I don’t take pleasure in calling people out, but occasionally it has to be done, especially when the person being called out is actively engaging in harmful, hateful things. Even when it’s proper and righteous to do so, some people find it hard, especially if the person they’re calling out has a large following or if there are political, financial, or safety reasons at play. Everyone has their own concerns they need to take stock of, and for that reason, not everyone who deserves a call-out gets one.
A few days ago on Twitter, I did my part to call out Gordon White of Rune Soup, around which the Rune Soup Premium Membership (RSPM) is focused. This was several years late by my reckoning (for which I apologize), but I saw an opportune moment to do so, and decided that something like this is better late than never. To that end, if you read Gordon’s blog and see his (hilariously awkward and infantile attempts of) attacks at me, this is why; he’s lashing out because someone dared to speak up against him (although I’m far from the only one to do so). He is not someone to take seriously, much less take classes from; he is a far and sad cry from being any sort of champion of chaos magic, instead descending to little more than anti-vax right-wing grifting.
For those who aren’t on Twitter or have made the choice to ignore it, indulge me if you will. For recordkeeping’s sake, I’ll list the relevant Twitter threads I made below for you to read at your leisure:
- In which I call out Gordon White and Rune Soup for being involved in violent and anti-vax rhetoric while drumming up a personality cult around him
- In which I make fun of his subsequent (and hilariously clumsy) attack on me from a blog post he made in response to the above thread
- In which I call out his hypocrisy in trying to pillory me for my employment
- Ditto, this time him trying to lambast me for being involved in an ATR while employed as I am
- In which I share a screenshot of Gordon saying that the COVID vaccines “literally cause AIDS”
- In which I share a screenshot of Gordon sharing extremist, partisan, conspiracy “news sources” that engage in evangelical Christian end-of-the-world conspiracies (think Cain, Satan, nuclear war, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, etc.)
- In which I make fun of another attack on me for my employment and priesthood (see thread #4 above)
I encourage you all to read the posts above if you can; if nothing else, they should be fairly entertaining, and there’s plenty of commentary from myself and others in the many replies thereof. I’ll be referring to them and screenshots shared there, since I’m going to go against my usual practice and instead refrain from linking at all to Gordon’s blog or Twitter feed (he doesn’t deserve the traffic from my site). I may, however, link to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine records of his website, however, depending on the need.
Oh, and yeah, him saying that COVID vaccines cause AIDS thing is very much real. Let’s just get that out of the way first while we’re here. Below is a screenshot of something he said in his private RSPM groups, and it’s far from the only such thing he’s said (alongside the tired variants on how vaccines cause autism, etc.). Those who’ve been following Rune Soup know that Gordon has said some awful stuff in general when it comes to medicine, healthcare, and the vulnerable, but he says so much worse stuff behind closed doors. And, as an out gay man himself (and myself, I should note!), I feel like he should have at least some sort of shame about invoking the HIV/AIDS crisis in this horrific, self-serving way.
Anyway, let me share my original statement regarding Gordon White. It built off of a quote-tweet by Marco Visconti, in which he asked “Are we all still ok with the fake permaculture shaman to keep on serving virulent anti-vaxxer rhetoric alongside his abysmal rune soup?”. I know I wasn’t and hadn’t been for some time, so I decided to let my thoughts be known clearly:
The only place for Rune Soup, honestly, is down the drain. It’d been bad for a while, and I really don’t know what else to tell people except to stay away from Gordon White’s stuff at this point, given all the hubristic, hateful, and violent ranting coming from him and his blog.
I used to like him, I was a supporter of his stuff, I joined in on his classes, and it was great while it lasted, but…well, as it turned out, GW/RS is a fine example of spirituality mingling with conspiracy to make conspirituality—which is as much a con as anything else.
It’s not just me that’s picked up on this; I tuned out of GW/RS’s stuff a good while back after he gladly invited some unfortunate people on his show, but others’ve kept up and have better receipts.
The RT’d thread above has quite a few replies by people I know, like, and trust who have been more involved in RSPM than I ever was, or who have kept up even more on GW/RS and can talk more about the stuff they can trace both to and from his stuff. It’s worth a (sobering) read.
Far be it from me to speculate about GW’s private issues, but from my perspective, he’s become a stereotype of the addled fake guru-turned-cult-leader peddling bad predictions couched in feel-good nonsense. He’s far gone from the practice-oriented chaos magic champion of yore.
I know I have a lot of RSPM folk among my friends+followers, and I hope you know what you’re doing with open eyes and a clear mind if/when you continue to involve yourself with GW/RS. For me? I can’t condone the conspiratorially crazy or crasslessly crude.
I also note that GW/RS is developing more and more of an extreme right-wing readership. Between that and the constant edgelordy gnosticism (which already attracts an ugly underbelly of Internet-addled trolls), the ambiance of his audience is not one I’d want to associate with.
The past few years have done a number on a lot of people, that much is certain, and it’s given a lot of people the chance to gleefully take off their masks in more ways than one—and sometimes, there’s worse to deal with than just someone’s odious breath.
Twitter being what it is, something like this spread quickly. Now, going into this, I knew that this was going to hit a lot of people in different ways, and I know that I have many people I consider friends or colleagues who are or were part of RSPM or who are otherwise fans of Gordon. Although it shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who pays attention to the things I say when it comes to politics or science, I know my own silence regarding Gordon specifically may have led some into some false sense of alliance between my and Gordon’s views, which I’ve since publicly rebuked and repudiated as being repulsive and vile. By speaking out, I knew I was gonna make at least some people upset.
And, predictably (given how he’s reacted in the past to other people who’ve called him out along similar lines), Gordon wrote a post of his own on his website in a matter of hours attempting to pillory me. A screenshot of the post in question:
I’m sure you all remember my pompous, Tory, cokehead little stalker still hopping mad that he isn’t -and never will be- me. From memory, Sam is some kind of federal IT bureaucrat so I guess he knows where his bread is buttered. Only a personality who could endure such a job could also be responsible for the unremittingly boring and lengthy blog posts that always fail to distinguish between what hermetic texts actually say versus the words they contain. The only magic in them is a cure for insomnia. All of this is to say I guess his dumb little take is not very surprising.
Anyway, this is what I have the distinct pleasure of dealing with while I go about my fake permaculturing and my fake shamaning. (Including bringing the work of Indigenous elders from around the world to public attention for the first time.) Apparently that’s ‘hate’, according to Sam. Apparently his grumpy little Tory cokehead friend’s repeated instances of misogyny and homophobia isn’t ‘hate’. (Fun bonus fact: Sam is gay.)
I find it comical how he described me and my blog in literally the exact opposite terms in his interview with me from September 2017, but so it goes, I suppose. As for whatever insults he has for Marco, that’s a whole thing that’s its own debacle unto itself; Gordon likes to cry about being bullied while throwing insults like this, even to the point of making up identities for him to play his own brand of identity politics with, and it goes well beyond just Marco. It all just blends into background noise after a point when you go through his blog archives.
The rest of his post isn’t worth the read; it’s just so much him whining about how misunderstood he is (despite his ample writing over the years that make abundantly clear what he believes) and how his followers should take the moral high road when it comes to haters (though I doubt they’d do well at that by following his example). In this specific blurb riddled with ad-homimems, however, Gordon not only attempts to dox me (name, employer, and sexuality—none of which I’ve ever kept a secret, but it’s still a class act of him lashing out) but also makes a pathetic attempt at insulting me and my writing, to which I have two things to say:
- Sorry not sorry that my blog posts can get a bit long so that I can produce things of substance instead of mere content, or that I don’t just copy-paste other people’s half-read opinions and share them as some sort of deep truth of my own like some people do.
- Sorry not sorry that I use textual criticism because I care about getting things right for real implementation instead of following hucksters who call for harm against people doing meaningful work.
There’s also the “white savior” complex he brings into this, too; it shouldn’t be forgotten that Gordon has made a huge hubbub in recent years about his “shaman certification” that he received (after paying something around $10k for) from Alberto Villoldo, a Cuban psychologist who developed a form of neo-shamanism based on Peruvian and other South American practices, though not without controversy of his own regarding the (severe) impropriety of him doing so, which casts doubt on the very legitimacy of what Gordon inflates and reminds people of constantly. Although, let’s be honest, it’s not like figuring out how legitimate such a “shamanic healing” practice would be given how Gordon himself talks about and markets it:
In addition to what he said about me on his blog, he also said a few unfortunate things about me on his Twitter, trying to shame me for my employment as a low-level software engineer for the United States federal government. I’ve never kept this a secret, although I don’t bring up which specific agency beyond saying that it’s one of the calmer apolitical ones in existence. I know what my job consists of and how it impacts people (and Gordon by his own admission doesn’t, I should note), but I don’t bring it up because nothing I say online or on this blog is ever said from the perspective of a federal employee. To be sure, the United States as a whole has caused atrocious horrors the whole world over; I’d never deny that. However, for Gordon (who has built so much of his blogging career on talking about elaborate non-systems and how so many things supposedly interconnect and interrelate to the point of outright unfounded conspiracy theories), there is no nuance here; I am paid by the government, and therefore I am among the worst of archons all unto myself. Specifically, he now holds me to be responsible for “the most dangerous organisation on earth, that literally turns brown children to paste” and also “responsible for Latin America’s disadvantaged condition, as well as the death of about a million Latins”. Sure, the US government is to blame for that, yet to impugn me as specifically responsible for this is just puerile, ungrounded, and unhinged finger-pointing on his end. He also seems to take a special, sick joy in also attacking my initiation as a priest in La Regla de Ocha Lucumí (aka Santería, an Afro-Caribbean orisha religion) which he somehow finds ironic in this context, I guess, all the while woefully ignorant of its history and context. (At least I can trace my priesthood by name back to my forebears with others to attest to its legitimacy, something Gordon can’t with his “shamanic certification”.)
What he’s trying to do (though inexpertly) is shame me for my privilege in how I am so obviously and intimately tied up in the reckless destruction of human life across the world generally and Latin America specifically—all the while boasting about his own descent from British colonial administrators in the Pacific and using that to his lifelong advantage, working for global media companies and immersing himself in the active pushing of government-sanctioned/-directed propaganda to influence people the whole world over, and running in the same circles as actual royalty of colonialist empires and actual billionaires. He says so right on his own website’s About page, and I swear by the gods above and below that I am not making this up (with the important and rather telling-on-oneself bits bolded by myself):
Australian by birth, Gordon White’s family has strong connections to the wider South Pacific thanks to his grandfather’s experience in colonial administration in Nauru and New Guinea. He spent much of his early years exploring and diving in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.
After moving to London, he held senior data and analytics positions in global media companies, as well as starting a chaos magic blog and podcast called Rune Soup… which ultimately led to the publication of his first three books, The Chaos Protocols, Star.Ships: A Prehistory of the Spirits and Pieces of Eight.
Fun trivia about Gordon:
- He has been in both the actual DeLorean from Back To The Future and the Batmobile from the original Adam West series.
- He is distantly related to Sir Isaac Newton.
- He accidentally ended up at the same party as Prince Harry.
- He has lived on two volcanoes.
- He has dived on a sunken city.
- Sir Richard Branson once bought him a bottle of champagne.
- He is obsessed with sharks.
I think it’s clear to say that Gordon White isn’t some sort of Joe Six-Pack, some sort of common man that disempowered people should relate to. He is very much a product of the same old money and colonialist regimes that he instead tries to pillory me (and others!) for. Rather than responsibly accounting for his own privilege, he instead builds his whole career on his privilege being a predicate for everything he’s done, up to and including buying his own farm (which he struggles with) to live out some sort of prepper’s dream to deal with his own midlife crisis. Rather than making use of his privilege and his experience with the self-same archons that he developed his whole “archonology” theorycrafting about to actually help people, he’s more inclined to perpetuate and propagate those same tendencies and strengths to bend people around him to stoop to his insanity even more.
I could go on, but if you take a look at what I linked to above and Marco Visconti’s original tweet (and all the replies from the many other people to it), you’ll see so much more of this in tired abundance. Between the non-ironic shares of “news articles” from extremist/conspiracy rags like Expose News or Rebel News, the calls for violence against healthcare workers, the piles of anti-vax rhetoric that he only ever doubles down on (and now seems to be making his whole brand), the extremely improper “medical advice” he gives for people to deal with the vaccine (including talking about turpentine enemas to extract toxins)…it’s not great. But this is who he is; this is what he does.
While Gordon has definitely and publicly gone off the rails in the COVID-19 pandemic and how traumatized he was by not being able to travel so freely anymore (quelle horreur!), it’s not like his right-wing extremism is a new thing. He’s shown tendencies towards New Right ideology in posts dating back at least to 2015, invoking the likes of Ernst Jünger for the sake of rebellion against multiculturalism. Taking a page out of his own conspiracy/archonology playbook, if there’s one thing Gordon is good at, it’s using, twisting, and adapting language to suit his own self-serving needs—although anyone with a head on their shoulders and their eyes open can see clearly what it is he’s doing. (The irony of him using Mark Twain’s quote in his recent posts of “it’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled” would be so satisfying if it weren’t so nauseating in this context.)
This blogpost of mine is not intended to be something like Fr. Pera’s documentation of the Nazi occultist Georgina Rose aka Da’at Darling; I’m not tracking all of the awful things Gordon has said or encouraged people to do over the years, as that’s a far greater endeavor than I have the time or energy for, especially when I’ve spent the past few years content with just ignoring him. However, at this point, the harm he’s causing through his violent rhetoric (all the while couched in feel-good holistic woo and Ursula Le Guin quotes) is simply too much to keep silent on, and so I refuse to any longer. This is why I spoke out several days ago on Twitter, and is why I’m speaking out now on my blog (which I hope, dear reader, hasn’t been “unremittingly boring” for you). I simply share what I have at hand about why I’m saying these things, all to make this point: Gordon White is not someone to follow, learn from, or give one’s money to. I am simply letting people know what he’s actually doing and saying behind his cultivated online presence.
A call-out like this is not going to make me many friends, or so I assume; I’ve already had some (albeit happily not many) people distance themselves from me, calling me an “unhinged tweet spree hate message spreader” or just simply “scum” (for real). And, yanno what? It’s honestly no skin off my nose for being called names for calling out someone who seems to want to start a cult around himself. Unlike Gordon, I’m not trying to corner some market, cultivate some personality cult, or take advantage of people with an obvious grift that preys on people’s enflamed emotions and vulnerability with far-right propaganda-bot-fueled talking points during a global pandemic (and worse). I’m just here doing my thing, and that’s all I care about; to that end, I just want to make sure that people are well-prepared with the knowledge they need regarding one of the bigger (and more harmful) names in the modern occult community today. Hence, this blog post, which I hope will be the only one I ever have to write about him, since I’d like to get back to my habit of not having to think about him or reluctantly visit his website/Twitter when someone tells me about some new odious thing he wrote with my name on it. Since I’ve solidly earned a place on his shitlist, I fully anticipate that he’ll continue ranting and whining about me with bungled attempts at defaming me or shaming me while ignoring the breathtaking hypocrisy or outright ignorance involved in him doing so; I don’t care.
While I don’t expect to deconvert anyone already stuck on Gordon’s bullshit (though hope springs eternal!), I do want to spread the awareness of his bullshit all the same, to let others know who have been picking up on some of these rancid smells that it’s not just them, to let people know that there are those willing to speak out against him despite his following, and to offer an explanation of why my name is coming out of his execrable mouth. Despite his holier-than-thou railing against people with hate in their hearts, I’m not someone so full of hate like Gordon is in this; I am only (in the words of the Headless Rite) someone “who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world”. The Rune Soup really is rotten, and the sooner we dump it, the better off we’ll all be.
PS: I am uninterested in reading defenses of bloviating, conspiracy-addled, rage-spreading hucksters, despite what you might have learned from them or how good a friend they might be to you; they can defend and redeem themselves by changing their own apparent behavior and character. And yanno what? I’d love for these kinds of people to do just that! I’m not about playing a game of tit-for-tat to garner support or leverage social media engagement; I just want us all to do better. So please, if you’ve got something to share in support of Gordon or similar people, just save your breath and keystrokes, and instead let them show who they are by their own words and works.