(UPDATE: It seems that this group has rebranded under the name of “Orthodox Temple of Natural Religion” as of May 2022. Their website seems to be offline as of December 2022, but their Facebook page is still active. Same bullshit still applies to this bullshit group, though.)
I’ve made a few (usually firebrand) posts in the past regarding social justice. Suffice it to say that I’m an ardent supporter of social justice in all its forms, that I believe and commit to the idea that Black Lives Matter, that trans rights are human rights, and so on and so forth. Besides seeing these things as just being a logical consequence of basic human decency, I also find that these things are justified by the ethics and morality espoused by Hermeticism and any true and proper path of divinity. I want to reiterate that sort of opinion today, of course, but in a different way than I have before. This is a rant, and specifically a denunciation, against a specific group: the Temple of the Hermetic One.
As a rule, I generally don’t like being specific or engaging in call-outs of specific people or groups, but today I need to break that rule and get specific to let the broader occult community know of something rotten, and that something is the so-called “Temple of the Hermetic One” (TotHO). This is a religious community that was founded in 2019, and though they don’t appear to be particularly large (consisting of maybe a handful of leaders and at least some number of initiates), they do seem to have a physical presence in addition to an online one, and appear to have candidates for admission or initiation in multiple places across the world, and have about 2.6k followers on Facebook. They appear (or at least claim) to have a set of teachings and practices based on Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, and a variety of pagan and neopagan traditions.
I bring them up today because one of their leaders by the name of Trismejustus (not the leader, but one of the high-ranking members who appears to have a position of authority within the organization) joined the
Hermetic Agora Discord (now defunct, please join the Hermetic House of Life Discord instead) that I participate (and am a mod) in, announcing himself effectively as a representative of that community and saying he’d be happy to take any questions. One of the other mods (specifically the Reverend Erik Arneson, my friend and also owner of the Arnemancy website and podcast) began looking into their website and noticed a trend of troubling tenets, statements, and beliefs they had. I began looking into their website as well as their Facebook page, and also noticed other such disturbing trends. To summarize, we found notions of:
- Racism, xenophobia, the right of races to self-separate and exclude others from their traditions and practices, striving to uphold genetic/ethnic purity and identity, how we should remove “foreign aspects that were detrimental” from the practices of our ancestors, and statements against racial/ethnic mixing but with no according mention of notions of minority, oppression, or power structures
- Paganism is, for them, “religiously inclusive but ethnically exclusive”, and kept citing the downfall of Hellenistic/Ptolemaic Egypt because of how corrupt it had become due to ethnic mixing
- A support of theocracy and absolute rule of the few over the many, while also saying that democracy is a mistake and how Athens was great “in spite of their democracy”
- Heteronormativity and puritanism, how only sex between men and women for procreation is moral, how philosophers like Plato “engaged in some nasty acts”
- Anti-vaxx sentiments, how people should use religious exemptions to refuse mandatory vaccinations and how we should instead trust in nature an divinity, how “overcoming ailments naturally is the better option”, and how we should refuse scientific investigation and medical testing regarding the efficacy or safety of vaccines out of hand (notably with no encouragement for those who are willing or able to get the vaccine to do so)
- Heated, passionate vitriol against anything and everything Abrahamic in any form, even to the point of saying that the Greek Magical Papyri aren’t worth studying due to all their Yahwisty bits (though for some reason being a supporter of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin, a well-known European grimoire, because it’s “not really Abrahamic”)
None of these views made us feel particularly sanguine about their group, so we posed a series of questions asking for clarification on these points in the server’s public chat to the TotHO member, who himself had found the Discord link on the /r/Hermeticism subreddit. After all, the mod team on the Hermetic Agora Discord does actually moderate the community to the point of curating its members, and we do strive to form a place where we can all engage in conversation and discussion on a level terms in a safe environment where we don’t make people feel uncomfortable, but given the tenets and stated beliefs of TotHO, we felt that an explanation was due to clarify, especially as many of these beliefs and stances are prevalent in the more extreme wings of our culture and occulture today using the same lines of thought and argument as what TotHO was appearing to use.
While waiting for their representative to get back to us, another member of TotHO joined the Discord server, since apparently the link was shared in their community as well. They began to answer the questions we posed to the leader who had earlier joined, and it did…not go well. In the course of trying to defend an ethnicity’s right to self-identify/separate/exclude, they also upheld the notion of preventing races from mixing in general while also not clearly answering questions regarding whether or not they supported racial supremacy to the effect that they showed that they did, indeed, support it. They were subsequently banned for not only engaging in racist dialog and ideology on our server, but also for disrespect towards some of our members (they cussed them out for raising a reasonable objection to some of the things this person was saying).
Shortly after this other member of TotHO was banned, the earlier representative of TotHO got back to the chat and began answering the questions we had posed. While defending the conduct of the earlier member, they refused to answer the objections we had raised regarding their statements on racial/ethnic purity or against racial/ethnic mixing. While using tokenism several times (“we have a black member!” “we have a gay member!”), also said some pretty awful stuff regarding queer folk, not just that:
Being gay, as a personal matter, is fine. However, we do have a big issue with the modern LGBT movement (as does this member im speaking of) because its a tornado of lust situated on disgusting and profane acts to the body. Thus, being gay should be a personal matter and not a widely socially acceptable faucet.
And yes, they are entirely degenerate and I will vote for any law that would restrict their operations.
Hilariously, they also said that:
Weak spined people are the reason Paganism, and even Hermeticism, gets laughed at. There’s a reason why you guys hang out in a discord all day and never accomplish anything.
I can tell by the mannerisms of this entire group that you all probably watched a few E.A Koetting videos and looked up Trismegistus on a quote website.
(Cute, right? I thought so, too. Strange that they’d end up mocking a server they only just joined of their own accord, but then, it’s a tactic that’s all too common by particular unsavory users on the Internet.)
When mentioned as a leader of TotHO (given that they stated that their position was as a magister), they said that they are “not the Leader” but that they “serve the Leader”, which is not just cryptic but also unsettlingly creepy. After many people in the server began raising objections left and right to the things they were saying and how they were saying it, they ended up resorting to the usual troll tactics of mocking, denying earlier statements made, and the like. Perhaps needless to say, they were banned.
Now, I’m not usually in the habit of telling people who or what organizations they should associate with, but in this case, I have to make it clear my thoughts on this “The Temple of the Hermetic One”. Based not only on their stated tenets and beliefs on their website and public social media presence but also on the stated opinions, actions, and behaviors of their members (both in leadership as well as non-leadership positions), this is not an organization I could ever recommend to anyone, and instead recommend all those to stay away from this group. We all know that the past few years have seen a strong surge in fascist, far-right, authoritarian, and conspiracy theory-laden groups obsessed with playing the victim as well as trying to take power for themselves, and it would appear that TotHO is another such group, which is unfortunately playing at pretentions of being a spiritual or religious organization and is making a mockery of the Neoplatonic and Hermetic virtues they claim to cherish so much. They inspire no confidence in me and, beyond this denunciation I make of them, are not worth the time or effort to speak of. I make this denunciation for the benefit of the occult community as a whole, given their inclinations towards some pretty shitty views and approaches to humanity, and would hope that none that I know would deign to be a part of them. And, likewise, I hope that any such members of TotHO who happen to read my blog reconsider their membership and what it means to be a decent fucking human being, and that I hope that anyone who would persist in maintaining or holding these abominable views on their fellow humans has anything they use from my writings blow up in their face until they learn how to be a better human being. After all—and I want to make this clear—I don’t make enemies out of others nor do I want or care to, but TotHO has made themselves an enemy to me and to the well-being of humanity as a whole. I hope for their hearts to be enlightened in wisdom and sense, and that they learn to move past the mistakes they’re making and to heal the hurt they’re causing.
I mean, hells below, I’d rather give the Kybalion a full license to appropriate the term “Hermetic” compared to whatever miasmatic bullshit this group manages to use it for.
TL;DR: stay the fuck away from this community of racist, homophobic assholes.
EDIT: It’s not just me and Erik that have picked up on this, but others have as well. In a review left on their Facebook page on June 21, 2020, someone made the following remarks:
This page displays some knowledge of Orphic, Platonic and Hermetic texts and ideas. However, the authors of this page do not appear to be able to comprehend these texts in the original language in which they were written. Nor do they have an appreciation for the methods of Platonic Philosophy, which involve using dialectical logic to reach knowledge, and building on such knowledge using the same logic. This is what Plato did and what later Platonists did by building on the logic based knowledge provided by Plato using logic. Instead, the authors of this page rely on belief and dogma. These two deficiencies – apparently not understanding the language in which the texts were composed and replacing dialectical logic based knowledge with belief and dogma – lead the authors into misinterpretations and misrepresentations of the tradition they claim to uphold and present. The racialist/nationalist position this page promotes is one example of such an error.
Thank you for sharing this, Sam! It is so incredibly frustrating to see these whiny bigoted hatemongers trying to worm their way into the otherwise amazing modern Hermetic community. I’m glad we were able to spot them quickly.
More importantly, that *you* were able to spot them quickly. I’ve learned plenty from you in this debacle, and I thank you for being my friend, co-mod, and teacher in this!
May the Hermetic and occult community learn from this, and become better by it all.
I’m not even slightly tempted to trawl through the tomes of calumny and back-patting that you are engaging in here on this blog post just to unpack your pitiful and ultimately facile “critique” of our Temple.
It is clear that your unhealthy fixations and pedantic nature make it hard for you to get past your ego in discussions like these.
That being so, you missed the entire point. You are warning the “occult community” and other pomopagans. I can’t say I’m surprised but you should know that is not our audience. We rarely welcome existing occultists and pomopagans. Your understanding of divinity and God’s end and of itself is extremely rudimentary and I don’t even know why you are uttering the names of Plato and neoplatonists when it is clear you have such a superficial grasp on the meaning of their work, but we adhere to strict character aptitude tests and very rarely do so-called “occultists” pass. Usually because the occulture is masturbatory and powerfully ignorant when it comes to issues of the Divine.
As another neoplatonist said
“Conciliation with the pomopagans does not serve the Gods. We may attempt to educate them, but surely we’re obliged to reject them should they refuse to learn.”
So you can kvetch in your echo chamber to your heart’s content, but we are advancing in ways that you just would not understand. Or, to put it more colloquially:
“We out here”
Next time you want to quote Neoplatonism at me, try to not quote some fascist fuckwad’s Twitter thread that isn’t even a month old.
Sorry not sorry you and your “magister” didn’t find fascist fuckbuddies outside your own little clique when y’all went out of your way to join our community. We’re rather glad we wouldn’t pass any “strict character aptitude test” your sham of an order would impose.
You really are obnoxious.
I said another neoplatonist, and quoted somebody I agreed with. Not sure if he is a fascist or not but it was a great point about buttblasted NPCs such as yourself. You think I’d waste a quote by Sallust or Plotinus on your blog? I can’t think of a place more undeserving.
Truly, you are a source of mirth, and a great example of what *not* to do and how *not* to act.
I can only conclude that your effeminate behavior and shrill copeposting is a sign that there is really nothing further gained in commenting. It really is a childish display.You have a big mouth and act like a 10 year old.
You have a real problem with us? Anyone of us in this Temple probably owns a pair of boxing gloves. And you got our email. Anytime man.
Temple of the Hermetic One
You are aware that WordPress lets me see the emails of the person commenting on my website, and that you’ve revealed yourself as the same person as mourningskyfire trying to self-brigade me under different names, yes?
Wow – this is some absolutely exquisite cringe.
/T\ what doesv this mean?
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