Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Christian Black Magick

It never ceases to amaze me when I come across conservative Christians doing magick, especially what most would consider black magick. I'm not talking about Christian esotericists like Rufus Opus - the Hermetic Christian tradition has a long history of working with magical powers and according the Hermetic philosophy doing so is an essential component of spiritual development. No, I'm talking about Biblical literalists who completely accept and promulgate the Old Testament prohibitions on performing magick but nonetheless do so themselves. They call it "imprecatory prayer," a semantic shift that makes what they do no less magical and thus no less a violation of the Biblical laws that they claim to uphold.

The latest of these dark sorcerers is Wiley Drake, a Southern Baptist minister who served as second vice president of the Southern Baptist convention from 2006 to 2007 and ran for Vice President in 2008 on the American Independent Party ticket. At the beginning of June Drake claimed to have cast the spell (that is, "made imprecatory prayer") that took the life of Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered on May 31st by an anti-abortion extremist (and let me be clear, I don't believe that everyone who is opposed to abortion is an extremist - but it should be obvious that anyone who would assassinate a doctor is).

Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., called Tiller "a brutal, murdering monster" and said he is "grateful to God" that the physician is no longer around.

"There may be a lot who would say, 'Oh that is mean. You shouldn't be that way,'" Drake said. "Well, no, it's an answer to prayer."

Drake said he prayed nearly 10 years for the salvation of Tiller, medical director of the Women's Health Care Services clinic and an outspoken advocate for abortion rights. About a year ago, Drake said, he switched to what he called "imprecatory prayer."

"I said to the Lord, 'Lord I pray back to you the Psalms, where it says that they are to become widowers and their children are to become orphans and so forth.' And we began calling for those imprecatory prayers, because he had obviously turned his back on God again and again and again," Drake said.

Normally conservative Christians don't have a lot of magical aptitude simply because the best practical magicians usually don't fit very well into non-mystical spiritual systems*, but this guy now claims to have a track record and might be genuinely dangerous. To be fair the jury is still out since Drake made this claim after the fact - it's not uncommon for terrorist groups to take credit for operations that they had nothing to do with and this could be something similar. Still, because of the risks that he took every day Tiller was a prime target for a curse.

Death spells usually don't cause the target to just wither up and die, but rather they mobilize other people and events around the target to act in a way that leads to his or her death. I have no idea what percentage of the anti-abortion protesters that surrounded Tiller's clinic might be unstable enough to be influenced in that direction but I think it's safe to say that the killer was, whether or not Drake's spells had any effect on his psychology. Somebody who's willing to kill without the influence of a spell will certainly be willing to do so with magick spurring him or her along.

Emboldened by his success, Drake has a new project - using his magical powers to assassinate the President. In an interview with Alan Colmes, Drake made his intentions clear.

Asked if there are others for whom Drake is praying "imprecatory prayer," Drake hesitated before answering that there are several. "The usurper that is in the White House is one, B. Hussein Obama," he said.

Later in the interview, Colmes returned to Drake's answer to make sure he heard him right.

"Are you praying for his death?" Colmes asked.

"Yes," Drake replied.

"So you're praying for the death of the president of the United States?"


Peter Carroll once observed that politicians are substantially more difficult than regular people to kill by magick. He added that he believed this to be because everyone who supports them directs positive attention their way and this provides some degree of magical protection. As an Obama supporter and also as an advocate of the Rule of Law I hope that this is the case, but maybe this threat means I should send some additional magical protection the President's way. If I can't cast circles around somebody like Drake there's something seriously wrong with my magical practices.

The remarkable thing is that if their philosophy is at all consistent conservative Christians should be condemning this guy, but so far I haven't come across any statements to that effect from any of the organizations that normally have harsh words for magical practitioners. Does this mean that if I call what I do "prayer" it suddenly becomes mysteriously okay?

UPDATE: I've edited my comment about "magical people" not fitting well into "rigid" spiritual systems. Apparently my use of the former gave the impression that I was talking about people who do magick exactly the way I do or counter-culture people or something like that, when what I was specifically trying to refer to was individuals with high magical aptitude. Now it reads "the best practical magicians" which is clearer. I've changed the latter in response to Jason Miller, who rightly pointed out that spiritual systems like Vajrayana are "rigid" in terms of strictness of practice and also mentioned that he knew a Sufi Muslim who was quite culturally conservative but also a practicing magician.

After thinking it over I agree with Jason that "rigidity" of culture or practice is not the crucial variable. As I see it, the difference between Sufism and Vajrayana on the one hand and literalist Christianity on the other is that the former two systems incorporate mysticism while the latter one does not. Generally speaking, it's mystical practices that attract people who are talented magicians to religious systems. As a result, while I agree that there are plenty of literalist Christians out there who might try to do magick very few of them are any good. Believe it or not, I know this firsthand - when I was in high school I spent almost a year as a member of one of those churches, and let me tell you, there wasn't a competent magician or mystic in the place despite the church having several thousand members.

UPDATE II (*): Apparently that pesky sentence fragment preceding the asterisk is still giving the wrong impression. There certainly are schools of Christianity that I consider "mystical" and there are also talented Christian magicians. Here is what I meant when I wrote it, and also when I revised it:

People with the most magical talent tend to be drawn to spiritual systems in which they can practice magick or mysticism and avoid systems that tell them their abilities are evil. I think that this creates a statistical tendency in favor of systems that embrace those abilities.

You're welcome to agree or disagree, but that is what I meant and that is all I meant. The only person I meant to "belittle" by it was this particular idiot who wants to cast a death spell on our President.

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Rufus Opus said...

Holy shit.

Dude, he's breaking the New Testament injunction to pray FOR the leader of your country, not for them TO DIE. God won't hear the prayers of the unrighteous, they fall to the gound and wither and die, bearing no fruit. Tha'ts something he know, this preacher, kows it well, sand he knows he's breaking the Word of God, which I'm sure he reads literally. That fucker.

What a moron. It's people like that that make the rest of us look... terrible.

Suecae Sounds said...

That is indeed utterly horrible. Obviously he have completely forgotten one of the most important central ideas of the new testament: "love thy neighbor".

Its when we loose sight of the leading tenets of what should be our guiding light that we might sink into this kind of depravity. Which this is an extreme example of.


Jason Miller, said...

109 is my favorite impreciatory psalm.

I disagree about conservative Christians and magick BTW. There is no such thing as "magickal people". There are people who are attracted to counter culture and occult practices, and those that are not, but 90% of the world uses magick. Conservative Christians use it all the time.

At the point where you are organizing specific circles of people to pray for specific things, its magick, not just prayer.

I would argue that consevrative christians are better at using magick in politics than we are.

Scott Stenwick said...

There is no such thing as "magickal people".

In this case by "magical people" I meant people with high enough magical aptitude to get measurable material results. I do think that such aptitude correlates with both desire and capacity for genuine spiritual realization, and opportunities for such realization is in my experience pretty lacking in literalist churches.

90% of the world uses magick. Conservative Christians use it all the time.

I have run into a fair number of conservative Christians who don't believe in praying for specific things, so within their movement I would be surprised if the numbers were as high as 90%. However, I will say that the "Green Gospel" movement is trying to push that number up all the time by getting people to pray for cars and stuff like that.

I would argue that conservative christians are better at using magick in politics than we are.

Well, I can only speak for myself, but my track record for political magick is quite good. I'd put it up against that of most prayer circles any day.

Rufus Opus said...

Bah, that's what I get for posting comments from work. My typos were all over the place. Hope the message gets through.

Unknown said...

He's already done imprecatory prayers against himself for having such a strong feeling as doing this to his enemies. He looks like a douche.

Jason Miller, said...

I do not think that 90% of conservative Christians use magick (other than prayer) but a large portion of the world does, if only from time to time.

Also, pitting a magician against a prayer circle is no brainer, of course you would triumph. They however are great at organizing massive numbers of people to pray in specific ways on specific days for specific goals. That is major mojo.

Scott Stenwick said...

They however are great at organizing massive numbers of people to pray in specific ways on specific days for specific goals. That is major mojo.

So it's a matter of numbers rather than skill. I'd agree with that. If you get enough people together, there are going to be at least a handful with enough talent to accomplish something. The question is how well the few talented members of such a movement can combine their abilities in a coherent way. That tends to become more difficult as the groups involved get bigger.

Rufus Opus said...

Have you guys heard of Christian Pentecostal "Prayer Warriors?" My mom went to Israel and left wheat in the Al Aqsa Mosque that had been prayed over to break the stranglehold of Islam over the fundamentalists. They go around to the Masonic lodges and bury things on their properties. They...

Well, they are more effective than a good 90% of the people I know that call themselves magicians. Pitting a magician against a prayer circle like the ones I grew up with would leave the magician begging Jesus for forgiveness and looking for the nearest baptismal.

Then again, you're not talking about people who read Modern Magick and then consider themselves Magicians, I suppose.

I'd totally put my money on my mom though if she were in a spiritual war with a seasoned Curanderismo or even a Palero. Her pastor too. And most of her prayer circle. They're veterans of spiritual warfare, and they go out looking for fights.

Kinda like the douchebag that started the article. Except they don't pray for people to die. sigh-ning off...

Scott Stenwick said...

Well, they are more effective than a good 90% of the people I know that call themselves magicians.

I can't speak for Jason, but I was talking about magicians who (1) have a high level of natural aptitude and (2) actually maintain a magical practice. I don't know if those criteria weed out 90% of the community, but I have run across a significant number of self-proclaimed magicians to whom neither qualifier applies.

Unknown said...

>>So it's a matter of numbers rather than skill. I'd agree with that.

It's really more the specifics of the situation. Look at vietnam. We had superior weapons, but they were just so fucking tenacious that it cost us a shitload. Numbers can overwhelm skill, but only if the skill can't compete with the numbers.

Unknown said...

>>UPDATE II (*): Apparently that pesky sentence fragment preceding the asterisk is still giving the wrong impression.

Dude, this is getting crazy. Stop editing your blogs. If I was gonna order my mysticism, it'd be abrahamic religions primarily, indian religions secondary and paganism/animism tertiary.

Anyone that's taken your blog entry the wrong way is their own fault for not getting it the first time. I've not understood how others could have mistaken its original writing and intention.

This is nuts.

Scott Stenwick said...

This is nuts.

Sadly, I can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to precise communication and I have a lot of trouble resisting the urge to fiddle with my writing. You'd be amazed at how many edits over the years that I've considered but eventually decided not to make.

No worries, though - that will be the last update.

Myrilla said...

This isn't fair. It's idiots like that that make it so hard for decent people who just want to understand the gift of power and wisdom God gave to us. Magick is nothing but directing your will into energy and sending it out into the Universe (or like I do to God) while wishing no harm upon anything, anyone, including myself. It's like prayer with props, as I once heard. When people pray, wish, hope, dream, think, they are using "Magick". We were born to be great creators (in the image of GOD), but people have simply been swallowed by greed, corruption, power, and evil. There is such a thing as following Goodness, Righteousness, and Love with God while practicing magick. The archangels guard my circle and I try to heal the people, animals, and plants of this earth, as well as the earth itself. I give blessings to our Creator and I feel wonderful joy. I think it's when people invite unknown entities to "help" them when they get trapped and sucked into evil. The original Hebrew word in the Old Testament in the famed passage "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18) was not witch but m'kashepah, meaning a woman who uses spoken spells to harm others. I'm not like that, and I'm sure others who have found Light and Love do not do any such thing. Don't take the recently edited versions of the bible so literally...Do your homework, guys, as I'm sure everyone does in search of the truth. Merry blessings.

Anonymous said...

As a response to christians that adhere to what that Drake fellow wants them to think, i am posting this link: http://www.mindreality.com/using-christian-magick-as-power-of-god-almighty

You will find there that using magick as a christian is not prohibited, only using magick against God's will. Prayers are actual magickal ways to changing reality, as Jesus told his apostles to pray in such a way as if they had already received the results of their prayers. I find that statement the same as the phrase i first read about when i've starded to study magick in order to begin practicing it. It went something like "when you perform a ritual, act like its intent has already been manifested".

So this means that every christian out there is performing magick when praying, although most likely, many of them don't use the technique of acting like the result of their prayers have already manifested. That could result in them loosing their faith and questioning God for not answering their prayers, even if they were praying for benign things. Although in this world of duality, one can hardly call something benign for all, since a good thing for someone might be bad for someone else.

Anyway, i think that that Drake character is certainly twisting the words in the bible in his favour, when addressing his "flock" (haha). The very fact that he has prayed for the death of someone means that he has performed a magickal act to harm that person permanently. This would also correspond with an energy healing principle of good/bad thoughts sent to someone to help heal/debilitate them.

I think Drake knows something he doesn't tell his followers, as shown by his statement that the president can prove to be a difficult man to kill, due to the amount of good energy sent to him by his followers.

As a very open minded christian, i find fundamentalist christians as no more than hilarious bible interpreters. No more than retards that brag because of their abilities to memorize extensive amounts of bible text, without the actual spiritual approach to those words.

If i were one of his mindless followers, i would accuse him of sorcery using THE DEVIL (hahahahaha) and demand that he'd be burned at the stake!