniously was this occult fraud 'put upon the market' that, to the best of my belief, the flotation remains a mystery to this day. . . There was not the ancient frame of mind; it was not even the 1809 frame of mind. But it was very much the eighteen-eighty and later frame of mind....the Twilight Star shed no ray of any kind on my path."


     Machen was in a far better position to judge the G.D. than anyone alive today, having been an actual member himself. The fact that the cipher manuscript Mathers claims he found in a London bookstall was a fake suggests Mathers, if not all three of the founders of the G.D., were in fact the authors of said manuscript.


     Crowley  figured out there were no secret chiefs, and called Mather's bluff, claiming the Chiefs had made him the head of the Golden Dawn in a letter to Mathers, and that they wanted Mathers out.  Eventually Mathers admitted he lied about the secret chiefs, which led to him being kicked out, & the Golden Dawn being disbanded 1903. 

    Crowley wrote that he ran into Monia Mathers years later in Paris, and that she had been reduced to performing in live nude shows, because Mathers and his wife were now in dire straits [ref The Occult?], although Golden Dawn fans merely dismiss this as sour grapes on Crowley’s part. Macgregor died in poverty from Pneumonia in 1918.  His widow Monia eventually faded into obscurity and died in poverty. Since we know Mathers was a liar, why bother with him? He was a fake and had no powers!

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