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Date:May 4, 2003
Author/Editor:     Balanone
Copyright: 1997-2003 Temple of Set

This is one man's REF document concerning the Temple of Set. Its information is drawn from a number of resources, including electronic discussions, hard copy correspondence, internal Temple of Set documents, etc.

This document is fairly comprehensive and contains many quotes from newsgroup and echo discussions. Its current size is over 180k. Those who wish a smaller document on the same topic should use Balanone's Temple of Set FAQ, created for this purpose.

Different people like browsing the web in different ways. Some want a document like this one to be several different web pages, each loading quickly. Others want one long document they can save, print, or scan through. Both should be satisfied here. This file contains the full document. You can also follow this link to view the Table of Contents and each section as a web page of its own.

Qualifications: Balanone has been an active member of the Temple of Set since early 1976, and so is intimately familiar with Setian philosophy and practice. While this document is just one person's statement, and not an official statement from/by the organization, this person has the depth of experience to be reasonably confident in his accuracy. Corrections, additions, and differences of opinion from other members of the Temple of Set are more than welcome, and within reason all such will be included in this document.

Revision history: See Balanone's Temple of Set FAQ/REF Changes.


Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

The Temple of Set is today's leading religious and philosophical initiatory organization of the left hand path. (At least we think it is.)

  • The Temple of Set is a philosophical organization. Its activities revolve around the philosophies represented by the ancient Egyptian principle of Xeper (roughly translated as "self-improvement" or "self-creation"), and the ideals represented by our modern understanding of Set, once called a god by the ancient Egyptians.

  • The Temple of Set is an initiatory organization, dedicated to the growth and development of its members. We recognize several levels or degrees of initiation, and identify our members by their degree. This helps our members recognize and work with their relative peers. It also helps our less experienced members identify the more senior initiates when they have difficult questions with which they need help.

  • The Temple of Set is a religion, incorporated in and recognized as a religion by the state of California and the federal government of the U.S.A. Its priesthood represents not only the Temple and its organization, but they also represent the being we call Set. We are an unusual religion in several ways:

    • We have no permanent building or church, believing that each of our members can follow the religion on their own, wherever they happen to be.

    • We do not "worship" Set (or anything else) as most religions would use that word, nor do we worship any god as conventional religions use that terms. Set, whose name likely has the ultimate meaning of "Initiation," causes change in the Universe by the simple fact of his Being. In seeking our self-change and betterment, we put into motion those changes in the world that are Set's Work in the world of mankind. Our bond with Set, is one of self-interest. As a religion we believe in Set and work with Set, but do so more as if he were a father, elder brother, or close friend, rather than a god as defined by most religions. (Whether we call him a god or not depends upon our individual views and definitions of just what a "god" is.)

    • We don't require religious belief of our junior members. The philosophy of Xeper and the process of initiation are more important to us than the religion.

  • The term "left hand path" suggests a philosophical orientation which feels that the individual is extremely important. The individual initiate pursuing Xeper is more important than our society in general, any peer group, and any organization (including even the Temple of Set itself). Responsible individualism and freedom are goals to which the organization lends its energies.

2.0 Philosophy

2.1 Xeper

  1. Perhaps the best discussion of Xeper available online is Magus Don Webb's, found at: [March 30, 1998: This essay is now also available at]

  2. Balanone: Setian Philosophy centers around the Egyptian concept of Xeper (often spelled Khepher), personified by the Egyptian Neter (god?) Xepera (Khephra), a concept that can be translated to "self improvement," or perhaps "Be all you can be."

    Though that statement above seems simple enough, the study and pursuit of Xeper has proven complex and long, intriguing and challenging enough to keep Setians occupied for a life time.

  3. Apr 28, 1996, Priest Roger Whitaker, Xepera-l:

    Xeper describes a methodology for manifestation. You cannot separate yourself from the force which motivates one to Xeper. It is ingrained within the many and varied paths which lead to it. Xeper such as it is results in a deeper recognition of Self consciousness, i.e., the uniquely human ability to sense its separateness within the body even while it resides within it. This heightened sense of Self Being, itself the result of polaric constituents - its me, in this other thing called a body - becomes a building block of a personal methodology based upon knowledge, intuition, learning and change as a result of the preceding.

    The results of Xeper are manifestations into the world of ideas, art, science and culture. For the individual the results of Xeper become a metaphysical departure point for developing a bond with the Prince of Darkness by creating a matrix of linked ideas whose path leads towards the Genesis of Self Being.

  4. Doesn't everyone seek to grow, improve, or Xeper?

    alt.pagan, Wed Feb 28, '96, 06:37, From : Balanone, Subj : Definition: Satanist

    >>"Those who call themselves Setians strive to grow from within as
    >> individuals

    >Silly me, but I thought that it was everyone's goal to grow--or it is it
    >wrong to grow as an individual and dare to question dogma?

    I wish everyone had the goal to grow. It seems the majority of people today do not. Fortunately there are many within the Pagan culture that do.

    Question though: What is your primary, all-important, number one goal? Is it to grow? be a good person? honor the gods? improve the world? Various Pagans will choose various primary goals. The goal of growth happens to be the one chosen as primary by Setians.

  5. From: Dr. Michael Aquino, To:, Date: Oct 03, 1997, on the Xepera-l mailing list, Subject: Re: Satanic Bible/"Xeper" Question

    jm> Why have you chosen to translate the Egyptian word symbolized by the
    jm> scarab beetle as "Xeper?" This is a question that has been naging me
    jm> a while, since I have yet to come across any linguistic reason for the
    jm> the change of spelling. Was it simply because it looks "cooler" that
    jm> way (which, granted, it does)? Some unspeakable revelation from the
    jm> "Dark Lord?" A gemetraic change I have not identified, or even some
    jm> piece of Egyptology I simply have not found?

    That is the spelling of the term from the record of the North Solstice X/1975 working - the _Book of Coming Forth by Night_ that brought the Temple of Set into being. Previous to that it appeared in _Xeper_... variations in the Egyptian language works of Budge. Note that the "X" is actually the Greek letter, yielding a "kh" pronunciation.

    Since Egyptian had no vowels, you could write the term "Xpr"/"khpr" and take it from there, I suppose. So some have written it as "Khep-Ra", "Khafre", etc. Similarly Set's name has been written "St", "Set", "Seth", "Sut", and may well be the origin for our present-day term "south"! [The modern word for "beetle" in German is _Kafir_, which shows you how these things get around through the mists of history ...]

  6. From: "Balanone", to Viktor Lansky, Date: Wed Jul 7, 1999 8:27 pm, on the Xepera-l mailing list, Subject: Re: Magic and Becoming
    The introductory letter states: "Recognition as an Adept II* constitutes certification by the Temple that one has in fact mastered and successfully applied the essential principles of Black Magic."

    Balanone's REF explains regarding being recognized as Adept: "More, through hard work the individual has opened him- or herself to the forces of Becoming within the body-soul complex." and also "The Second Degree is a Recognition that the Initiate involved has learned the solid basics of what we mean by the term "Setian," and has adopted this mode of life (ie: Xeper). That person has become Adept at magic (can do some, and has shown himself able to learn anything he doesn't yet know)."

    These are probably various aspects of the same thing. Can someone clarify how Xeper and black magic are connected? Is black magic just a tool to achieve tangible goals (like the thread of cause and effect suggested), or is it a primary tool of becoming? Also, can I open myself to the forces of Becoming without doing any magic at all?

    Magic is a tool used to achieve a whole variety of goals, of which Xeper can be one (or several).

    Xeper is a process and goal.

    Many people do achieve self-improvement, self-advancement, self-growth, and/or other similar achievements without resorting to magic. Those who are dedicated to such growth and do not bother with the occult or magic are just as respected and appreciated as those who do explore the occult and use magic.

    The former can't be Setians, because by definition our path is one that includes the use of magic as one of the many tools of Xeper and Initiation. They can still be highly regarded and respected people and friends.

    I'd much rather be surrounded by people dedicated to their own self improvement who can't understand and have no use for magic, than by people who explore and use magic but have no interest in self improvement.

2.2  Initiation

  • What do those necklaces and medallions mean?

    The Temple of Set is an initiatory organization, dedicated to the initiation and growth of its members. Pentagram of Set

    That dedication to initiation, to the philosophy of Xeper, and to Set, is represented by our primary symbol, the Pentagram of Set (a point-down pentagram within a circle). To help our members identify each other so we can work together, and to help them identify which level of initiation has been achieved by each other, we wear this symbol on different colored medallions, normally worn on necklaces of some kind, at formal gatherings.

    There are six levels of initiation recognized within the Temple of Set, each with its specific color medallion.

    • The first degree member wears a white medallion. This is a period of trial membership, in which the member begins to explore our philosophies, our practices, and our society. The member can decide whether our organization is one which will help the member's personal growth, and if not he is welcome to leave at any time, with our good wishes. Likewise, during this period we determine whether the member will function well within our society, will benefit from our activity, and will eventually be able to help others in the organization with their personal growth. If not, then their membership is terminated, hopefully with no hard feelings. We title this degree "Setian," which is also the generic name for all of our members. The term stands for all who pursue their self deification while in contact with the philosophical and magical stream of the Temple.

    • The second degree wears a red medallion. This is a member who has completed the trial membership and has been found to be compatible with and a valued contributor to the Temple of Set, just as we have been found to be useful to the member's own growth. More, through hard work the individual has opened him- or herself to the forces of Becoming within the body-soul complex. This is a place of great excitement and achievement. We Recognize our Adepts by the quality of their adventures and projects. This is where we differ form most occult schools that would award degrees based on knowledge and memory feats. These members are free to work with our philosophies and to participate in our activities to the fullest. More members are in the second degree than any other level of initiation. We title this degree "Adept," declaring them able to pursue any and all goals applicable to their personal growth.

    • The third degree wears a black medallion. This is a member who not only has shown all of the qualities of an advanced second degree member, but who has also been chosen by Set to serve in his priesthood. This member has demonstrated abilities in working with and representing Set and the Temple of Set. We title this degree "Priest." Another way of putting this: the Third Degree Setian has become Resonate with the Work of Set. He or she is directly empowered by Set and charged him to expand the Setian experience -- this includes everything form running the Temple, which belongs to its Priesthood, to a variety of scholarly, artistic, or (obviously) magical endeavors to increase the Setian mindscape. Third Degrees can represent the Temple in most matters. If you have any questions concerning the Temple of Set (the organization, our activities, beliefs, or members), these members are the best qualified to answer your questions.

    • The fourth degree wears a blue medallion. The Fourth Degree Setian is the founder of a school of thought in the Temple, which may effect the general philosophical and magical actions of mankind as well. These schools of thought are called Orders. Some such as the Order of the Vampyre or the Order of the Trapezoid are well known beyond the boundaries of the Temple walls, while others have lower profiles. The job of the Fourth Degree is the discovery and articulation of communicable methods of Initiation. The Orders bear the same relationship to the Temple as departments do to a University. They are places for the Adept to specialize in pursuit of the specialized tools for their personal achievement.

    • The fifth wears a purple medallion. The sixth wears a gold medallion. The distinctions between these grades of initiation are very meaningful within the Temple of Set, but for most purposes you can consider them as variations upon the fourth degree.

  • Base of Set echo, 23 Feb 94 21:31:18, From: Lady Byron, To: Thomas Palmer, Subj: Initiation

    TP> 1) Is the temple based on a hiearchical structure with the leadership
    TP> dictating study content and judging progess and granting "degrees"?

    TP> appearance later in the
    TP> document of criteria for advancement suggested that
    TP> the leadership considered
    TP> themselves to be exclusively able to interpret the "will of Set."

    TP> I find this to be contrary to a "doctrine" of personal revelation.

    Though I speak not for the Temple of Set, I shall speak for my own opinions along these lines.

    Initiation, to me, implies personal growth, or evolution to a new state of Being. This is regardless of what level others "recognize" you to be.

    The problem with "LHP initiatory organizations" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is that the members are still setting themselves up for acceptance from other members. Even when cloaked in the term "Recognition," the initiate does not get the honors of the next degree until the peer group decides that it's acceptable.

    While we can learn a great deal from one another as fellow magicians, we need not depend upon one another (and should not, IMO) for recognitions and/or degrees. I have come to feel that the heirarchy of the organizations is a waste of my time, and doesn't add to my learning of the materials in the least. In other words, Initiation is not dependent upon any organization's bestowed title. A pat on the back by a senior (or, simply, "more experienced") so you know you're on track should be quite enough.

  • Base of Set echo, 24 Feb 94 18:37:13, From: Balanone, To: Thomas Palmer, Subj: Re: Temple of Set

    TP> 1) Is the temple based on a hiearchical structure with the leadership
    TP> dictating study content and judging progess and granting "degrees"?

    TP> Some of the introductory material (as posted to wierdbase in 1986 and
    TP> picked up by my home board) was a little confusing on this point. The
    TP> self-realization, self-manifestation of the divine principles as
    TP> described is well in tune with my current philosophical position, but
    TP> the appearance later in the document of criteria for advancement
    TP> suggested that the leadership considered themselves to be exclusively
    TP> able to interpret the "will of Set."

    TP> I find this to be contrary to a "doctrine" of personal revelation.

    Unlike organizations with nine, eleven, or even dozens of degree grade, there are only six Grades within the Temple of Set, and so the "granting" of degrees really doesn't happen much. The Second Degree is a Recognition that the Initiate involved has learned the solid basics of what we mean by the term "Setian," and has adopted this mode of life (ie: Xeper). That person has become Adept at magic (can do some, and has shown himself able to learn anything he doesn't yet know).

    This is properly an objective measure of Xeper, and must therefore necessarily be Recognized by someone capable of making that determination. That is the responsibility of the Third Degree, and the ability to Recognize II* Adepts is one of the criteria of the III* Recognition.

    Any single III* Priest may Recognize a I* Initiate to the II* whenever appropriate.

    The III* is largely a Recognition of a special relationship between the Initiate and Set, one in which Set has chosen the Initiate to act as his Priest. It bears religious, administrative, and legal responsibilities. This Grade therefore also demands objective evaluation and determination by those qualified to do so.

    From your reading of the introductory information, you should have gathered that just about all important Xeper can and usually does happen within the II*. The skilled and experienced II* Adept can do *anything* that any higher Grade Initiate can do, excepting those specific tasks and powers specifically associated with the "higher" Grade (which are very few indeed).

    Therefore, an Initiate can indeed spend an entire lifetime within the II*, learning magic, exercising knowledge and power, and become everything that Initiate wants to become, without ever bothering with the III*. To do such would be to lead an honorable and satisfying life. Such an Initiate would be highly respected within the Temple of Set by all members of all degrees -- an Adept is a magician worthy of praise.

    So how does a I* become Recognized to the II*? 1) Xeper. Read, study, learn, practice, do. 2) Communicate with *several* Priests (III*). Being people, our Priests have the individual ways of looking at things and people, and you're bound to be understood better by some than by others. Having an active communication with several Priests gives you that much more opportunity to be Recognized to the II* than if you limit your exposure to just one Priest.

    And if, after some years as II*, you should find yourself becoming Priest yourself? How do you become Recognized? Again, communicate with several IV*, and demonstrate your Xeper.

    Do you then have to wait for this "leadership" to "grant" your Recognition to whatever degree you think you've earned? I've seen Initiates who are Recognized by perceptive higher Initiates who see the growth before the Initiate himself does (sometimes we're too closely involved with ourselves to see the changes taking place). I've also seen Initiates speculate about their changes bring this to the attention of higher Initiates, and have these perceptions validated through the process of Recognition. It works both ways.

    I've also seen Initiates propose that they've "earned" or "deserve" a higher Grade, and be refused that higher Grade simply because they haven't become that being which is Recognized by the higher Grade. Some are most definitely disappointed, and they sometimes leave, claiming something to the effect that
    TP> I find this to be contrary to a "doctrine" of personal revelation.
    Most cases have, in my opinion, been cases of "greedy" initiates who wanted a Grade higher than they had become, or Initiates who were mistaken in their self-perception (wearing rose-colored glasses inside-out?), or initiates who did not really understand what that next Grade was about.

  • Why do you turn the pentagram upside down?

    or as stated on alt.pagan on Jan 10, 1996, and I responded:

    ft> I know some satanists would like to THINK they are pagan, but if this is the case, why the need to desacrate the Pentagram as they did the Cross? I know the pentagram is not central to all pagan beliefs, but there is still no need for this. All pagan faiths that I know of respect the symbols of other religions.

    Agreed. So why do you turn the holy and glorious Pentagram wrong side up? It's a symbol of dynamic balance, resting actively on one point. Why do you have to turn it over with its all-important balance point pointing meaninglessly up into the air?

2.3  Satanism

  • Is the Temple of Set a Satanic organization?

    The Temple of Set as an organization was founded in 1975 by Dr. Michael Aquino, in San Francisco. Its initial membership came from the Church of Satan (that infamous "Satanic" organization of the carny Anton LaVey), composed of CoS members who felt there was something real and important about the magic they were exploring, and felt that Anton LaVey's antics of that year were in contradiction to their own experiences. The Temple of Set has grown a lot in scope and maturity in those twenty years.

    Because of this history, and because of the many antinomian pursuits followed by Setians, many people will call the Temple of Set "Satanic." Many Setians do, too, but not all.

    "Satan" is a name given to the Prince of Darkness, just like "Set" is a name given to the Prince of Darkness. However, "Set" is a name given by a religion which found Setian principles attractive and noble, and which honored the Prince of Darkness. "Satan" is a name given to the Prince of Darkness by Christianity out of fear and revulsion. The Christian Satan is a twisted bastardization of the true Prince of Darkness.

    "Satanism" is a term used by many to describe the Left Hand Path in the West. We are a proud part of the tradition of spiritual dissent, differing philosophically from the Church of Satan. Their take on the Left Hand Path is the Immanent Path wherein godhood is achieved by the worship of the carnal ego with no possibility of personal immortality save in some vague connection to the organic stream. We are followers of the Transcendental path, wherein person immortality is achievable by a strengthening of the idealized Self. In an increasingly post-Christian world, the term "Satanism" will become irrelevant.

  • alt.pagan, Dec 21 '95, 08:42, From : Balanone, in response to, Subj : Roles and Offices:

    "Satanism is a small part of Setianism. Setian activities also include the study and use of Egyptian religion, symbolism and philsophy, Runic studies, meso-American pursuits, shamanism, vampyrism, theatre arts as magic, etc. Setians come from all sorts of religious and social backgrounds, and many (most?) have no interest in Satanism."

  • If by "Satanic" you mean "unconscionably evil," or people who desecrate churches, or people who abuse children, or people who sacrifice people or animals, then no, we're not Satanic. If by "Satanic" you mean people who would rather follow their own conscience and ethics rather than the morals handed down by the priests of a religion as filled with contradictions as Christianity is, then yes, we're Satanic.

    Because of the difficulty of this question, because of the multiple definitions of Satanism and "Satanic," the Temple of Set itself is ambivalent about whether it should consider itself part of the modern Satanic movement. There are good reasons to consider us part of modern Satanism (the leading edge of ethical Satanism), and there are good reasons to simply leave the "Satanism" label behind.

  • If the Temple of Set does not believe in Judaeo/ Christian/ Islamic mythology, why does it call itself a "Satanic" religion?

    For the last two thousand years most of the social cultures in which the Temple currently exists have been dominated by one or more branches of Judaeo/Christianity. This influence is far more pervasive than most people consciously realize, extending into these societies' most basic assumptions about law, justice, ethics, social mores, family units, and metaphysics. It is easy to not be a member of a Christian church, or to call oneself a non-Christian; it is far more difficult to escape from J/C social conditioning.

    Within this climate many of the aspects of Set are symbolized in religious imagery by the positive attributes of the J/C Satan. While Judaism, Christianity, and Islam created their "Satan" distortion of the Set neter of ancient Egypt in order to fashion an "evil scarecrow" to intimidate and control their societies, they could not help endowing "Satan" with such Setian attributes as independence, creativity, honesty, artistry, and intellectual genius - as these same attributes, except in severely controlled and approved forms, are "sins against God" in J/C/I culture.

    Therefore many persons of Setian disposition and potential first become aware of their true nature through an unusual interest in and attraction to "Satan" and Satanic imagery. [This was the case of the Temple of Set as a whole, which from 1966 to 1975 - as the Church of Satan - was exploring the Left-Hand Path from within J/C terminology.] Hence it is sometimes necessary to use the "Satanic" metaphor to initially communicate with J/C-socialized individuals concerning Setian interests and capabilities they otherwise find difficult to express. Once such persons understand what they are actually awakening in themselves, they are more easily able to recognize and jettison the entire cage of J/C reference-points, then enter a much larger universe as Setians.

  • You may also be interested in essays concerning the Prince of Darkness provided by Balanone (The Prince of Darkness) and High Priest Don Webb (Concerning our Patron).

2.4  Left Hand Path

The Left Hand Path is the tradition of spiritual dissent. It is a process of using the ideas and actions of the Seeker to create or realize an immortal, individual, potent, and powerful essence that will survive death. The Left Hand Path is the quest for personal immortality, won by hard effort without grace of gods, even of our role model, Set.

2.5  Metaphysics

  • C.G. asked on Xepera-l, 3/27/96:   Is there such a thing as a Setian metaphysic? Or a Setian epistemology?

    Answered by Asmodean, 3/30/96

    While the Temple of Set has no official doctrine or studies on either Epistemology or Metaphysics it is a major point of discussion among us. Most of our philosophy is Metaphysicaly based and just defining the word "Xeper" has huge epistemological ramifications, not to mention other Setian employed terms such as "Runa" and "Remanifest". Many Setians look strongly to the works of Nietzsche and other existential philosophers because of the parallels between existentialism and our belief in Xeper, or "becoming". Also the works of Hegel, with his views on Thesis and Antithesis , among others, are viewed on strongly. But again, there is no specific guidline of study within the Temple so it can't be said that we are defined by these philosophers or their beliefs, influenced yes.

    I am hoping to do a further epistemological study within the Temple but as yet I have no finite plans, if I come up with something anytime soon I will be sure to post it. Also, if you do affiliate with the Temple there are a number of chapters in your initial text which would be more than helpful in understanding Setian philosophy. Best of luck!!

2.6  Dogma vs Doctrine

The Temple of Set has no dogma, but it does have teachings. We're sometimes accused of having dogma because of these teachings.

  • alt.satanism, from: Balanone, Date: Mar 05, 1994, Subj: Re: "True" Satanism

    On 28 Feb 94 02:56:37, posted to All concerning: Re: "True" Satanism ...

    [comments not applicable to the question of dogma deleted]

    Ty> What if 'Satanism' doesn't have anything to do with a stated
    Ty> 'viewpoint'? What if, like Zen Buddhism, it is not doctrinal in scope?
    Ty> Even the Temple of Set claims not to have a dogma, though I must admit
    Ty> I notice a fairly consistent 'philosophy' presented in its
    Ty> Introductory documents.

    You seem to have confused "dogma" and "doctrine". Granted the dictionary seems to treat them as synonyms, but in most usage there is a significant difference: "Doctrine" is a body of principles, knowledge, and/or beliefs or teachings. Even Zen Buddhism has doctrine, since it has a common philosophy about reality and its relationship to the individual, and since it has teachings about how to relate to this reality. In other words, it has suggestions about how to live one's life -- that is doctrine.

    "Dogma" is the blind adherence to past teachings, without the flexibility of adapting to new discoveries or philosophies.

    Doctrine is essential to the identity of any group, philosophy, or movement -- it defines and/or identifies those who are part of the group. This applies equally well to Zen Buddhists, Satanists, and Chaoticists, as well as to more conventional groups. Dogma is almost always harmful in the long run, since it causes the group to miss out on humanity's advances.

    Ty> Then again, you seem to be supporting the 'ToS dogma position'.

    Sorry, not dogma, but doctrine or view. There is a difference.

    [more comments discussing Satanism and/or organizations deleted]

    Ba>If Neopaganism /were/ "nature worship," then Setians couldn't be
    Ba> neopagan.

    Ty> I gather that this would be false if one thought 'Set' equated to
    Ty> 'Nature'. I'm told that there is no dogma in ToS and so this would
    Ty> seem possible. Please explain to me why it would not be possible.
    Ty> That is how I'm going to interpret it as I approach the Temple. I'll
    Ty> see what happens. :>

    There is no dogma, but there is knowledge and understanding. If someone thought 'Set' equated to 'Nature,' he'd be wrong, according to our current perceptions and understandings of Set. If he were right, he could work to convince the rest of us, and if he were successful we'd change our doctrine. That's what we mean by "no dogma." But we see no reason to accept someone who states "2 + 2 = 7".

  • alt.satanism, 17 Mar 94 21:29:37, From: Balanone, Subj: Re: "True" Satanism

    Ty> "Indeed dogma - to include fixed ideology in any form - is repugnant
    Ty> to the Temple."

    Ty> Now perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'm hearing a rather one-sided story
    Ty> from Michael Aquino, Uncle Setnakt, Balanone and Dark Star, especially
    Ty> when it comes to the ideology of what makes a 'true Satanist', and that
    Ty> strikes me as a kind of dogmatism.

    Ty> ... Perhaps I simply don't understand the
    Ty> words being used or have somehow misconstrued their meanings, and I
    Ty> would be very open to hearing this addressed.

    That may be the case. From my personal experience as a maverick within the Temple of Set, there is no dogma. There are strongly held opinions by many within the Temple, and many of those opinions are shared by the great majority. If you feel that shared opinion creates "dogma," then we have a difference of opinion concerning that definition.

    FYI, to my knowledge nobody has ever been refused admission to the Temple of Set for disagreeing with any of the opinions that seem to strike you as dogma, nor has anyone been expelled from the Temple of Set for holding such differing opinions.

    Again, I'm a maverick. Most of the topics you've challenged here are those in which I happen to share Dr. Aquino's opinion (as do others). They also happen to be among the least important "positions" that can be held by anyone. The fun really begins when we get to the more important areas of discussion, and especially those areas where we disagree -- that's where the learning gets intense.

  • Dr. Aquino responded to my comments above, in alt.satanism, 18 Mar 94 09:58:56, From: Michael Aquino, Subj: Temple of Set Qualification Criteria

    Generally a dogma is an article resting ultimately in faith which is required to be accepted. That is a rough definition, as one can get more technical with it in period analyses of Christianity, etc.

    The Temple of Set is anchored by two principles, neither of which fall into the category of dogma by any reasonable standard. The first is psychecentric consciousness, or affirmation of individual existence - a refinement of "I think, therefore I am" if you will. You can't very well dispute this, because even the act of questioning or disputing it would be a demonstration of it!

    The second principle - _Xeper_ - is that the consciousness can evolve towards a theoretical perfection through its own capacity and effort. This is, of course, a "working proposition" varying markedly between unique individual consciousnesses. Again not remotely "dogma", in that its application is *necessarily* individualistic.

    Generally people have been refused Temple of Set admission for lack of capacity or lack of sincerity. Some people are, to put it plainly, too stupid to understand concepts such as these - or have had such a poor education that they cannot order their thoughts to this degree of precision. There is little to be done about the former. The latter are usually advised to concentrate on getting a sound basic education first, then to reapproach the Temple if still interested.

  • In reviewing a draft of this document, Magus Don Webb, the High Priest, suggested I erred in my answers above (I attribute this to a difference in opinion concerning the definition of "dogma"):

    DW> Actually the Temple of Set does have dogma:
    DW> 1. Being and Becoming are Good.
    DW> 2. Being and Becoming can be enhanced by consciously chosen activities including Magic.
    DW> 3. The Temple of Set, if properly maintained and used as a tool can be used to obtain Being and Becoming.
    DW> That's about it.

  • Later I found an email exchange which seems to echo this: alt.satanism, 04 Jul 94 17:08:36, From: Balanone, Subj: Re: Dogma

    On 01 Jul 94 17:10:06, posted to All concerning: Re: Dogma ...

    ti> (Balanone) writes:
    >"Dogma" is the blind adherence to past teachings, without the flexibility
    >of adapting to new discoveries or philosophies.

    ti> Dogma is required belief. What you are defining is not its
    ti> denotation, but a connotation which it has acquired as a result of
    ti> theological liberalization.

    ti> Any belief which is required in order to be a member of a group is
    ti> dogma, and there is no group which is without dogma, though in many
    ti> cases the dogma is unwritten and informal. Zen is dogmatic...

    Given that restricted definition (can you quote a reference for it, to counter the references seen to date), then by that restricted definition the Temple of Set does require the following dogma from its members:

    1) Each human being is an individual who is capable of taking independent action, and who is ultimately responsible for the actions taken (ie: there's no recourse to "___(fillintheblank)___ made me do it" or "it's ok, since ___(fillintheblank)___ will forgive me").

    2) One class of actions which is highly desirable to take consists of those actions which involve self improvement and the advancement of one's self (advancement in knowledge, understanding, ability, nobility, etc).

    From my experience, those are the only basic beliefs required of any I* or II* Setian.

    ti> Just as present-day racism is harder to confront than that of the
    ti> 1950's because it is tacit rather than overt, groups which claim to
    ti> have no dogma may have the hardest time facing the questions of
    ti> liberalization. They do have dogma, but they cannot see it as such,
    ti> and therefore cannot decide to reduce it. Their members would be
    ti> better served by explicit dogma which could then be the subject of
    ti> rational discussion.

    I can agree with that analysis, but based on my own experience within the Temple of Set, including those times when I have disagreed publicly with various beliefs held by leaders within the Temple, I don't think there is any other dogma to be found in the organization. I'm open to correction if anyone can suggest any other "required beliefs."

3.0  Religion

3.1  The Temple of Set as a Religion

Is the Temple of Set a religion?

  • The Temple of Set is a tax-exempt religious corporation.

  • On Jun 9, 1994, John Machate posted in the PODS ADF echo, and I responded:

    JM> As Coordinator of the Military Pagan Network, I have Classified
    JM> the Church of Satan as a Judeo-Christian Religion, and are not
    JM> listed in the MPN data base of groups. Temple of Set is listed as
    JM> an occult lodge since I have not seen any evidence that it is a
    JM> religion.


    What evidence would you wish to see to determine whether Setianism is a religion? (To many it's not -- it's primarily a philosophy and a way of life, but it is a religion to its priesthood and quite a few others. I am a member of that religion.)

    Have you seen the Institute for the Study of American Religion's _Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for Chaplains_, published for the U.S Department of the Army?

    In the Temple of Set's entry, under the section "Basic Beliefs", we find:

    > The Temple considers itself to be consecrated by and dedicated to Set, originally an ancient Egyptian deity. One rival cult, that of Osiris whose myths were erroneously assumed to be "pan-Egyptian" by later civilizations portrayed Set as the god of evil. Setians themselves, however, did not then and do not now consider Set an evil figure, nor consider the Setian religion merely a refutation of conventional religion.

    Setians perceive the universe as a non-conscious but ordered environment within which Set has, over a period of millennia, altered the genetic development of at least one form of life to create a species humanity possessing an enhanced, self-conscious intelligence. The techniques and teachings of the Temple are designed to identify and develop this higher evolutionary potential in appropriate individuals.

    In my opinion, those two paragraphs describe a religion. Would you agree? Also in my opinion, while those two paragraphs are necessarily an over-simplification of the religion, they are accurate.

  • Fr. Ignatius asked on the Xepera-L mailing list, May 22, 1999:
    If ToS is a "legally recognized" entity, is it then tax-exempt? And are ToS Priests able to perform legally binding marriage ceremonies? I was wondering because I know that gov't recognition of one's path as a *real* religion has been an issue in the neo-pagan community for quite a while.

    Yes, from its initial incorporation, the Temple of Set is a legal religious corporation within the State of California, and it is fully tax exempt. (I believe most of us would gladly do away with the tax exemption of all religious organizations, losing our own if it meant that all Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Scientologist, and other religions also paid their fair taxes. But as long as they are tax exempt, we'll save our money this way also.)

    Yes, Setian Priests are able to perform legally binding marriage ceremonies.

3.2  Set

  • SetSet is the most ancient name for the Prince of Darkness, given to the Prince of Darkness in ancient (pre-dynastic) Egypt. Whether Set exists as an independent metaphysical being, or whether he's a symbol for man's most individualistic attributes, is a topic always under discussion somewhere in the Temple of Set.

  • You may also be interested in essays concerning the Prince of Darkness provided by Balanone (The Prince of Darkness) and High Priest Don Webb (Concerning our Patron).

3.3  The Gift of Set

  • The Gift of Set means so many different things depending upon whom you speak to. To some it's the gift of Intelligence, to some it's Consciousness, to some it's the ability to step back from the current moment/place to see/think about what's happening. To some it's the ability to work (or at least conceive of) magic. etc. The Gift of Set is whatever happens to separate us (those with potential) from animals (those without quite as much potential), which is one of the grey areas that haven't been clarified very well (some of us not seeing very much difference between humans and "higher" animals).

  • alt.satanism, 19 Mar 94 17:33:19, From:, Subj: Our Selves, our selves

    I've just been reading some fascinating documents from the Temple of Set, and have a few questions I'd be interested to hear from others about (Setians and non-Setians alike). If Set is the Platonic Form of Consciousness, is He the idea human? Will all fully Realized and Remanifested Setians become like Set? Wouldn't that be the case if Set is Perfected consciousness, all other beings whose consciousness is different be by definition imperfect? Wouldn't this then contradict the idea of the non-surrender of the Self, as two Selves be in essence the same Being? And is our consciousness, which is the Gift of Set, the same as our individuality? If so did Set make me in some primal era? Or was there a me with a sliver of Setian consciousness implanted in it?

  • alt.satanism, 24 Mar 94 21:05:19, From:, Subj: Re: Our Selves, our selves

    I haven't read much on the TOS, but I determine that the epitomy, that is the highest qualities of man are at the root of it. To not only aspire, but to acheive perfection is the setian ideal. Thus, SET is that which is most admirable in man/woman. I have the same question you have. Does a setian believe in lux or nox incarnata? What is the idea on reincarnation? How about another spiritual body pulling the strings on an earthly body? What about a ladder to the higher <G> or lower? Who cares?

  • alt.satanism, 27 Mar 94 11:37:57, From: Michael Aquino, Subj: RE: Our Selves, our selves

    (1) Unfamiliar with the terms "lux/nox incarnata".

    (2) Set is not "that which is most admirable in man/woman". Set is a _neter_ [or Platonic Form] distinct from any man/woman. The Gift of Set - individual, psychecentric consciousness, is itself neither "good" nor "evil".

    (3) Reincarnation does not occur, but the initiated psyche may continue its self-aware existence past the need for a body (which initially serves as a crutch with which to define itself in time/space).

    (4) Inherent in the Gift of Set is that it constitutes perfect discretion on the part of the recipient. Free will is necessarily non-string-pulled, as it were.

    (5) Who cares? True initiation is of significance only to the individual [and to Set].

  • alt.satanism, Tue, 29 Mar 94 07:56:41 -0500, From:, Subject: Re: Our Selves, our selves

    I have been re-reading Temple documents which have shed some light on my first question, as well as hearing helpful replies from other quarters. It appears to me that each Self is not necessarily identical to all other Selves, like all atman identical to other atman in Hindu thought. The Self, like the self, is a unique combination of events that happen to it _in_ timespace. 'Even reaching it's perfection, it still remains unique.

    The Gift of Set, as I understand it, is not our individual consciousness per se (Set didn't make me in some primal era), but the quality of consciousness. This is simply the tool by which the Dennis which already exists come to his full potential. There would have been a Dennis without the Gift, but a non-sentient Dennis.

3.4  Religious Setianism

On October 21, 1996, Magister Roger Whitaker sent an email to the internal Setian mailing list discussing religious Setianism. In April of 1998 I found that he published a copy on one of his web sites. I've copied that, edited it just a little, and placed it on my web site as

4.0  Magic

4.1  Black Magic

  • What is Black Magic? How does the Temple of Set teach it?

    Black Magic is consciously-directed alteration of one's environment through obscure natural (Lesser Black Magic) or non-natural (Medial Black Magic) means, or apprehension of the Forms/Principles of the natural/non-natural universe (Greater Black Magic). Black Magic inverts the formula of religion form "Thy will be done!" to "My will be done!"

    The Temple of Set teaches both theory and practice of LBM/MBM/GBM, along with individual and social ethical considerations to which the Initiate must be sensitive in order to use such magical knowledge creatively, constructively, and responsibly. [Descriptions of "Black Magic" as involving human or animal sacrifice, rape, or other illegal or reprehensible practices are merely Judaeo/Christian propaganda, and have no basis in truth whatever.]

4.2  Ritual Practices

Setian ritual practice is generally not discussed in public forums. However, some specific questions seem to require answers.

  • Do you sacrifice animals (or children)?

    Sacrifice, like prayer, assumes a gap between the divine and the human. Setians shun activities which keep them further from their own godhood. Those who seek energy outside of their minds and wills, are too weak for the practice of Black Magic.

    Apr 27, 1996, Alan Cabal: I cannot overemphasize my personal abhorrence of animal sacrifice. I do not think that it is the most efficient method of producing the energy necessary for such a rite. I would further submit that there are numerous hazards associated with such practices that outweigh any possible benefits of that type of technique. Esthetically, animal sacrifice is very crude and unrefined. Magickally, it is simply outdated.

    May 01, 1996, Black Wulf: Ritual methods that do not use animal sacrifice are well promoted within and without the Temple of Set. We have never engaged in animal sacrifice of any kind so there's no image to change. Any claims that we do any form of animal or blood sacrifice is fabricated by those trying to make a name for themselves.

  • Miscellaneous questions about ritual: asked a number of good questions in netmail and on alt.pagan in late '95 and early '96. One exchange included:

    gw> Do you use a circle for protection (and to hold in what you
    gw> want held in) when you're working?

    >No. There's nothing in the occult arena as powerful as I am
    >in my own space, so there's no need for protection.

    gw> So is that space protected? Do you use any sort of permanent
    gw> protection? IOW - You feel your space has been cleared of
    gw> negative influence permanently? How large is this space?

    Yes, I protect my space. Whether that protection is permanent or not is subject to debate -- I do strengthen that protection from time to time. How large? Large enough to contain me and mine.

    >> Do you invoke entities to help you?

    >Yes, I'll invoke/evoke entities when appropriate.

    gw> Is there someone you invoke regularly besides the Prince
    gw> of Darkness? Why do you invoke these other entities?

    I evoke Ma'at and Xepera quite regularly, and several other Egyptian neteru more frequently than others. My evocations tend to be Egyptian more than from other cultures, though I have worked with some European gods, and sometimes Cyote.

    gw> Do you ever invoke the Prince of Darkness?


    gw> When you invoke him, how do you know it's him? I'm not being
    gw> sarcastic at all with any of this, so don't ever be thinking that.
    gw> To explain, I think maybe it'd be best if I tell
    gw> you what I believe as a pantheist magician. I believe the
    gw> Universe is God (not the Xtian "God" in any way), who is not "out
    gw> there" waiting for us to pray to it, but contains all
    gw> the energies anyone could ever hope for, including all the
    gw> spirits. As one of these spirits, I am a god (note that I
    gw> hang in there with what I was taught in English classes and don't
    gw> care much if I'm PC on gender). I don't worship the
    gw> gods of any pantheons, since I believe they are of human
    gw> construction, but I do recognize that some entities may
    gw> choose to play god for anyone who wants them to. Therefore, I am
    gw> careful *not* to invoke anybody. On occasion I use
    gw> circles and ritual to raise and hold and discharge energy with
    gw> willed intent.. I have permanently protected my space.

    It's a fair question. If there is a powerful Prince of Darkness that I invoke and who answers my invocations, he's powerful enough to fool me in a wide variety of ways. If there's one like that, there could be several. So how do I know who/what I'm dealing with?

    I don't. Based upon the teachings within my tradition (Setianism), based upon my experiences with him, and based upon discussions with and feedback from others whom I respect in this area, I make the best determination I can.

    Occult/spiritual evidence that I've gathered indicates a consistency which supports the theory that I deal with one major being. The attitudes of that being are consistent with the Prince of Darkness as I know and understand him. I use this information and perspective as a working theory at least until something better comes along.

    gw> Would you call yourself a ceremonial magician?

    >Yes, though I'm less restricted in my ceremonies than most.

    gw> Could you, please, explain what you mean by this? In what
    gw> way are they restricted or are you not?

    Most ceremonial magicians are tied to specific forms of ritual, traditions of ritual. My tradition insists on originality, personal meaning, and to an extent eclecticism in ritual. I hardly ever repeat any ritual, and I'm always developing new concepts and techniques, though I do enjoy carrying forward some themes from one ritual to another related ritual.

  • Can any Setian invoke Set?

    From: Balanone, To: Diane Vera, Aug 06 '95, 10:51, private mailing list, Subj : Re: Spiritual goals

    >In most GBM rituals, you invoke contructs of
    >your own subjective universe into objective reality. Kind of like
    >shades or shadows of your own being. In some rare instants it might
    >indeed be possible to come into contact with an intelligence other
    >than yourself. I've never personally had that happen. Aquino claims
    >he has, but that is his own subjective experience.

    Dn> Mowry has told me that people within the Temple hold that
    Dn> nobody below the rank of Priest has the ability to "invoke"
    Dn> (which may or may not be the same thing as "come into
    Dn> contact with") Set. Can you comment on whether this is an
    Dn> accurate statement?

    All Setians are able to "invoke" Set, a term normally used to refer to formal ritual invocation. The invocation of Set is part of the sample ritual offered to all I* Setians in the _Crystal Tablet_, giving them text they can work from, a) for use in their own rituals whenever they wish, b) from which they can develop different invocations to Set if they wish.

    It's been the practice in every Pylon I've ever been a member of to have different Setians invoke Set on some sort of a flexible rotation basis, so everyone does it eventually. Priests of Set because of their advanced Initiation, Xeper, and experience do it "better" on average, and because of that they probably do it more often in the group setting, but II* and I* Setians can (and IMO should) invoke Set in group and private ritual.

    In one Pylon I remember, it was unofficial policy that whenever a new member joined the Pylon the first meeting's invocation would be done by a Priest. The next couple of invocations would be done by Adepts (at the next few meetings). Then perhaps one or more I* Setians would do the invocation, until the new member (now with four months or more of membership, having had the opportunity to read the _Crystal Tablet_, and having seen various types or methods of invocation with different texts) would invoke Set during the pylon ritual. IMO this "demonstration and involvement" method worked very well, and made all Setians in that pylon very comfortable and confident in their invocations of Set.

    Every international Conclave (any many regional Conclaves as well) include a I* & II* ritual, which III*+ Setians simply do not attend. These rituals invoke Set just like any other ritual will, and these invocations have been very successful and powerful indeed.

4.3  Occult Studies

4.3.1    Astrology

  • Base of Set echo, From: Balanone, To: Blaise, 23 Feb 93 20:01:09, Subj: Re: Astrology and ToS

    On 19 Feb 93 19:37:04, Blaise posted a message to Balanone concerning "Astrology and ToS"...

    B> Perhaps you might be able to satisfy my query as to the apparent
    B> dislike of astrology on the part of ToS. ...

    I'd not go so far as to say that the Temple of Set is anti-astrology itself, rather that Setians in general are anti-divination, in that the future can not be foretold with accuracy by any means other than examining the present and its trends.

    There have been and continue to be astrologers within the Temple of Set. Magistra W. (a founding member, currently on leave of absence from the Temple) is very much interested in astrology, modern and ancient. Priestess N. is also very dedicated to her pursuit of knowledge through astrology. There have been others, though these are the only two I know of within the Priesthood.

    The Executive Director and the entire central staff know of these, and don't have any bias against astrology as practiced by these two. Astrology is one of those occult arts which is very easily practiced from the RHP point of view, where the stars and planet "tell" the astrologer what's up, or what's going to be happening in the future.

    Instead, the approach taken by Setian astrologers is that astrology is a study of relationships, trends, and symbols. They use astrology's hints similarly to the way I use tarot, as a mechanism for unlocking the barriers to my own knowledge and action.

    My guess from your description is that you sounded very much like the common astrologer who reads the stars, consults the books, and makes pronouncements. That type of blind faith in astrology is not Setian.

    B> As astrology is the
    B> oldest of all occult studies and inspired the study of mathematics to
    B> the invention of calculus it amazes me that any occult organization
    B> would not only decide not to study it but to declare it unsound.

    How was astrology involved in the invention of calculus? I don't think Newton had any interest at all in astrology (though in astronomy, yes).

    And just because astrology may have been useful in the past, why should that mean we need to recognize it as being sound now? It appears that all directly useful information is now found within astronomy, which has left the superstition of astrology behind.

    Likewise, a flat-earth point of view was very useful, and without it we'd very likely not have the knowledge or techniques of surveying which are critical to today's society, but that doesn't mean we need to pay any attention to the flat-earth point of view today.

    If you find value in astrology, where is that value? What do you get out of it? How do you use it? Those are the questions you'd need to answer in order to show Setians that there is any value to your approach to astrology.

    In January, 2001, Tom Ace pointed me to which includes the paragraph (apparently quoted from Carl Sagan's Cosmos):

    Like Kepler, he was not immune to the superstitions of his day and had many encounters with mysticism, At the Stourbridge Fair in 1663, at age of twenty, he purchased a book on astrology, "out of a curiosity to see what there was in it." He read it until he came to an illustration which he could not understand, because he was ignorant of trigonometry. So he purchased a book on trigonometry but soon found himself unable to follow the geometric arguments. So he found a copy of Euclid's Elements of Geometry and began to read. Two years later he invented the differential calculus.
    Assuming the quote is accurate, and that Carl Sagan was correct, then yes, Newton had a short curiosity in astrology. That curiosity seems to have launched him in his mathematical work. But a) I don't see any justification for saying Newton was interested in astrology over any significant period of time, b) I don't see justification for saying that astrology inspired the study of mathematics in general, c) nor that astrology inspired the invention of calculus.

4.3.2    Thelema and Crowley

  • Setian Discussions echo, Mon Nov 25, 20:50, From : Alan Cabal, To : Patrick, Subj : Re: Aleister Crowley

    Pa> 1. I have been reading the posts put up here with interest, and noticed
    Pa> that whenever Aleister Crowley is mentioned, it is usually in a
    Pa> "disapproving" light. Is there a reason for this? I was under the
    Pa> assumption that he was a respected occultist. Is the Setian line in
    Pa> general against the works of Crowely, or is it like all Setian things... a
    Pa> matter for the individual to decide.
    Pa> 2. It has been mentioned that this is the "Aeon of Horus". Is this
    Pa> Correct? How does set fit into this Aeon? What is the Setian view of the
    Pa> concept of Horus? On Set and Horus's relationship. Is he viewed more as
    Pa> an individualistic force or deified or what? Is all of this really just up
    Pa> to the individualistic interpretaions of each Setite?

    Speaking strictly for myself, a recognized Adept of the Temple Of Set and one well-versed in Crowley's Work, I'd like to try to address part of that.

    Horus1. Crowley was ahead of his time, but very much trapped in it. It was necessary to "shake the world" to shatter the existing paradigm and unseal the books and secrets. He was unquestionably the William shakespeare of the "occult": prolific, brilliant, and unhesitatingly revealing. He was also (in modern psychiatric jargon) histrionic, grandiose, manipulative, infantile, and a malignant narcissist, incapable of forming and maintaining lasting relationships and hopelessly addicted to multiple substance abuse and overstimulation in general. So, like many great creative minds, he was something of a paradox. I love Picasso's work, too, but I wouldn't want him as a roommate.

    2. It is my impression that the Temple Of set views Aeonic structure as a series of paradigms to be transcended, as opposed to the Orthodox Thelemite view that the Aeons are part of a linear time scheme not unlike the Mayan Calendar. The Aeons would seem to be coterminous in Setian cosmology, with the Initiate flowing through them. Set's relationship to the Aeon Of Horus is interesting and complex. Crowley is quite ambiguous about it, but seems to imply that Set is the guiding force behind Aiwass, the messenger or voice behind the transmission of Liber AL. Certain revisionists (mainly Kenneth Grant) have gone off the deep end with this idea. The Temple Of set is somewhat more restrained in its approach, and while I know quite a bit about Crowley, I'm remarkably ignorant of scholarly Egyptology. There are others here who can better address the remainder of your query regarding the relationship between Horus and Set.

5.0  The Organization

5.1  Membership in the Temple

  • Exploration

    Joining the Temple of Set is a serious decision. Anyone who is attracted to the Temple of Set through the things you see and hear should investigate thoroughly before applying for membership.

    • On April 14, 1996, Balanone posted the following response to a question on Xepera-l:

      > ... After correspondence with Adept Jay (thanx) I joined this list for a better understanding of the angle and activity links, but am still unsure what joining in the middle of the city of San Francisco, CA would mean for me!?!?!? ie the style and benefits of involvement, formally, in such a group- as opposed to continuing solitarily---

      >especially considering that a degree of "dogmatic symbols" have been developed andmembership in any "society" should be taken seriously, but I am unsure how to do so until I know more......

      I'd say the best way to find out about the (in)compatibilities that might arise by formal affiliation would be to discuss them with local Setian(s).

      Send a letter to the Executive Director, with a brief introduction like you had in your post, and ask to be put into contact with a local Priest of Set in your area. You'll then be able to explore the possible benefits and problems of affiliation with someone who knows the local Setian scene as well as the larger picture, and who's able to give you solid information by which you can judge whether affiliation might be beneficial or harmful for your personal path.

  • Affiliation

    Application to the Temple of Set may be made to the Executive Director or to any Priest of Set. Information about this procedure is provided in the introductory letter.

    • Assuming you're approved for membership (the Executive Director has indicated that the majority of applicants are denied), you as a I° Setian you will receive 1) the current edition of the Crystal Tablet of Set, which includes all of the basic philosophical, magical, and initiatory material any Setian would need to begin and accomplish his initiation to the II°, 2) a I° Pentagram of Set medallion, and 3) a year's subscription to the Scroll of Set newsletter.

    • You will have two years in which to achieve the II°, using the information and inspiration provided by the Crystal Tablet, by correspondence and other contact with Setians, and through your own work towards Initiation.

    • Following from our choice to avoid all practices that would create a barrier between us and our self-created divinity, the Setian can not in good faith hold membership in any other religious organization after he has become an Adept. Membership in organizations that advocate illegal action are likewise incompatible with Setian affiliation. One cannot be for one's own Xeper, and be working to restrict the Xeper of another.

    • The application and its approval.

      Though some applications are approved and acted upon quickly, other applications for membership in the Temple of Set seem to take a very long time. Our "staff" are all volunteers, and their administrative activities within the Temple of Set are given appropriate priorities, behind personal initiation, family, and career. Therefore, be prepared for some delay in the processing of your application. If the delay seems overly long, it's always helpful to send a friendly query to the Executive Director asking about its status.

      One applicant asked on Xepera-l: "I sent off my letter of application about three weeks ago now- and I still haven't heard a word. Any idea how long it takes to get a response?"

      • Adept Foster answered:

        Once you've submitted your letter of application, it can take anywhere from one to three months before you hear anything. I know it sucks to have to wait that long without knowing, but these things take time- especially when you consider exactly HOW BUSY the Temple's Executive Director is (and that being the E.D. is a full time job, ON TOP of a normal, *paying* full time job- and then add in some time for family, other official Temple matters and their own personal Initiatory work!) All told, I'm surprised it happens as quickly as it does.

        Just consider this a lesson in patience, and enjoy the anticipation. :)

      • My answer was:

        It's highly variable, depending on how busy our volunteer Executive Director is, and how busy her staff is, and how much difficulty she has finding an available Priest for the interview process. Then the question becomes how busy that Priest is, whether he has email capabilities, etc.

        You can send a quick email to her at and verify that she at least received your letter of application.

    • Base of Set echo, From: Balanone, To: Zbigniew Nitecki, 27 Mar 93 12:59:18, Subj: Re: Setian Application

      ZN> I've been quite interested
      ZN> in joining the Temple of Set for a while now and I have the
      ZN> application. The only problem is that the letter, essay they
      ZN> requested has me a bit scared. ...
      ZN> I feel quite intimidated by the other Setians
      ZN> and have this awful feeling that if I mail in my application there
      ZN> going to get a big laugh, say "Hell No" and stamp a big "REJECTED"
      ZN> across it. Its not the fact that I can't write, I'm just intimidated.
      ZN> Lack of knowledge on the subject is the primary reason. I have more
      ZN> of a scientific background.

      I'm probably one of those that scare you. I've been in the Temple of Set for well over a decade, and feel qualified to call myself an accomplished Adept.

      When I joined the Temple of Set in 1977 I didn't even know how to spell magick. :-)

      The introductory letter is intentionally aimed at directing novices who might join this organization or that organization or the other one to look elsewhere instead of the Temple of Set, since we simply don't have much in the way of resources for helping entry-level magicians learn their way around. All of us, at all levels, are busy doing our own thing, and while we do help each other somewhat, our time and abilities are limited.

      Therefore, a novice who applies to the Temple of Set needs to be prepared to work intensively on their own, with minimal guidance, and to become Adept magicians through their own efforts, within the 2-year time limit.

      If you can do this, and if the philosophies of the Temple of Set are aligned with your own philosophies, then hell yes, send in your application!

    • Base of Set echo, From: Balanone, To: Paladin, 02 May 93 13:23:53, Subj: Re: More questions

      On 01 May 93 17:42:00, Paladin posted a message to Balanone concerning "More questions"...

      P> What is so effective about Setian techniques that the Setian
      P> initiate can achieve a level self awareness & self consciousness in
      P> as little as two years? What test or task is given to verify this
      P> new level of consciousness? Are these "tests" objective or purely
      P> subjective?

      Effective? Who ever said our techniques were effective? Our techniques depend very strongly upon the interest, dedication, and activity of the individual initiates. Quite a few people who look at our techniques don't find them effective at all, and they never achieve the II* within the Temple of Set. (I've been very happy with the results of these techniques, but then I'm thought to be an excessively perfectionist, self-starting and self-motivated, swelled-headed egotist, who almost lives up to his own expectations.)

      How do you classify "this new level of consciousness"? A new level of consciousness great enough to cause the world to bow down at your feet is *not* a requirement for II* Recognition. Rather, the II* Recognition is a statement that the initiate has shown the dedication to his/her own Xeper, and the initiative, and the ability to achieve such self awareness and self consciousness through their own work.

      Yes, I believe that Setian Adepti are more "awake" than the great majority of humanity, but it's like getting out of bed when the alarm has just gone off. You're up and about, but you're not yet quite AWAKE.

      The "test ... given to verify this new level of consciousness" is the process of II* Recognition, whereby a Priest of Set (III*) Recognizes that a Setian has become Adept (II*). There is no written or similarly "objective" test, but rather a fairly extensive set of criteria in various areas which indicate the Adept's qualifications for that Grade. (They are fairly well described in an article concerning Initiation and Recognition in the _Crystal Tablet of Set_.)

      But is this test "only" subjective? Ordinarily you might say so, since it revolves around one person's opinion (that of a single Priest of Set), but in general there is universal agreement concerning an Adept's Recognition once that Adept gets to be known to others throughout the Temple, and so something in the process seems to imply something more than "*mere*" subjectivity.

      Is the process perfect? No, but neither are supposedly objective tests one can fill out and grade by computer.

      P> Why is two years considered by some such a short time to accomplish
      P> this? Just what is/are the course parameters, areas, fields of study
      P> etc. for the neophyte?

      As I said, this is covered fairly well in a _Crystal Tablet_ article, which I won't quote in depth there. A quick (and partial) list might include:
      1) Knowledge of Setian philosophy
      2) Agreement with and dedication to Setian philosophy
      3) Knowledge of and ability to use Setian symbolism (everything from specific words such as Xeper, Remanifestation, and Runa to symbolism concerning the Pentagram of Set and the images of the Egyptian neteru), the ideas of Plato's Forms, the Golden Ratio, basic Crowleyana, etc.
      4) Demonstration of actual Xeper (progress toward an awakened and empowered state of being).
      5) Demonstration of actual xeper (improved control over the initiate's life in general, and especially the initiate's mundane situations).
      6) Knowledge of lesser black magic (psychological tools of manipulation) and a) the ability to determine when such are being applied to you and to avoid their effects, b) the ability to determine when such are warranted for the manipulation of others, and c) the ability to successfully do so.
      7) Knowledge of greater black magic (the manipulation of reality through magical means).
      8) Demonstration of ability in greater black magic.
      9) Demonstration of the ability to work with others in joint magical ventures.
      10) Demonstration of the ability to work with others in mutual benefit along any of the above goals.
      11) Dedication to one's own personal Xeper.
      12) Dedication to the Temple of Set and our fellow initiates as long as it remains a viable and useful tool for the furtherance of all of the above. (Not blind devotion, since initiates are encouraged to speak up if they disagree with things being done or the reasons for same, but rather an agreement to band together against forces designed to weaken or destroy this organization which benefits us.)

    • Lewis Cawthorne asked on Xepera-l, Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998, Subject: TOS & Recognition
      Not to put the cart before the horse, but I do have one minor concern, how would an Initiate in a small town in North Carolina with some resources at his disposal for traveling to other places for contact with other Setians but probably without adequate resources to be able to make it to a normal pylon meeting should one be within a reasonable distance of his location (which there probably isn't) ever manage to have enough contact with a Priest of the temple to be reconized as an Adept?

      From: "Koyote", Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998

      (All of this is from the p.o.v. of a first degree Setian with little face to face contact due to where I am and my job hours- I work most on weekends.)

      Recognition, you should remember, is just that- Recognition. The work must be done by you. Communicating that can take many forms other than direct F2F. Publishing articles in the various newsletters, communicating with other Initiates via direct email, phone conversations, and attending larger gatherings (which occur in the continental US many times each year) are all adequate.

      From: "fun fear", Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998,

      As an isolated Setian, I had similiar concerns, but I must agree with Koyote. The Internet is a wonderful tool for contacting Priests and Priestesses, and as Koyote suggested, writing articles for _The Scroll of Set_ is equally rewarding. Also, there are several correspondence Pylons available.

      Beyond this, I have realized that one should _embrace_ one's isolation. Just look to Set as an example: the apotheosis of the different and isolate! You have _two years_ to get Recognized--plenty of time to explore, make contacts with the Priesthood, and, if worthy, become Recognized. You don't need a group to hold your hand to do it, I hope! Embrace the isolation, ebrace the Darkness!

      From: Balanone <>, Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998

      It's a challenge. That hypothetical Initiate would have to Work at it -- corresponding with as many Setians as possible at the I* and II* levels (for breadth of perspective) and with several members of the Priesthood. He would have to take responsibility for maintaining correspondences, for establishing new ones to replace old ones that move on, and for demonstrating to the Priesthood his level of knowledge, his activity and study, and his advancement, along Setian lines.

      It's a job. It's not easy. Magister L. was the only Setian in Finland, and he had to work to overcome the difficulties inherent in demonstrating his Xeper into the II*. Magister W. faced the same challenges in Germany some years earlier. Magister K and Magister A in the British Isles had it almost as bad, but at least English was their native language (though they had to deal with many curve balls tossed by our writing most Setian materials in American English rather than British English).

      It's not easy, as Priestess N, Adept B, Priest C, Adept D, Magistra H, Priest R, Priest W, and several others can report (several were the only Setians in their state, and a couple were the only Setians in their country).

      It's not easy, but it can be done, as these have shown. Only you can tell whether you're up to the task.

      From: Christopher Merwin, Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998

      As a Temple Initiate from a small town in North Carolina I think perhaps I can help you with some of your queries. Due to the widespread distribution of Temple members many Pylons are organized based around correspondence, with email and Pylon newsletters as the primary form of communication. In fact, due to the highly private and individualistic nature of most Setians this is our prefered means of communication. ... The ability for you to meet face to face with other Initiates is left completely up to you and the other Initiates involved. The largest obstacle to being a Setian in the Carolinas is the local attitudes toward other non-christian religions, which any intelligent and sensitive individual should be more than capable of handeling.
  • Departure

    You may choose to resign from the Temple of Set at any time for any reason. The great majority of people who leave the Temple of Set do so simply by not paying their annual dues, and letting their memberships expire. Many others send a simple and courteous resignation letter to the Executive Director or any Priest.

    A few members are automatically expelled upon the completion of two years of membership during which they did not achieve the II°. There are surprisingly few of these to my mind, probably because the Executive Director and Priesthood do such a good job of screening applicants.

    Fewer members resign because they encounter something within the Temple of Set which they don't like, and fewer still are expelled because they prove to be incompatible with Setian philosophy or life.

  • Rejoining

    Despite the claims of a few who state otherwise, the Temple of Set does not pursue those who leave the Temple of Set. Whether that separation was friendly, unfriendly, or automatic and impersonal, we feel anyone and everyone should be allowed to go their own way, as long as they don't interfere with our Xeper or the organization.

    A few people who leave the Temple of Set do apply to rejoin the Temple. Setians who have left the Temple of their own accord may be allowed to rejoin on a case-by-case basis. The Temple is not designed as a revolving door, but we do realize that may not have entered the Temple at a time conducive to their development. Those that left impersonally or on an amicable basis are usually welcomed back without hesitation. Those who caused problems during their earlier membership or after their departure are carefully examined before they are welcomed back into the Temple of Set.

  • How long does the application process to the ToS usually take?

    The application process time is highly variable, depending strongly on

    • whether there are any delays in the mail (especially for overseas applicants)
    • the time availability of our volunteer staff (expect longer delays during conclaves and gatherings)
    • whether your application is sponsored by a member of the Priesthood (which generally speeds up the process greatly)
    • whether there is a local Priest readily available to contact you for an interview
    • whether there are copies of the Crystal Tablet available to be mailed out immediately or whether they need to be printed first
    • whether you are accepted or rejected (rejections tend to process faster than acceptances)

    Though some membership applications are processed in as little as two weeks, it's not uncommon for incidental delays to extend the process to two months. If you are concerned about the delay, you may send a polite email or postal mail query to the Executive Director, who should be able to tell you how far the application process has gone.

    As James F Foster wrote on Xepera-l:

    General rule of thumb- before complaining about something, ask yourself: "What am I doing to fix it?" If you aren't doing much on your behalf, why would anyone else?

    Second general rule of thumb: Before complaining about someone else's (lack of) performance, ask if there's a problem with the paperwork and if there's anything you can do to help.

5.2  Relations with Other Organizations

  • By its bylaws, the Temple of Set as an organization can have no formal relationships or ties with any other organization. Individual Setians, however, can work with or have dealings with other organizations and its members. There are two limitations: 1) an Adept II° of the Temple of Set cannot also be a member of another religious organization, and 2) no Setian may be a member of an organization which condones or takes part in the violation of society's laws to the detriment of society.

    That first limitation has often been a subject for discussion by people who don't understand it or who want clarification. One clarification I posted to alt.pagan in 1996 was,

    "The Temple of Set wouldn't care if a Setian chooses to participate in a Buddhist retreat, an Indian sweat lodge, a Thelemic Gnostic Mass, a Passover Seder, a Pagan circle, or whatever. Part of being an Adept Magician is being able to see and mesh with whatever magic is taking place, understanding the causes of the ceremony and participating in those causes as appropriate to our own Will.

    "However, if someone claimed to seriously believe in the wheel of karma, and that Xeper is valueless because until we can learn to avoid all participation in this world we're doomed to ride that wheel cycle after cycle, then yes, that religious belief would be opposed to the Setian principles of Xeper, and that person would not be able to remain a member of the Temple of Set. The two philosophies are simply incompatible."

  • CAW: The Church of All Worlds is a NeoPagan religious body whose history includes what might be called persecution of Satanists and Setians. Several articles condemnatory of the LHP have appeared in their commercially sold newsletter The Green Egg, and their founder, Oberon Zell (previously known as Otter Zell and other similar names) has published a booklet called Witchcraft, Satanism, and Occult Crime: Who's Who and What's What which very clearly targets Satanists, encouraging law officials and Christians to "get them, not us."

    Needless to say, relations between some Satanists, Setians, and some members of CAW are strained. On the other hand, there are many members of CAW and many Satanists and Setians who know nothing about the booklet, and nothing about the history of conflict, and so those relations aren't affected by these at all. Such relations between members of CAW and Setians can be quite friendly and productive.

    There was a group of people, Setians, Satanists, CAW members, and other Pagans and magicians, working to revise that booklet to correct its misinformation and hateful slant, but as of June, 1997, while much had been accomplished to improve communications between these people, the booklet itself had not yet been changed or revised. I'm sorry to report that as of Sept. 1999, the attempts to change that booklet seem to have failed.

  • OTO: The Ordo Templar Orientalis maintains the Order of Horus as declared by Aleister Crowley. Though the OTO considers itself to be a religious organization, and carries tax exemption as such, the Temple of Set sees it as an Initiatory school and not a religion. There are several Setians who have and maintain active memberships in both organizations at various levels of Initiation. (See the Sep 21 '94 post by Hsi Wang Mu (Tyagi) on alt.magick, Subj : "Re: Religion VS Magick TOS OTO!", which includes a quote from Dr. Aquino.

  • AMER: The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions (AMER) is an organization for members of magical and/or Earth-centered religious traditions, working together for freedom of religion for all Americans. They have sometimes been attacked by various Pagans and folk who should know better because they admit Setians and Satanists as members. (Example: alt.pagan, Sep 04 '95, 04:31, From :, Subj: Re: Alliance for Magical & Earth Religions, quotes such comments from D. Kirkpatrick,, in article

    AMER is a civil rights organization. As such, many Setians contribute to AMER in various ways to support the civil rights of all magical and Earth-centered people. At one point Magistra Aquino of the Temple of Set worked for a short period on AMER's board of directors, and there are usually one or two Setians on AMER's advisory board.

    AMER's statement of purpose:

    1. AMER will defend the right of every American to practice his or her own religion, insofar as that religion's practices do not directly harm anyone. In particular, AMER will actively campaign for tolerance for magical and Earth-Centered religions.
    2. AMER will work to promote a positive image for magical and Earth-centered religions, and to counter negative propaganda about such groups.
    3. AMER will promote cooperation among the various magical and Earth-centered religious groups.
    4. AMER will serve as a source of accurate information on magical and Earth-centered religions and practices.

    In my view, anyone who castigates AMER or others who work to increase the civil liberties of today's Pagans deserves no support or respect from anyone.

    As of September, 1999, I'm no longer able to find a web site for AMER. If anybody knows of an updated web site, please let me know. Thank you.

5.3  Why the Temple of Set?

  • alt.satanism, Nov 25 '94, 09:34, From : Balanone, Subj: What does the Temple of Set have to offer?

    On Nov 22, 1994, Mr.Azazel wrote to All re: Re: What does the Temple of Set have to offer?

    MA> "Mr. Scratch" <> writes:

    >loyalty. Just to clarify things a bit--I and II degree are not required
    >to beleive in Set's literal existence. The priesthood, however, is
    >chosen from among those who do.

    MA> Why would anyone who did NOT believe in Set join an
    MA> organization that is operated by those who DO believe in
    MA> Set? I personally believe that science will eventually
    MA> explain a great deal that people attribute to the gods and I
    MA> would not trust that science t
    MA> o people who still believed in primitive superstitions.

    Grin, why would any Satanist join any organization? Because she gets some benefit from it. And those who join the Temple of Set, regardless of their belief in Set, generally do get benefit from it, and seem to appreciate the time they spend working within the organization, whether it be a short or a long affiliation.

5.4  Our Reputation(s)

  • Lupo the Butcher, in his "alt.satanism FAQ file", states/stated: "The most vocal of groups which border upon Satanism, is the Temple of Set of Michael Aquino and friends, which splintered away from the Church of Satan in a disagreement over monetary policy. They have a number of nasty habits, including the public publishing of names, addresses and workplaces of former members as a harassment tactic, disinformation regarding Satanic and occult groups, including their own, and a good deal of "we are the one true way" posturing."

    1. See the section on Satanism for a summary of the schism with the Church of Satan.

    2. We do not normally publish the name, addresses, or any other information concerning former members. We do not harass former members. Thousands of exmembers have left the Temple of Set for many different reasons, without any activity such as Lupo complains about.

    3. A few ex-members not only leave the Temple of Set for whatever reason, but they then pursue a campaign of hatred and harassment concerning the Temple of Set. We believe in defending ourselves against such tactics. We believe that anyone who makes such public statements about others should be required to stand by those statements, and so some of us will occasionally mention the names of those who harass us, and the circumstances behind their campaigns.

    4. alt.pagan, Sat Jun 15, '95, 14:22, From :, Subj : Re: Org Satanism/Christianity (was Re: Shared Mythos (was Re: ...)), in response to comments I made in an earlier post:

      >here are quite a few ex-members of the ToS floating around
      >cyberspace who can provide assurances that we do not use coercion
      >to keep anyone as a member, nor bother them if they quit. Nor do
      >we take particular pains to harm those who are disappointed by
      >their time with us and "turn against" us. (There are a few
      >examples of people who actively fight to harm our organization
      >and our members who we will fight against, but I don't think
      >anyone is suggesting a Satanist give up self-defense.)

      I am an ex-Setian who can attest to the veracity of your words, at least in my own case. After I left the Temple about five years ago, I was simply ignored by them. When I encountered Setians on the Net, dealings were always cordial. Even when I started to actively attack the Temple and its members, the reaction was less than violent. (For those unaware of it, I have recently had cause to reconsider my stance and to issue an apology to all concerned in this issue -- an apology which has, in almost all cases, been graciously accepted.)

5.5  Pylons and Orders

5.5.1  Pylons of the Temple of Set

Setians who live in the same area sometimes organize a local pylon in which they can meet together regularly for discussions, study, ritual work, and other activities. See for a good discussion of local pylons within the Temple of Set.

In addition to local pylons, there are correspondence pylons which support the Xeper of Setians who wish to participate in group discussions and activities by correspondence.

5.5.2  Orders of the Temple of Set

  • IV° Setians, Masters of the Temple, may found Orders within the Temple of Set. If you were to think of the Temple of Set as a college of higher learning, the Orders could be seen as departments within the school, each concentrating on specific flavors of exploration. They are places for the Adept to specialize in pursuit of the specialized tools for their personal achievement. Some Orders, like the Order of the Vampyre or the Order of the Trapezoid, are well known beyond the boundaries of the Temple walls, while others have lower profiles.

  • The Order of the Trapezoid has been the subject of many questions, largely due to its visibility, to Magus Flowers' activity in it, Dr. Aquino's founding of it, etc. In answer to some of those questions, I posted: alt.satanism, 10 Jun 94 10:19:21, From: Balanone, in response to, Subj: Re: Temple Of Set - the view in Sweden

    PA> Within the Temple of Set there are different orders who all
    PA> practise black magic. The temple's inner circel is called The Order of
    PA> The Trapezoid.

    Yes, there are different orders. Since we call our magic "black magic" (meaning individual- oriented magic, as opposed to "white" self-less magic, along with other distinctions), all of these orders practice our black magic.

    Yes, one order is the Order of the Trapezoid, but I wouldn't call it an "inner circle" -- Dr. Aquino founded this Order, but neither the Chairman of the Council of Nine nor the Executive Director of the ToS belong to this order (one order among many). (Neither of the two previous Chairmen of the Council of Nine belong to the Order of the Trapezoid either. The Treasurer does. The O.T. is one of the three largest Orders within the Temple of Set.)

    PA> This order is trying to make use of the german magical
    PA> traditions and connect to the occult use that was used within some
    PA> parts of the SS during the Third Reich. In autumn 1984 Michael Aquino
    PA> visited the order-castle Wewelsburg in germany, where SS earlier
    PA> gathered for their secret rituals. In the castles nothern tower, called
    PA> Walhalla, did Michael Aquino preform blackmagic rituals.

    The Order of the Trapezoid does much else also, working heavily with Runes, angular functions of all sorts of activities and environments, technological magics, etc. The German angle does seem to get more publicity than the rest for some reason.

    mo> This Order is trying to fulfill the germanic magical
    mo> traditions and binds it to the occult use which was practised within
    mo> parts of the SS during the Third Reich.

    No, the Order of the Trapezoid is not bound or limited to the occult studies of the Third Reich, nor even to Germanic occultism. Germanic occultism is one of their specialties and concentrations, but their studies go much further than that.

5.6  The High Priest

  • The High Priest of the Temple of Set at this time is Magus Don Webb.

  • The High Priest is chosen by the Chairman of the Council of Nine, and serves indefinitely until he vacates the position or is removed from office by the Chairman.

  • The High Priest serves as the President of the corporation.

  • Xepera-l, From, Tue Nov 26, '96, 06:45, in response to Tigger, Subj : Tigger's Post

    >If I have understood correctly, Mr Don Webb is the man "in
    >charge" (what do you call it?) of the word Xeper. But what does
    >that mean? And how did that happen? And why did the word pass
    >from one person to another?

    My job is to expand Xeper into new Realms. If you want a quick difference between Michael Aquino's slice of the Xeper pie and my own, I would say that Michael Aquino's Word is best rendered as "Become" a command that awoke the Aeon of Set. My own Word, is "I Have Come Into Being." Both are fine translations of the verb Xeper. The Work I hope to make people aware is how to find power in the choices they've already made in their lives -- how to use their experience as a lever for their further Becoming. I can point out horizons, but I'm not "in charge" of Xeper The human who says that Word truthfully, marveling at his own awakened divinity, but also humble because they realize they have so far to go is "in charge." I can make any number of policy decision in the Temple, subject to the folks I work for -- the Council of Nine --, but I can't effect anyone's Xeper. That treasure is mine and mine alone.

    Crowley said that a Magus should have a Book, a Law, and a Word. Let us look at each of these ideas in turn.

    The purpose of a Book is to inflame the hearts of Kings. The "books" of the Magi are not the books of the world. They aren't meant to reach a mass audience; although the Magus himself may need to do so. The Book is some or all of the Magus' writings, at it center should be a concise articulation of the Magus' philosophy. The test of the Book is not how well written it is; although a Magus must be a master of words. The test is in its effect upon Kings. An inferior sort of person will not understand the Book at all, the philosopher -king will rend his garments filled with such a burning desire to change his kingdom. The Book is never received in a lukewarm fashion, and its effect can be measured in the objective universe. It will serve as a guide for the Magus in his Task as well for those Masters of the Realm that are touched by it. Those Masters will begin, under the influence of the Book, seeking their own Words. These Words are not the Words of the Magi, but are watchwords by which the King rules his kingdom and himself. It is the duty of each Master to find such a watchword in order to communicate the fire he has seen when he read the Book. It is in the nature of the Book that it will survive the Magus, and that it will retain its power to inflame the hearts of Kings. It is the right of nay Master to seek the wisdom of his or her fellow to ask if their Watchword might be a V* Word, and there is no difference among us form those who have found Word and those who have found Watchwords for the Dwellers in the City of Pyramids stand as peers united by our commitment to refine the tool called the Temple as our lifework.

    The Law is the simplest form of the philosophy. It must be too general, for it will fail to serve as a guide. It must not be too narrow. because then it will lead to the Right Hand Path. The Law, unlike the Book, is for all. It should be something that can be explained in a few words to persons of average intelligence and background. The Magus need never be prodded into talking about his Law, indeed there is very little less than he will talk about. If one can contemplate not talking about the Law, one is not ready to take on the Curse. My law is "I Have Come Into Being, and by the Process of my Coming Into Being, the Process of Coming Into Being is Established."

    The Word is a magical link to the world of the Magus' Creation. It has the power of inducing a certain mind-set in a trained (i.e. Initiated) individual. It has the following five properties. Firstly ,it came into existence to correct an imbalance. That is to say, there wasn't enough of the Word in the world at the moment of its Utterance. My Word differs form Michael Aquino's in that his corrected the imbalance of purposelessness that the Word Indulgence has had unleashed; my Word is uttered a single star amid the explosive sophistication unleashed by Michael Aquino's Utterance, as modified by James Lewis, and in the light of possibilities offered us S. Edred Flowers. Each Magus will be able to speak on the ill his Word cures, as well as the Doorway it opens. Secondly, it must suggest a certain action. The words of Magi, are not watchwords by which actions can be tested -- this is the realm of the words of the Masters. They suggest something that must be done. The Art of the Magus is causing change, this Art is accomplished through the Word. Thirdly the Word must by expanded by its audience. If after a lecture on Xeper or Runa or Essent -- the audience can say nothing more than what they have heard, then these are not Words. The students of the Word are the proof of its power. One doesn't judge a Magus by his rhetoric, but by his students. Fourthly the Word must not be in conflict with other Words of its living system. Now Crowley would limit us to Aeonic and Aeon-enhancing Words - - a model that has a great deal of his own world view as Savior. I have argued against this model in the past; however here I will say that a Word must live in accordance with the place it has been sown. "Agape" is a Word, but not one that would likely live in a Setian field. Fifthly, the Word must stand out from all that has come before it. It therefore brings the possibility of failure. Words come from the interaction of the Master breaking with his own Understanding and seeking a fresh audience with the Prince of Darkness. Words are humbling since the Master truly grasps how insignificant he is in comparison to What May Be. Words bring great woe to those who Utter them, because the forces that created the imbalance in the first place aren't likely to roll over and play dead. Words take many years to be born, there is a great difference between outward reception of the Word (such as Crowley had in 1904) and standing forth to give to others as it was given to you (Such as Crowley did in 1911). Some Words take life times to be Reborn on this Earth.

    The word "Magus" is ultimately a Persian word, its the same word we get "Magic" from. It has the same root as the Sanskrit word "Maya." It means illusionist. As we all know the simplest magic is that of Visualization. We make the picture, we Will, we Work and we work, and the desired result comes into Being. The Magus creates a picture for many to use. He must use all his talents. He must write. He must speak. If he can paint, or carve stone, or dance -- he must do these things. When he has entered into the state of the Fifth Degree, he has lost his mundane choices. This is the nature of the Task. The Task can not be turned on one day and off the second.

  • Setian Discussions echo, Sun Feb 09, 19:33, From : Balanone, To : DarkWolf, Subj : Dr. Aquino Steps Down?

    D@p> Is it true that Dr. Michael Aquino stepped down as head of the
    D@p> Temple of Set a few months ago and that Don Webb (who's _Seven
    D@p> Faces of Darkness_ I purchased from Runa-Raven recently) is now
    D@p> running the order? If so, what changes are ahead for the Temple of
    D@p> Set, if any?

    Yes, it's true. Dr. Aquino chose to resign from the High Priesthood, among other reasons so he could concentrate on personal projects within the Temple of Set rather than on its leadership. He felt free to do so because there were a number of suitable candidates to succeed him as High Priest, Magus Don Webb being one of those.

    Magus Webb was chosen as new High Priest by the Chairman of the Council of Nine, and confirmed by other members of the Council of Nine as the bylaws require, and he has served as High Priest now for about half a year.

    All sorts of changes are ahead for the Temple of Set, most of which are unpredictable. But then, that would have been the case even if Dr. Aquino hadn't stepped down...

6.0  Setians and Setianism

Setian is the generic term which applies to each member of the Temple of Set. Setians is the term which applies to two or more members, and to the entire membership together.

Setianism is a term which can be applied to the Setian philosophy, the Setian religion, and/or the Setian way of life. Some (many?) Setians prefer the terms "Setian philosophy," "Setian religion," and "Setian way of life" over the term "Setianism." I find "Setianism" a convenient term to use when I am referring specifically to the Setian way of life, or to any combination of these ideas.

6.1  Activities

What do Setians do?

  • The central Setian philosophy is Xeper. Much of our attention is therefore directed at finding and exploring ways of increasing our Xeper, of achieving various forms and amounts of Xeper.

    Several important methods of doing this involve communication, communication between Setians, and communications with others. Our public web sites are examples of communication with others, as is the Xepera-l mailing list we host.

    Other opportunities for Xeper include meetings, from informal get-togethers to local Pylon meetings, Order meetings, regional conclaves, and the annual International Conclave.

    Activities at such meetings include seminars, lectures, discussions, etc. Many such meetings are designed for or aimed at all members, and some of them will include only a handful of members, depending upon their interests.

    Like any organization, we also have organizational meetings, where we discuss the administrative workings and the future of the organization itself. We also enjoy chatting with each other informally, and spend a lot of unscheduled time doing just that at our organized gatherings.

    We've found that in addition to our meetings, one tool which is very helpful to our Xeper is that of ritual and psychodrama, the acting out of something symbolic of our progress and our goals. We therefore schedule several dramatic activities, again with varying sizes of participants. Many of these can be thought of as traditional rituals as found in many magical traditions, while others bear little resemblance to traditional magical rituals.

    We "dress up" in costume for these dramatic activities, and during those times we can look very strange indeed. If you happen to be at the site of one of our gatherings, and should happen to see a few dozen or so people in black robes, or a couple costumed as if they were ancient Egyptians, Vikings, Indians, or whatever, don't worry -- we're either going to or coming from one of those activities.

  • alt.satanism, May 23 '95, 21:14, From : Balanone, Subj : Adept Leaves Temple of Set

    On May 18, 1995, Peggy Nadramia wrote to All re: Re: Adept Leaves Temple of Set

    P > I have a question of Mr Scratch. It is asked out of
    P > curiosity, not hostility.

    P > A person joins the ToS and gains the degree of Adept. He now
    P > considers himself all the things you describe of that
    P > degree, Black magician, free, seeker after mysteries, etc.,
    P > but his interest in the organization flags. He stops
    P > writing to his Priest/mentor; he responds when others write
    P > to him, but only in brief. He attends no Conclaves, joins
    P > no Orders.

    P > How long does he get to remain in the Temple?

    My feed from internet seems to have delays, so Mr. Scratch may have already answered this. But if not...

    The not-so-hypothetical Adept described above can stay in the Temple of Set indefinitely, provided 1) he pays his annual dues, 2) he doesn't demonstrate any qualities (take any visible actions) which provoke a negative review.

    I've remained visible and active all my 19+ years, but I know of several Adepts who've been inactive for many years who are not visible, hopefully working away on their own, pursuing their Xeper, and just not telling anyone what they're doing. That's OK by me, and apparently also OK by the Temple's administration (though I believe we all hope that if they make any very significant discoveries that we can benefit from that they'll let us in on them).

  • Egyptian Studies

    • alt.satanism, Oct 24 '94, 09:10, From : Michael Aquino, Subj : Re: ToS question

      BS> I'm an egyptophile, I want as much information on egyptian
      BS> mythology as i can get. Is ToS a good source?

      Egyptology is just one of a number of Temple of Set interests, and you should not apply to the Temple if that is your sole focus. For a copy of the Temple's current General Information Letter, which explains what the Temple is and is not, write to: Executive Director, Temple of Set, P.O. Box 470307, San Francisco, CA 94147.

      Two sections of our reading list are entitled "Egyptian History" and "Egyptian Mythology", and contain a selection of works we have found most helpful and pertinent to our particular interests. This should not be confused with a general bibliography on Egyptology, which would be vast indeed. If you would like a copy of these two sections, drop a note to the ED.

      In general: Head for a good university library and help yourself to the "E"-box of the card catalogue. You should find a wealth of material. After you've done some reading, you will gradually develop a sense of what is reasonably objective and current.

      You might be interested in subscribing to _KMT_ magazine, which focuses on ancient Egypt. Write for info to: _KMT_, 1531 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115.

    • Xepera-l, From: Setnakt, Wed Dec 04, '96, 08:04, Subj : Sources for Setian thought

      My favorite quick reference book for Egyptian gods and goddesses is:

      Hart, George. _A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses._ London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.

      A great book!

      I am going to abuse the list this once, and make a product recommendation.

      As far as books showing Setian thought, I will timidly recommend my latest book, _The Seven Faces of Darkness: Practical Typhonian Magic_ from Runa-Raven Press. It is analysis of the figure of Set-Typhon in the magical papyri and curse tablets of Late Antiquity with an explantion of Set, the Xeper formula from the Bremner-Rhind Papyrus and remarks on the Egyptian occult revival. It has an introduction form Michael A. Aquino.

      The cover says,

      "This book penetrates to the core of the Typhonian current active in the world today -- and does so by returning to the very fountainheads of Setian philosophy. Never before has anyone made the true Typhonian current more plain and objective, in practice or theory, than Don Webb does in _The Seven Faces of Darkness_."

      It's $16.00 + $1.50 P&H. It's published by Runa Raven Books, POB 557, Smithville, TX 78957.

    • Xepera-l, From:, Fri Dec 13, '96, 10:00, responding to Sekhmet, Subj : Re: The Original Temple of Set

      >Does anyone know where I can find some information on the *original*
      >Priesthood of Set? Magus Webb?

      If you want information about Set's worship in the Ancient World, see "Set God of Confusion" by TeVelde. Set's worship centered around the city of Naqada in Egypt.

      See also the "Dictionary of Ancient Egypt" by Ian Shaw and Paul Nicholson, in association with the British Museum, page 195-196, under 'Naqada', and page 264 under "Seth".

6.2  Setians

6.2.1  Specific Setians

  • Executive Director -- can be contacted through the Temple's postal address, or through email (

  • High Priest -- Magus Don Webb can be contacted through the Temple's postal address, or through email (

  • Dr. Michael Aquino -- the founder of the Temple of Set can be contacted through the Temple's postal address or through email.

  • Balanone -- this long-time member (and author of this document) can be contacted through the Temple's postal address or through email (BalFAQ@xeper.orgy).

    One frequently asked question is why Balanone signs his email and posts with "PP" below his name. As stated in April, 1993 on the Base of Set echo and many other times, "That's as close as I can get with this keyboard to the Egyptian hieroglyph for Shuti (the double Maat feather), symbolizing my personal dedication to Balance."

  • Stephen Flowers / Edred Thorsson: Stephen Flowers, author of books on several topics within the occult, most notably the Runes and northern traditions, and now a publisher of books on the occult, discovered and joined the Temple of Set in the mid-1980's. He was Recognized to the V° within the Temple of Set for his exploration and exposition of the Runes and Runa. He can be contacted at Post Office Box 7622; Austin, TX 78713.

    Because of his emphasis on northern traditions, and because of disagreements between various groups of Asatruar, Magus Flowers has been specifically targeted by rumors of Naziism.

  • What about....

    Sorry, but excepting a few very public members, most Setians are private individuals, and I respect that privacy. I don't reveal, confirm, or deny peoples' present or past membership in the Temple of Set unless a) they indicate that it's OK, or b) they attack the Temple of Set and their past membership and often the conditions of their departure seem to help explain their antagonism.

6.2.2  Questions about Setians

  • Are Setians Pagans?

    • alt.pagan, Jul 25 '95, 20:13, From : Balanone, Subj : Are Satanists welcome at pagan gatherings?

      On Jul 25, 1995, asked a good question during a discussion
      Re: Are Satanists welcome at pagan gatherings?

      hm> I agree, and would extend this to include nonPagans of any stripe
      hm> (including atheists). While anyone unfamiliar with your tradition
      hm> will be lost and potentially disruptive in a *formal* setting,
      hm> barring nonPagans of any sort from *informal* events should be
      hm> avoided unless there's a specific reason for it (i.e. creating a
      hm> particular flavor of "safe space.") Else we come off looking like
      hm> we've got something to hide.
      ht> By what definition of the word "Pagan" is a worshipper of
      ht> Set not one???

      Dan, having discussed this matter with pagans of all stripes for several years, I've encountered many, many different definitions of "pagan," and indeed Setians are not Pagans by a few of those definitions.

      For instance, if "Pagan" is defined as "someone who worships Gaia, the Earth, as a conscious, living being, a Goddess caring about the various life forms upon it," then Setians aren't Pagan by that definition.

      Obviously, very few Pagans define Paganism so narrowly, and by the majority of definitions Setians are Pagans (provided those definitions aren't intentionally limited to exclude Setians and others like them).

      Hold a gathering of "Gaia Worship" and Setians and others like them won't come -- there's no mutual benefit or interest. But hold a general Pagan gathering and there's almost always a very large and significant overlap of interest and mutual benefit. That's just the way our occult subculture is.

6.2.3 -- Imposters

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then how should you look at people who claim to be members of the Temple of Set and aren't? If you encounter someone online (or offline) who claims to be Setian, how do you know if they really are?

Our High Priest, Magus Don Webb, offers an excellent answer in his essay How to Spot a Setian. My personal answer is less meaningful, but they're techniques you might find useful.

  • All members of the Temple of Set can be identified physically by their colored cloisonne point-down medallion, and by their membership card (with expiration date). If you have physical contact with someone who claims to be Setian but who can't show you the membership card or medallion, that person is not a member.

    June 2001: Recently we've seen a couple of medallions being auctioned on Ebay. If someone has our medallion, that is not proof they are currently a member, and maybe not proof they ever were. But if they do not have a medallion, then they aren't a current member.

  • All online members of the Priesthood have a email address. (Example: Priest Thomas White's email address within our domain is twhite Anyone claiming online to be a member of the Priesthood should be able to supply their or email address, and should be able to respond to any email sent to that address. Anyone online who cannot give you an email address, or who cannot answer mail sent to that address, is not a member of the Priesthood.

  • The Executive Director's staff will confirm the membership of any Setian who asks to have that membership confirmed. The member should send the email from their email address of record to -- this email will be validated, and the confirmation will be sent to any email address desired. Any person claiming to be a member online but not willing or able to provide this confirmation is not a member.

While the Temple of Set and its members normally will not reveal, confirm, or deny anyone's present or past membership in the Temple of Set, there are exceptions:

  • If members indicate it's OK, such as through the request method above, we'll confirm their membership.
  • Some members are very open and public about their membership. We'll confirm those members' status.
  • People who publicly claim to be members and aren't (in our view) are claiming to be part of that second group. We will therefore provide the information that such people are not members.

There have been a few people who fall into that last group, as identified by members of our Priesthood. These include:

  • -- I am told he has claimed to be the High Priest of the Temple, and that he offers to sell the Crystal Tablet. The High Priest of the Temple of Set is Don Webb. No member of the Temple may sell their Tablet. (Past members may sell the copy they received from us -- it's their property. However, they can sell only that one copy -- they are not permitted to make additional copies for sale.)
  • -- I am told he has claimed to be a IV° member of the Temple of Set. He is not a member.
  • and/or -- I am told she claims to be a former member. She is not.
  • -- I am told he claims to be a member of the Priesthood in "German Chamber" and claims as well that is actually Lilith Aquino. He is not a member. There is no "German Chamber." Lilith Aquino does not use either of those two aliases on AOL.
  • -- While this person has not yet claimed to be a member of the Temple of Set, he apparently has proclaimed himself the Magus of Xem. Xem is an Aeonic Word within the Aeon of Set, and the Magus of Xem was Magus Ronald K. Barrett. This is not Magus Barrett, and this person has no membership nor recognition within the Temple of Set.

Finally, on reading Magus Webb's How to Spot a Setian, one Adept mentioned,

Along those lines, I have encountered those who claim that they have been approached by a Setian, which tried to "recruit" them. I find this very funny. This right here shows that they have no idea what they are talking about. I guess it makes them feel good to tell others that such a wonderful organization as ours was wanting them to be a member. Anyone who really knows anything about the Temple would know that does not go on.

I've asked a few, "and why would they want you?" Maybe not the polite thing to say, but I can only laugh at these people.

The Temple of Set does not recruit. Individual members who feel that their friends might benefit from membership might mention this to their friends, but we do not ever try to recruit anyone, and don't even approach those people who have no ties of friendship to us.

6.2.4 -- Who is a Setian?

Various people continue to call themselves Setian even though they are not members of the Temple of Set. The question as asked on the Xepera-L mailing list in May, 1999 was:

If one can be a *Satanist* without being a member of CoS, can one be a *Setian* without being a member of ToS?

My answer:

  • If you mean "Can someone believe in the Prince of Darkness as Set without being a member of the Temple?" Then yes, they can.
  • If you mean "Can someone actively seek and accomplish Xeper without being a member of the Temple of Set?" Then yes, they can.
  • If you mean "Can someone practice Setian forms of magic without being a member of the Temple of Set?" Then yes, they can.
  • If you mean "Can someone be recognized as and called a Setian by theTemple of Set's administration, Priesthood, or general membership without being a member of the Temple of Set?" Then no, they cannot.

This evoked the question "Why not?" I responded with the following two definitions:

Setian (n)
A member of the Temple of Set.
setian (adj)
1. action, statement, or belief inspired by the philosophy of Xeper and/or the being or idea of Set. 2. action, statement, or belief compatible with inspiration by the philosophy of Xeper and/or the being or idea of Set

6.3  Why are we here?

"Here" may be any digital forum -- you may be reading this on a web site, a newsgroup, or FTP archive. I've tried to generalize the answer to apply to most situations. For that matter, "here" may also apply to Pagan gatherings, meetings in hotels, new age fairs, etc.

  • The Temple of Set and all individual Setians focus our attention on various methods of self-improvement, on the creation of a better self. The primary goal of all Setian gatherings is to give us an opportunity to share our knowledge with each other.

    One of the many activities of self-improvement available to us today is the use of computer and network technology for improved communication between like-minded people. A goodly number of Setians take advantage of this technology, and participate in private (internal to the Temple of Set) and public newsgroups and mailing lists.

  • The World Wide Web:

    Much of our information shared is in the form of working documents, drafts, and other items which aren't "ready" to be shared with the world at large yet. Other of the information is heavily dependent upon language and symbolism which we've developed within the Temple of Set, and documents using such language and symbolism would be largely unintelligible outside the Temple. These documents are shared strictly within the Temple of Set.

    However, we also have some documentation which is suitable to be shared more broadly, and those of us interested in doing so are collecting or preparing such documents for display on the WWW.

    We tend to be a fairly proud group of people, and enjoy displaying what we think we know. One benefit to this is that others of intelligence can show us additional items of knowledge to advance our understandings, or can show us mistakes that we've made. We therefore welcome feedback on any documents which are included on this web site.

  • Newsgroups and Echoes -- See the discussions of newsgroups (alt.satanism, alt.pagan, and soc.religion.paganism, and the Setian Discussions echo.

  • Pagan Gatherings

    Many Setians consider themselves part of the larger Pagan community, and often participate in Pagan festivals and gatherings. Some Pagans have been uncomfortable with this.

    • The best answer I've seen to this discomfort was posted by in alt.pagan on July 24, 1995 (Subj: Re: Are Satanists welcome at pagan gatherings?):

      Now, getting to the subject at hand. Ellen brought up this subject over in tx.religion.pagan with a post if the "unsubstantiated rumor" that she had heard was true, that "Temple of Set members and other Satanists" had attended or were planning to attend CMA (Council of Magickal Arts) gatherings.

      She was told, rather immediately, that not only were they, as are any who would 'call themselves' Pagan, but that a few had been attending for years, either solitaire or as members of other groups. I, personally, evinced suprise that she would find this unusual or undesirable.

      The CoS crowd I regard with amusement, but as for the Temple of Set, I have known a few and count them my friends. They are welcome to any circle, or event, of mine.

    • Another post on this topic from the same time period: alt.pagan, Jul 27 '95, 13:01, From : Balanone, Subj : Are Satanists welcome at pagan gatherings?

      On Jul 26, 1995, wrote to All
      re: Re: Are Satanists welcome at pagan gatherings?

      pi> Remember that Satanism is a creation of 12- 13 century
      pi> Catholics. It is a perversion of Catholicism of the time,
      pi> and has nothing to do with Tradtional or Neo Paganism. So a
      pi> Satinist has no place in any pagan gathering.
      pi> I belive that most all pagans believe in some form of the
      pi> balance. So coming to terms with our darker natures is part
      pi> of respecing the balance.

      The "term" Satanism is a creation of 12-13 century Catholics. That term was applied to all sorts of people, including *all* people who today you would call traditional or neo-Pagan. By that definition a Satanist belongs in pagan gatherings, because by the 12-13 century definition they are Satanic gatherings.

      As for "most all pagans believe in some form of balance," most people would call me Satanist, due to my membership in the Temple of Set and my personal work dedicated to the Prince of Darkness. Within the Temple of Set I'm a member of the Order of Shuti, named after and inspired by the twin lion gods Shu and Tefnut, balance personified. Balance and all aspects of balance and imbalance are critically important to me. Therefore I'm Pagan to at least that degree.

      The answer therefore is yes, at least some Satanists should be welcome at Pagan gatherings. Again, it's a matter of which people would be welcome, not what labels they wear.

      Tell the truth: There are some hideous Pagans, those who claim and seem to worship pagan gods, who are so atrocious in behavior and impression that they'd not be welcome to a gathering because of their disruptive nature, yes? There are bound to be such, because that's the way people are. There are Satanists like that too. But there are others within Satanism that fit in well with Pagan activity.

      Invite or disinvite people based on who they are and what they do, not on which labels apply to them.

    • This then brings us to the frequently asked question, Are Setians Pagans?

6.4  Miscellaneous

  • What exactly is the policy concerning homosexuality in the Tos, I've heard rumors but I would like to clarify it with members if I may. (quoted in alt.satanism, in a response dated 10 Jun 94 17:32:39, From: Michael Aquino, responding to, Subj: RE: Tos policy on homosexuals

    The Temple of Set's only policy is that sex involve only consenting adults. Beyond that we consider the entire subject a personal and private matter for each individual to resolve as he or she sees fit.

7.0  Contact and Information

7.1  Formal and Official Contact

  • Postal Address:
    Temple of Set
    P. O. Box 470307
    San Francisco, CA 94147

  • Electronic Mail: You may send email to the Executive Director c/o

  • The Priesthood of Set: To contact a member of the Priesthood, send your request by postal mail to the Executive Director, who will forward it to an appropriate member of the Priesthood. (That member of the Priesthood may not indulge in electronic mail capabilities, so postal mail is usually a requirement here.)

  • Copyrighted material

    Almost all of the Temple of Set's internal documents are copyrighted and intended for internal distribution only. We do release some material for public consumption from time to time, but other material is not released. We have problems from time to time with people copying or publishing our copyrighted material. We'd appreciate anyone and everyone who helps us maintain our intellectual property rights.

    • alt.satanism, Sep 19 '94, 09:50, From : Michael Aquino, Subj : _Crystal Tablet of Set_

      DC> Why isn't the _Crystal Tablet of Set_ commercially available?

      The founders of the Temple of Set in 1975 were all veterans of the 1966-75 Church of Satan. We had observed the confusion and social problems which had resulted from the _Satanic Bible_ & _Rituals_ being available out of any qualifying (educational, background, ethical) context to anyone who walked into the corner drugstore with $1.25. [Remember when paperbacks cost $1.25?] You can see the problem as it continued through the 1980s, with any number of cranks waving the _SB_ and blaming it for all sorts of things it doesn't advocate - and blaming Satanism generally for all sorts of things it isn't.

      So we decided that our literature would be available only within a prequalified and continuing educational context, which is what we intended the Temple of Set as a whole to be. We make a reasonable attempt to admit only persons we think are sufficiently intelligent and mature to handle Black Magic wisely, and publications like the _Crystal Tablet_ are not "stand-alone" references, but part of a networking environment of intra- & extra-Temple resources [to encourage wide exposure]. So the _CT_ is a sort of "take-off point" rather than any pretense at a definitive doctrinal statement.

    • The Book of Coming Forth by Night is the inspired text which sparked the creation of the Temple of Set as it is. It's a short text, highly symbolic, and probably not useful for anyone outside the Temple of Set. Regardless, a couple of people have insisted on publishing this text on the Internet, posting it in newsgroups and/or on a web page (almost always inaccurately, with typographic errors and worse). This is in blatant violation of our copyright and wishes, and we would like everyone to a) not further distribute this text, and b) let us know whenever you find a copy, so we can work to end this violation. Thank you.

      The Book of Coming Forth by Night itself has been the subject of several questions. Primary among them is whether this was written by Set and given to Dr. Aquino, written by Dr. Aquino and attributed by Set, written by Set as channelled by Dr. Aquino, etc. In a post on alt.satanism, 10 Jun 94 10:19:21, From: Balanone, in response to, Subj: Re: Temple Of Set - the view in Sweden, I stated,

      "Medium" implies a channelled work, and brings to me images of people clasping hands around a table, while a medium moans and groans and writes out what a "ghost" or "spirit" is commanding her to write. Instead, let's say that _The Book of Coming Forth by Night_ is an inspired work, which Dr. Aquino brought forth into being through ritual activation and enhancing of his perceptions of the Prince of Darkness. On the question of how much of the _Book_ was written by Dr. Aquino and how much was written by Set, Dr. Aquino has often remained reserved, preferring to let the reader and searcher make there own decisions about this.

    • Other publications

      1. The History of the Church of Satan by Michael Aquino. Though this volume discusses the Church of Satan (1965-1975) rather than the Temple of Set, it can be invaluable in understanding the roots from which the Temple of Set came into being. It is not generally available to the public for a variety of reasons, but can be obtained by historians and scholars through the Temple of Set's Executive Director.

  • Where do I find your Temples?

    alt.satanism, Apr 04 '95, 03:12, From : "Mr. Scratch", Subj : Re: Temple of Set

    On 4 Apr 1995, DarkShroud wrote:
    > Does anyone out there belong to or know of the Temple of Set? I am interested
    > in learning more of it and perhaps joining it's ranks.

    This newsgroup is read by a number of Setians. I post here more often than most others. (I am a ToS Adept.)

    > My location is
    > fairly well removed from any of the temples known to me so I must seek this
    > knowledge through this medium.

    There is no actual "Temple" beyond the body of membership. We have active Pylons (groups) in a number of places, and rely heavily on surface and computer correspondence with those who are more distant.

    [Mr. Scratch then went on to provide the Temple's mailing address.]

7.2  Informal Contact

  • "My name is ... and i wish find a Setian Priest in my area to inquire as to joining the Temple."

    Information on how to join the Temple of Set is readily available at the Temple's web site, by following the General Information and Admissions Policies links.

    To ask the Executive Director if she can help you contact a Priest of Set in your area, a) find her email address above, b) send her your request, including your postal address and/or phone, so our local Priesthood can contact you (they may not have email).

  • Electronic Mail mailing list(s)

    Xepera-l is the only public mailing list hosted by Setians. Moderation is minimal, topics can be anything of interest to Setians, and participation is open to all who are not openly hostile to the Temple or to Setians. Visit its informational web page for subscription information.

  • Internet newsgroups

    1. alt.satanism

      alt.satanism is a newsgroup for discussions of satanic philosophy, religion, organizations, activities, etc. Most Setians avoid the newsgroup because of the high level of juvenile behavior that we run into there. However, there are a few Setians who can be contacted through that newsgroup.

    2. alt.pagan

      alt.pagan attracts several Setians who belong to that community. We prefer to avoid discussing simply Setian philosophy and religion or Satanism in alt.pagan, since those are more appropriate to alt.satanism, but the relationships between Setian philosophy and religion and other Pagan philosophies and religions are on-topic and suitable for that newsgroup.

    3. soc.religion.paganism

      soc.religion.paganism is a well-moderated newsgroup in which the same topics can readily be discussed. There are probably fewer Setians on this newsgroup than on the other two, but there should be enough visiting soc.religion.paganism to hold a meaningful discussion when necessary.

  • FIDO/PODS echoes

    The Setian Discussions echo (tagname: SET, and previously named "Base of Set") was the only FTN (Fido Technology Network) echo hosted by Setians concerning Setian philosophy or the Temple of Set. Moderation was minimal, and topics could be anything of interest to Setians. Participation was open to all who were not openly hostile to the Temple or to Setians. This echo was carried on the FIDO North America backbone, and by most major hubs within PODS. It was carried in Australia by both FIDO and PODS, and in Germany (and perhaps other areas of Europe) by PODS. Unfortunately that echo closed down in 1999, and is no longer operational.

  • World Wide Web sites and pages

    • The Temple of Set's "official" World Wide Web site is; most sites dealing with the Temple of Set can be found through links from this site.

    • The Order of the Trapezoid maintains its own web site at

  • FIDO/PODS bulletin board systems: There used to be quite a few bulletin board systems owned and run by Setians, but it seems that all have them have disbanded or gone to mail-only operations. We also used to host a Setian Discussions echo, as part of the FIDO and PODS networks. (PODS is dedicated to Pagan activities and discussions.) That echo is no longer operational.

7.3  Friendly and Neutral Others

Though I've often quoted from others' responses to frequently asked questions, still this document is just one person's compilation concerning the Temple of Set. Anyone who needs a more comprehensive view should contact one or more of the other Setians (above, or better through Xepera-l), and perhaps one or more people who aren't Setian. Here are a few people who are active online, whose independent views concerning the Temple of Set at this time appear to be informed and reasonable. Please note that neither I nor the Temple of Set have much influence over nor agree with everything these people say.

  • nocTifer is an independent Satanist (not affiliated with any large organization), supporting all manner of self-described, teenage and orgSatanism where sincere. Networker and political activist, Satanic Outreach Director for the Church of Euthanasia and active member of The Ordur of K@s Under Satan (TOKUS).

  • Xina is a Pagan, not herself a Satanist, but very knowledgeable about them. Married to one of the leaders of the O.S.V., and with significant experience outside the U.S.A., Xina is more familiar with non-American activities within the Satanic movement than most other people you'll find on the 'net.

  • Chris Carlisle is an officer of AMER. She's not a Satanist, but because of her activities supporting the civil rights of Pagans, magicians, and others, she's become quite familiar with the Temple of Set and similar organizations and movements.

7.4  Unfriendly Others

Note: My goal here is to identify a few people whose messages, documents, or web pages you're likely to run into on the Internet, and who are biased against the Temple of Set for a variety of reasons. I try to concentrate only on those who are actively campaigning against the Temple of Set in one fashion or another, so you will understand a little about where their bias comes from. I will not dwell on those who have attacked or irritated us in the past and no longer do so. I also don't bother discussing the loud but otherwise insignificant twits which plague the alt.* newsgroups. They rapidly show themselves to be inconsequential to anyone of intelligence.

  • Lupo the Butcher

    When I first met him online, Lupo was an intelligent, apparently well-balanced Satanic individual, who not only participated in good philosophical and magical discussions in alt.satanism, but he had gone through the effort to become the editor/author of the alt.satanism FAQ.

    That FAQ included information about the Temple of Set, Church of Satan, and other organizations, most of which was accurate if incomplete (Lupo and earlier authors/editors had insufficient contact with the organizations mentioned.) As Setian presence in alt.satanism increased in the early 1990's, followed by members of other Satanic organizations, Lupo wanted to update the FAQ material dealing with the organizations.

    Reviewing the changes, Dr. Aquino (then High Priest of the Temple of Set) saw that the FAQ included contact information for disreputable individuals & groups such as the self-described pedophile James Martin and David Myatt of England, who under the pseudonym of "Order of the Nine Angles" publishes and endorses a ritual for literal "Satanic human sacrifice". Cautionary information warning readers who might consider joining those organizations of such specific dangers was omitted from the FAQ. Dr. Aquino requested that the Temple of Set be removed from the FAQ, since as High Priest he felt that the Temple of Set should not be associated with such people and groups. Lupo complied.

    In 1993, Lupo joined the Temple of Set. A few months later, Dr. Aquino pointed out that if Lupo was serious about Xeper, if he was serious about developing and demonstrating Setian ethics, then he should discontinue publicizing such individuals and groups in his FAQ. Lupo interpreted this as an affront to his freedom of expression and resigned from the Temple.

    Through most of this period, though Lupo had been signing his posts with his alias, he was using an Internet account which clearly identified his identity and his place of employment. About this time he stopped using that account and started using an account with instead. Though the great majority of alt.satanism participants knew where he was and where he worked, Lupo complained loudly and stridently when Dr. Aquino posted to and about Lupo using his name rather than his alias, and he complains about that to this very day (though more often he delights in simply name-calling).

    Lupo's presentation of these events is very different. He posted a response to REF version 1.0 in alt.satanism, on 9 Aug 1997, 03:53:22 GMT, Message-ID: <5sgpji$kei$>. Some of his comments corrected factual misstatements in that version, and have been incorporated here.

  • Kevin Filan

    Kevin Filan first encountered the Temple of Set through the presence of several Setians discussing Setian philosophy and the Temple on bulletin board systems. During a period when he lived in Oklahoma (near several other Setians), he joined the Temple of Set, and achieved the II° (Adept). Setian philosophy apparently didn't suit him, so sometime later he left the organization to rejoin the Roman Catholic church. That also didn't suit him, and eventually he reappeared in Pagan cyberspace, this time on alt.satanism, alt.pagan, and similar areas.

    For a while he was courteous and openly honest. He spoke his mind concerning the things he liked about the Temple of Set, about Setian philosohy, and about Setians, and he spoke his mind concerning the things and people he disliked.

    Shortly after Lupo left the Temple of Set, Mr. Filan began horribly bad-mouthing the Temple of Set in general, and the Aquino's specifically, not only complaining about the things he didn't like, but indulging in all sorts of name-calling, filth-slinging, gutter language, etc. It was during this period that I killfiled him, since he had stopped being a voice of reason.

    I understand from others, however, that he has continued his childish and gutter-level attacks on Dr. Aquino and Lilith Aquino, and on the Temple of Set, going so far as to publish Dr. Aquino's home address and phone number on the 'net, not only in Pagan areas (which would be bad enough), but also in Christian and other areas where he has encouraged society's bigots and idiots to personally and physically harass the Aquinos.

  • Mr. Scratch

    Mr. Scratch was a member of the Temple of Set for about a decade, and even a member of the Priesthood of Set for a few years. He was expelled from the Temple of Set late in the year 2000 because of an event the High Priest saw as revealing a disregard for the Temple's confidentiality and security which was not acceptable in a Priest.

    Mr. Scratch's view and interpretation of this episode is very different, as he seems to delight in posting to alt.satanism. Suffice it to say I accept and agree with the High Priest's decision.

  • Curio is a clear example of obsession gone bad, as is obvious to anyone with common sense when they read her posts. The best discussion of Curio's obsession is a post on alt.pagan, from (Dr. Aquino), dated Mar 12, '97, 17:35, Subj : Aquino Statement re Curio

  • Linda Blood was at one time a Setian. She left the Temple of Set in the 1980's, apparently because of personal reasons I wasn't privy to. Sometime after that she became obsessed with the Temple of Set and with Dr. Aquino (if she wasn't already), and eventually published The New Satanists, a vile a book of falsehoods. Dr. Aquino's response to that book was posted in alt.satanism, Date: Dec 13 '94, 16:37, From: John Youril (c/o Northern Lights BBS), Subj: Blood Book (Long). A copy of that post can be found on this site. Other comments can be found in alt.pagan, Wed Aug 21, 19:35, From :, Subj : Left Hand Path & Satanism: What it is and What it isnt...a Tradition

  • Tani JantsangPhillip Marsh

    A complete refutation of all the falacies in Jantsang's and Marsh's diatribes is both outside the scope of this document and completely distasteful (I don't want to have to read her garbage). Those who want to see detailed comments concerning Jantsang and/or Marsh can look at

    • alt.pagan, Sat Jun 15, '95, 14:22, From :, Subj : Re: Org Satanism/Christianity (was Re: Shared Mythos (was Re: ...))

    May, 2001: To be fair to her, Tani Jantsang now claims that the diatribes she created in the late 1990's were based on incomplete and incorrect information fed to her by members of the Church of Satan who wanted her to post such diatribes about/against us. She has retracted some of what she wrote then.

  • Kerry Bolton, editor of the Heretic and once leader of the OLHP, was once a highly respected Adept within the Temple of Set. As his personal network grew, he contacted more and more supposed Satanists, and eventually published advertising for a newsletter edited by someone who personally supports pedophiles (sees naught wrong with it). He also published articles in support of and advertisements for another supposedly Satanic organization which advocated "human sacrifice" in their written document(s).

    When this discrepancy between the high moral standards he had so far shown and his new advertising was mentioned to him by a Master of the Temple, rather than discuss and explore the issue, he became energetically anti-ToS and has maligned us consistently since then. His extreme reaction surprised many of us, who still remember and respect the magician and leader he had the potential of becoming. Now he seems to be little more than a puppet of other anti-ToS bigots.

    June 24, 1999: Kerry wishes to clarify/correct the above information: "I am simply stating I have never, nor will ever condone abuse of children in any form. Nor was I anyone's 'tool' in any anti-TS campaign. I expressed my own misgivings as I saw them myself, and as I attempted to document in a balanced manner, considering some of the vitriole of that time. In any event, I do not have any particular interest in TS either pro or con, and have not had so for some years."

    I will gladly agree that nothing I ever saw from Mr. Bolton ever did condone child abuse. Mr. Bolton claims that once he verified for himself that the above-mentioned advertiser did support pedophiles, he discontinued carrying those ads. I have no reason to doubt that statement. As for my "has maligned us consistently since then," though his materials doing so have been repeatedly thrust in our faces, it's possible that he himself is not involved in this activity.

  • Isaac Bonewits is blindly anti-anything which has anything to do with modern Satanism, apparently at least partly in response to his expulsion from the Church of Satan in the late 1960's or early 1970's. His bigotry has led him to campaign against AMER and other worthy activities, simply because those activities did not discriminate against Satanists or Setians. All the information you might need to know concerning this blind spot of his can be found at Other commentary can be found in:
    • alt.pagan, Wed Jan 01, '96, 15:28, From : Balanone, Subj : Bonewits diatribe
    • alt.pagan, Wed Jan 01, '96, 15:37, From : Balanone, Subj : Bonewits diatribe
    • alt.pagan, Fri Jan 03, '96, 10:00, From :, Subj : Re: Responses to Bonewits's "The Enemies of Our Enemies" - Dr. M. Aq
    • alt.pagan, Thu Jan 02, '96, 18:19, From :, Subj : Responses to Bonewits's "The Enemies of Our Enemies" - Dr. M. Aquino
    • alt.pagan, Thu Jan 02, '96, 18:19, From :, Subj : Further Response to Bonewits - R. Menschel
    • alt.pagan, Fri Jan 03, '96, 16:49, From :, Subj : Re: Responses to Bonewits's "The Enemies of Our Enemies" - Dr. M. Aq
    • alt.pagan, Sat Jan 04, '96, 18:00, From :, Subj : Re: Isaac Bonewits's "The Enemies of Our Enemies"

7.5  Getting More Information

  • General Information Letter

    The current General Information letter (including membership information and policies) is available upon request. Write to: Executive Director, Temple of Set, Post Office Box 470307, San Francisco, CA 94147, USA. Or provide a postal - not E-mail - mailing address to:

    There are copies of that letter floating around cyberspace, available on various FTP sites and on BBSs. Unfortunately, most of them are out of date, since the introductory letter is updated semi-regularly, and the files on these unrelated sites aren't. The primary site known and guaranteed to maintain a current copy is the WWW site maintained by a Priest of Set, Versions in other languages can be found there.

  • Computerized archives

    Over the years, a number of other files pertaining to the Temple of Set were made available. These were generally intended for limited distribution, but over time were archived on various Internet and FTN sites along with material about the Temple of Set which did not originate from the Temple of Set. Many of these files contain dated information; the accuracy and authenticity of these is doubtful. In future revisions of this document, comments about these files may be added (if you bring the need for same to our attention).

    • However, be warned that a lot of files of questionable value are floating around the 'net. Check the source for each document, and if you have questions about its value, ask about it on the Xepera-l mailing list.

      For example, On Tue, Apr 29, 1997 at 03:18, re: Re: ToS and Satanism (addendum), broadcast to a private mailing list (included in this FAQ with permission):
      > as an addendum to previous text, I would point to this essay as an
      > example of questionable substantiation in the Satanic community (quite
      > possible from the Temple of Set, though I can't be sure of this) of
      > their Set-Satan connection. I omit the text and figure that you can
      > reference the URL yourself.

      Oh, It's from the Temple of Set, sort of...

      > [from]
      > $ Set in Egyptian Theology
      > $ by Oz Tech
      > [text omitted]
      > $ References:
      > $ Budge, E.A. Wallis. THE GODS OF THE EGYPTIANS.
      > $ Grant, Kenneth. CULTS OF THE SHADOW.
      > $ Graves, Robert. THE WHITE GODDESS.
      > $ Ions, Veronica. EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY.
      > $ Massey, Gerald. THE NATURAL GENESIS.
      > $ Russell, Jeffrey Burton. THE DEVIL.
      > I've just finished reading the last citation and it offered little
      > support for the connection. I wouldn't consider Grant a reliable
      > reference on Egyptology, Graves and Budge are thoroughly disputed.
      > I have no idea who Ions is, and have little exposure to Massey.
      > are these supposed to be indicative of exemplary citation?

      Well you know what? I contacted Oz Tech and asked that Worthy Magician what the Hel was up with that. I got this reply, and thought I ought to share it with y'all; See, I've known Oz Tech for about a decade or so...
      ---------------------BEGIN TRANSMISSION----------------------------------
      Dear Walter Five,

      Exemplary citation? Surely you jest! I wrote it as a I* Setian about ten years ago and uploaded to some Fidonet BBS.

      Your correspondent is hurting for a straw man. It's hard to believe people are _still_ passing this thing around. I guess I should feel proud, to have the work of 15 minutes taken so seriously.

      Don't they know that the real name of the Prince of Darkness is Phil?

      Oz the Short & Technical
      "A slow winter's day, a night like forever..."
      -------------------------END TRANSMISSION-----------------------------------
      And there you have it, Dear Friends. Straight from the Straw Man's mouth.
      It's a small world we live in, no?
      Blessed Beast anyway!
      Walter Five

    • Archives hosted by Setians

        Note: This is the only FTP site both managed by a Priest of the Temple of Set and dedicated to the Temple of Set at this time to our knowledge. The reliability of other FTP sites will be lower -- they will not be as accurate nor current. As other Setian sites are identified they will be listed at

    • Other FTP sites
    • Obsolete FTP sites (no longer useful)

7.6  Those Stories About Us

Despite our general policy of keeping a low profile, sometimes rumors about us do get spread, generally by people who dislike or fear us for some reason (perhaps because so little is known about us, or simply because of our non-Christian belief system, or for other reasons). If anyone (perhaps someone else at a location of one of our formal meetings, or someone you meet on the 'net, or some other acquaintance) should ask you any of the following questions, it's good to be able to give them the correct answers.

7.6.1    A Cult?

"Is this a cult?" No. Some people may define "cult" to mean any non-Christian religion, and then yes, we don't believe in the Christian religion. But most people reserve the word "cult" to you mean something dangerous to society or its members, and no, we're not a cult since we are beneficial to our members, and we're not anti-social by any means.

  • One common characteristics of cults (according to most people) is that they absorb more and more of their members' time until all outside activities are cut off and the members are dependent upon the cult for all social contact. As I mentioned in alt.pagan, Wed Jun 19, '96, Subj : Org Satanism/Christianity (was Re: Shared Mythos (was Re: ...)), in response to a post by Lupo:

    i> I'd be curious as to how much of a Setian social schedule is made up
    i> of hanging with the other Setians. It is my impression that, while
    i> this is not required, it does somehow end up that an awful lot of
    i> time is spent on group related activities, and hanging with others
    i> in the ToS. It might not seem so sinister were it the Rotary Club,
    i> or Freemasonry, but it is something to look at in a group of
    i> "individualists."

    I won't make a claim to be representative, but as a sample of one:
    - I attend the one annual Conclave whenever I can
    - When there's a local pylon, I attend those meetings, generally held once a month (or less often)
    - I somehow manage to get to one or two additional Setian get-togethers a year.
    - I visit another Setian at home for Setian discussion and work perhaps another 2-3 times a year.

    Otherwise, my time is spent with family, friends, co-workers, etc., as well as working on my Xeper.

    I spend probably about as much time umpiring Little League baseball on the field as I spend with Setians. I spend probably about as much time playing racquetball with a league as I spend with Setians. I used to spend a whole lot more time with Mensans at their social gatherings than I did with Setians during that time, but I've become somewhat less active within Mensa as other activities have demanded more time. I spend more time with my family than I do with Setians.

    That doesn't count work time, nor work-related social time (going to lunch with my co- workers, etc).

7.6.2    Satanists?

"Are you Satanists?" Probably not. Some of our people were members of the Church of Satan in the early 1970's, but we feel our practices and philosophies have evolved so much past that point that we have little in common with modern Satanism. Many modern Satanists say we are not Satanists. If by "satanism" you mean the worship of a Satan, or anti-Christian belief, then most definitely we are not, since we do not believe in the Christian god, Jesus, nor devil, and we have little reason to be "anti-Christian." If by Satanism you mean an antinomian freedom from the unreasoning limitations of various elements of society, then by that definition we would qualify. (See 2.3 -- Satanism for more discussion of this question.)

7.6.3    Naziism and Fascism

Are you fascists? Nazis?

  • No. See or [as of July 6, 1998, the copy was not found online] for one member's discussion of this question.

  • Because of his activity in the northern traditions, and because of some strive between groups of Asatruar, Magus Flowers has been the target of several rumors:

    • alt.magick, Date : Jun 23 '95, 12:13, From : Balanone, Subj : Runes: Edred Thorsson sought

      On Jun 21, 1995, wrote to All
      re: Re: Runes: Edred Thorsson sought

      Ag> In article <3s6ssc$>
      Ag> "B.A. Davis-Howe" writes:
      > ARe you aware that Thorsson is a neo-Nazi Satanist? He is a member
      > of the neo-Nazi group within the Temple of Set. Now, I'm not going
      > to say that Satanists don't have the right to freedom of religion
      > as well, but I think it is suspicious that Thorsson/Flowers doesn't
      > acknowledge that connection (as a bias) in his writings and that he
      > uses two distinct pen-names to keep his Asatru books separate from
      > his book (books?) on German magic of the class which some of the
      > Nazi party are alledged to have practiced.
      Ag> I seem to recall there was some debate not too long ago
      Ag> about whether Thorsson is a Nazi or not. Perhaps some
      Ag> evidence to back up your statement would be helpful.

      Indeed. Counter evidence: As Grand Master of the Order of the Trapezoid within the Temple of Set, Thorsson has not only welcomed members of various nationalities and races into the Order, but he has supported the creation of a Lodge within that Order where the Lodge Master is a black Priestess (black as in color of skin, as well as color of magic).

      Counter evidence: The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Temple of Set is of Jewish descent, as are quite a few others within the Temple of Set. Thorsson works well with these whenever areas or directions of activity converge. I am of Jewish descent myself, and have received some spontaneous gifts from Thorsson (books or articles he has written) which deal specifically with areas of my own initiation.

      I've been a member of the Temple of Set longer than Thorsson has been, and in all that time I've never seen nor heard of any sign of neo-Naziism on Thorsson's part.

    • alt.pagan, Date : Oct 14 '94, 16:42, From : (Al Billings), Subj : Re: Asatru

      I could speak from an official capacity. I'm a Godman in the Ring and the Steward for the State of Washington. I can, offically, say that the Ring is not racist, sexist, or homophobic as a group and discourages the same as much as possible in the membership. I can also officially say that the Ring was never founded as a "front" or similar BS by the Temple of Set. Edred Thorsson (Stephen Flowers) who founded the Ring was a long-time member of the Asatru Free Assmbly and when that group fell apart, he decided to found a new organization. Part of what caused the AFA to fold was the constant political wranglings by Neo-Nazis and Racists trying to take over a religious group and use it for political purposes. Edred wanted a group where this would clearly not be possible and also wanted a group where scholasticism and the actual study of old Norse beliefs and practices academically would be encouraged to help our religion flower to its fullest extent. This is why the Ring has the anti-racist provisions and this is why we have an Elder Training Program with high academic standards. It takes years of work to be an Elder and it is not easy but it will pay off when gaining public acceptance and dealing with other religions, not to mention that having a group of people who have spent years learning the old lore in detail will benefit the religion in a long run.

7.6.4    Presidio

What about the Presidio stories?

On August 14, 1987 CE the San Francisco home of Lilith and Dr. Aquino was raided by San Francisco Police officer Glen Pamfiloff on a search warrant obtained as a consequence of the accusations of Army chaplain Lawrence Adams-Thompson that the Aquinos had kidnapped and sexually abused his stepdaughter as part of the Presidio of San Francisco day-care witch-hunt.

These claims were investigated in depth by the SFPD, the FBI, and the US Army CID. No charges were ever made in any jurisdiction, and the evidence has shown Dr. Aquino and Lilith Aquino to be innocent of any such activity. Full details can be read in the alt.pagan post, dated Sun Jun 02, 22:14, From :, Subj : Re: Curio courts the CAW.

7.6.5    Other Occultists

  • Why should Wiccans, Druids, and other types of Pagans defend those who call themselves "Satanists" against the Christian majority?

    I've never understood why Wiccans, Druids, and others might think we want their defending. There are ethical and social reasons to do it, and that's why Setians generally defend other Pagans against discrimination and other forms of attack, but Satanists don't need others to defend them -- Satanists would be happy if other Pagans would simply stop buying Christianity's lies and attacking the Satanists as if allied with Christianity's blind bigots.

    • alt.pagan, Date : Apr 12 '95, 18:45, From : Balanone, Subj : S,W, and W (continued)

      On Apr 08, 1995,
      mark wrote to All
      re: Re: S,W, and W (continued)

      > I use "Satan" as a symbol, not because I think there is any sort of
      > invisible boogy-man by that name, but because it represents the absolute
      > opposition to the Christian ethos and the prevailing moral climate. More
      > than "Atheist," more than "anti-christian," this word is an in-your-face
      > "I am the opposite of what you are," statement.

      m> *sigh*

      m> The reason I refuse to defend Satanists is their chief
      m> symbol. Could you explain to me why you took a name from the
      m> Xians, and try to redefine it, and claim it isn't the same
      m> deity? I mean, you aren't using Shaitan, or any variant.
      m> You're using one that, as far as I know, is unique to
      m> Xianity (dunno 'nough 'bout Islam). On top of which, I keep
      m> seeing things like the Temple of Set being called Satanist
      m> (rather than Setians).

      m> *Try* to give me a good reason to defend y'all, and a way to
      m> do it, esp. if I find myself arguing with someone whose
      m> world-view doesn't even allow for the possibility that
      m> *anyone* can disbelieve in their deity, and that the *only*
      m> other choice is following their anti-deity.

      Speaking as one of those Setians who is frequently called Satanist,

      1) My usual defense runs along the lines of, "You call me a Satanist. OK, let me tell you the truth about me. Now, /that/ is what you're calling Satanic. Seems kind of foolish to me..."

      2) I don't see any reason why you or anyone else needs to "defend" Satanists. Agreed that the title is highly questionable. I also don't think most Satanists need or even want your defense. I believe all Satanists want is for their alternative lifestyle fellows to stop joining the ranks of the enemy casting or spreading lies about them.

      Therefore, don't stop telling those blind fundamentalists that you're not a Satanist, since you're not. Just don't buy what they tell you about Satanism (you don't buy what they tell you about witches and pagans, do you?).

      And perhaps one more step -- when you don't buy what they tell you about Satanism, then also don't give the image of supporting them in their lies. Let them know that just like you disagree with them about witches and pagans, you know people who claim to be Satanists who don't match the common hysterical claims. If you can do that, I think the Satanists will be more than satisfied.

    • Another answer to this question, as well as to the next question, was posted by Tanith Tyrr on alt.satanism.

  • "Are you witches?" That depends upon your definition of a "witch." We do explore activities which many people would call "magic," such as telepathy, divination, and methods of strengthening our souls and spirits through mental and spiritual discipline. However, modern witches usually believe that their magical powers come from one or more gods or goddesses, and many Christians believe these powers come from the devil. We don't believe in any such gods or goddesses or devils. Most modern witches claim we are not witches.

  • Perhaps the most important point to know and remember about us is that we believe a primary requirement of self-improvement and individual Xeper is to be honorable and ethical. We do not tolerate any illegal activity. We do not tolerate any illegal drugs, and we frown upon excessive use of legal substances like tobacco and alcohol. We believe in individual freedoms, and respect everyone else's desire to live life the way they want to, asking in exchange only the freedom to be able to live life the way we want to.

    We do enjoy companionship and camaraderie. At our various conclaves, many of us will gather in private rooms, local restaurants, and the hotel lobby, and we'll just talk for hours, about almost anything. Some of our people will even sometimes forget to go to sleep, being so wrapped up in talking to people they see only once or twice a year.

    We enjoy life, we enjoy growth, and we enjoy each other. If you spend time with Setians, you'll find that most of us smile a lot, honest smiles, reflecting the enjoyment we find in life.

  • What about Magda Graham?

    alt.pagan, Date : Sat Feb 17, '96, 16:36, From :, Subj : Re: Definition: Setian, forwarding statements from Dr. Aquino:

    KF> Magda Graham, a British Satanist, refused to get involved in
    KF> the tiresome bickering between Setians and LaVeyan Satanists. To
    KF> retaliate, Magister David Austen (a member of the racist
    KF> National Front) released her name and address to a group of
    KF> fundamentalist Christians. Ms. Graham was driven from her house
    KF> by the ensuing harassment.

    Magda Graham was/is editor of a British Satanist newsletter _Dark Lily_. In 1990, without any provocation whatever, or advance checking with the Temple of Set for rebuttal facts, Graham published an anonymous and completely inaccurate smear article on the Temple called "Pretenders to the Throne". [Three years later Peter Gilmore, a LaVey representative, would claim authorship of this piece & reprint it in his newsletter.]

    My own response to the _DL_ publication was simply to print an analysis & corrections to "PT" in a Temple of Set newsletter, with an invitation to Graham to reprint it in _Dark Lily_. This she never did.

    The rumor that Magister David Austen publicized Graham's name & address maliciously was started by a British occult critic named Ian Read. In a subsequent letter to a New Zealand correspondent who had further circulated Read's rumor, Austen commented:

    "Indeed it has been made clear from a variety of correspondents that I did not threaten Magda with exposure to the media. This assertion of yours is grossly inaccurate & out-of-date. Approximately two months after the furor arose over 'PT', Graham and I reinstated our friendship with a promise of better communications next time & an exchange of phone numbers.

    "In the time after the _DL_ 'PT' attack, I merely invited Setians in contact with the magazine to write directly to Magda, particularly since British Monomarks (who supply the BC & BM mailbox services) can be rather slow in forwarding mail.

    "Insofar as Read's comments in _Chaos_ are concerned, you are either ill-informed or prone to adding bits on. Indeed cowards like Read who make such comments, then refuse to justify them or even reply to letters ought to beware. However, being fair, the _Chaos_ article did *not* suggest that the lady's address was being handed over to *fundamentalists*."

    Austen also happens to be a member of a perfectly conventional, and non-racist, British political party.

7.6.6    The Setian Illuminati

  • Base of Set echo, 05 Dec 93 13:07:57, From: Balanone, To: KHABIT, Subj: Re: Tos

    JB> currently, yes. However, i was told that back in the early
    JB> days of ToS, that potential members were subject to a
    JB> background check, equivelent to that required to get a top
    JB> secret security rating in the army, by an individual who
    JB> claimed he had been a ToS member.

    Ba> I joined the Temple of Set in the "early days", and never went
    Ba> through any such background check, nor was I aware of any other
    Ba> who did.

    KH> If I might interject here, this very possibly could be in
    KH> relation to Dr. Aquino's supposed former job in the Psychological
    KH> Warfare Dept of the US Army as detailed in 'To Ride a Pale Horse' by
    KH> Bill Cooper. Now, personally, i'd be suspect about getting into an
    KH> organisation run by someone who used to brainwash for a living, but I
    KH> dont know that for sure, do you, or anyone, possibly Dr. Aquino
    KH> himself, if he's out there, tell me what the deal is regarding the ToS
    KH> and the US army, and the claim by Thorsson that the ToS are conducting
    KH> psychotronic research, given that it is claimed that the US Military
    KH> was doing likewise?

    1) Dr. Aquino has been on active duty and I believe is still on reserve duty with the Army. That's been his career, a source of income, and his way of contributing to his country. It has nothing to do with the ToS, except that some of his Army acquaintances have since joined the ToS independently.

    2) There is no active relationship between the ToS and the Army or any branch of the government. At least I've been unable to find one in well over a dozen years of membership.

    3) Psychotronic research is a form of research, pursued by some within the ToS as part of their interest in Xeper. It's being pursued generally by the same people who are studying angular sounds and shapes. If the U.S. military is also studying this field, that's either coincidence or a mere fluke of timing.

    KH> Mind you i'd like to point out here that I dont necessarily
    KH> believe 'they are all baby eating illuminati puppets' etc etc. But
    KH> i'd be very interested to get some kind of reply on this, because it
    KH> raises in me a few large questions.

    And how are you going to get answers you believe? If we're the deep, dark, evil organization people claim we are, then you can't believe anything I write here. How are you going to find the truth?

  • Do you infiltrate other occult groups?

    No. Believing that Xeper is more important than just about anything else, we're too busy with our own initiation to try to infiltrate other groups. This suggestion has appeared from time to time, with different groups.

    1. Back on Oct 6, 1993, in the PODS ADF Echo, I posted:

      On 30 Sep 93 21:19:01, Gar Nelson posted to Darkweaver concerning: coitions
      >^gt; don called me back and told me she was a high priestess of
      > temple of set and aquino had sent her to like, infiltrate. (?!?)
      > besides the fact we would have bored the pants off an
      > "infiltrator",
      GN> Yeah, I can just picture an infiltrator! What an exciting report
      GN> *that* would make.

      And, Ron Kimball posted to Darkweaver on 02 Oct 93 11:46:00
      D> Eigenhauser of fog city nest (caw) in SF sent someone to
      D> join adf here in san jose. i never talked to her because of my
      D> daughters situation, but yesterday don called me back and told
      D> me she was a high priestess of temple of set and
      D> aquino had sent her to like, infiltrate. (?!?)
      RK> Have you considered the possibility that she has left TOS and now
      RK> legitimately wants to join ADF? I bet if you asked her you
      RK> wouldn't have to wonder about it. We, after all, do allow
      RK> ex-satanists to join...
      D> besides the fact we would have bored the pants off an
      D> "infiltrator",
      D> i am reading patriot games and , isn't this exciting!! i can't
      D> imagine why they would bother,
      RK> I'll bet yah twenty dollars that TOS WOULDN'T bother. If they
      RK> wanted
      RK> to get the "inside scoop" on us, they can just read it all here!

      I hope y'all don't mind my lurking here ... my Sysop just added this echo to our selection, and having had some very enlightening conversations with members of the A.D.F., I had to look in. (You're welcome to visit the NuitNet Base of Set echo if you wish.) Then I happened to find these two messages, and ...

      Having been a Setian for quite a number of years now, I'd have to agree with RK -- the Temple of Set doesn't bother infiltrating other organizations. We don't like it done to us, and we don't do it to others.

      I don't know whom you're discussing, but it's most likely an ex-Setian or a disappointed member who's looking for other options. (Less likely, it's someone who's trying to figure out a way to benefit from the animosity that Mr. Bonewits seems to have for the Temple of Set, but I imagine that's something you can handle.)

      And as far as "she was a high priestess of temple of set," we don't have any such thing. We have female initiates in high places (several in the IV*, and at least two on our board of directors), but no "high priestess" title or grade. More, no Priestess (III* Initiate) would join the A.D.F., knowing Mr. Bonewits' feelings about us (we have better things to do than increase the animosity towards Setians). An ex-Setian who once held that Grade might consider joining the A.D.F., but neither of us should have much problem with that in my opinion.

      D> I told domi that i thought they were behind lady jeanettes
      D> personal shit, for reasons of my own; but we both agreed we
      D> didn't need to get terribly paranoid.
      RK> True, it is interesting the Lady J. seems to have some training
      RK> that she isn't willing to talk about, instead making up things.
      RK> Points to her having a LHP past. I personally doubt that she is
      RK> presently connected with TOS. They seem to have better things to
      RK> do, although I DO wish Isaac would lay off of them. Might improve
      RK> his personal health...

      Again, I don't know who this Lady J. might be, or what her past might have been, nor even whether she might be a current member of the Temple of Set. However, I can state with fair certainty that we were not "behind" whatever problems she might have caused. At least, I've never known any III* (or higher) Initiate in the ToS ever cause or influence problems in any other organization. (Now if she had some internal instability which was made worse by experience in our not always supportive environment, and that problem erupted in your environment, then I guess you can say we contributed to the problem, though not intentionally so.)

      D> i think somebody is playing mind-fuck for the sheer joy it gives
      D> the underlifed.

      RK> True, and they are rather good at it, aren't they? I believe
      RK> LHPers call this LBM (Lesser Black Magic) which is sorta similar
      RK> to the techniques a high pressure salesman uses crossed with
      RK> those "How to get Revenge on Your Neighbor" books they sell in
      RK> the back of _Solder of Fortune_ magazine...

      LBM is a bit broader than that, but otherwise that's a beginning look at it. However, the mind-fuck use is pursued only by those who are juveniles in behavior. When Setians (at least those of us who consider ourselves to be responsible members of society) use these tools, we do so for specific personal goals and objectives, not for "playing mind-fuck for the sheer joy" of it.

    2. alt.pagan, Oct 06 '94, 18:31, From : tyagi mordred nagasiva, apparently quoting an alt.satanism response from Dr. Aquino, Subj : Re: Views on Satanism: Neopagan (LONG Correspondence Otter/me).

      While some might claim that Dr. Aquino's statement would be expected posturing, it's important to note that nobody in the CAW organization ever provided any indication that there was anything more to G'Zell's initial bluster.

      Tyagi Nagasiva writes {quoting Otter G'Zell - CAW}:
      * * * * *
      One of our members used to be a member of the Temple of Set's Circle of Nine. He quit ten years ago when Michael Aquino presented his new agenda: to infiltrate and redirect the emerging Pagan movement onto a more Satanic pathway. Perhaps I will have him tell his story, and expose this Setian agenda so we can all get a real good look at what is really going on here.
      * * * * *

      Absolutely untrue and absurd. Why would I possibly want to steer people of non-Setian [or non-Satanic] dispositions in the direction of a philosophy or religion they are not emotionally or intellectually equipped to handle? The result - assuming success - would be a real zoo. No thanks! [And incidentally the board of directors of the Temple of Set is the *Council*, not "Circle", of Nine.]

8.0  Miscellaneous

8.1  Miscellaneous Links

8.2  FAQ/REF Sources

  1. Setian Discussions echo FAQ. author: Balanone, version: Dec 30, 1996
  2. More About the Temple of Set web page. author: Balanone, version: Nov 25, 1996
  3. The alt.satanism FAQ file. author/editor: Lupo the Butcher, Version 2.3, January 7, 1996
  4. Temple of Set alt.satanism FAQ. author: Dr. Michael Aquino, version: Oct 10, 1995
  5. Misc email from Xepera-l mailing list
  6. Misc email from newsgroups and echos

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Note: To reduce clutter on these pages, most links, political statements, and miscellaneous graphics have been moved to Balanone's Site map.

Copyright: All items on Balanone's site are copyright unless otherwise noted. The copyright owner is clearly identified in the HTML header of each item. Except where noted, reproduction of these materials in any way, shape, or form without the copyright owner's permission is not allowed. This material is not to be posted on any hosting service which attempts to grant to themselves the right to use posted materials, or to reproduce them for any purpose other than backups and the facilitation of the display of the intended web pages.

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