Back in the early 2000s I had what could be considered a stalker. A stalker is someone who develops an obsessive interest in you and, after you start to insist on your boundaries and respectable, civil behavior, ends up going to severe lengths to repay that need for space via a campaign of character assassination on every front. The thing is, often noone you know can tell you’re being stalked or what it’s like to be under this kind of microscope, it often actually has to happen to you to understand what it’s like to have someone insistent on pressing every button they know about. I was lucky in that when I figured out how to deal with it, this stalker actually jumped over to one of my friends, a friend who was originally not accepting of my claims but who found out by experience what it was like.
I can tell you one thing that didn’t work with the stalker and that was engagement. People like this are so obsessed about everything that you do that they project meaning into every action you take and the meaning is all about them. If you engage, you’re feeding the beast. And usually by the time you have a stalker you have been drawn into this kind of engagement again and again and again. The only way to withdraw from this is a wall of silence and this has to be done for a really long time, sometimes years. If you slip up and fall for some bait then you’re pretty much resetting the clock.
So it really amazes me how little this approach is being taken in the Golden Dawn community of late. Particularly when this is a spirituality that prides itself on its silence and secrecy. Apparently there are all kinds of wonderful and magical secrets being kept by lodges that can’t be talked about, but unfortunately silly internecine wars aren’t one of them. This leaves the impression that all magicians do is engage in useless mental exercises and are essentially no different than anyone else. If a spirituality doesn’t teach an aspirant how to transcend this kind of nonsense, it’s going to be DOA.
One of the main arguments that seems to be trotted out in favor of continuing these flame wars is that this kind of behavior is necessary in order to ferret out who is real from who isn’t, the magician vs the impostor. That students who are about to be put through the most rigorous and difficult personal curriculum of their lives should be able to bull their way through all the difficulties, but also need to be reminded that certain people who wear the GD mantle don’t deserve it and that the whole school will suffer if this isn’t (continually) brought to the public’s attention. We have a Watcher of the Golden Dawn and now a Watcher of the Watcher and honestly I doubt there are many people who work in the system now who aren’t just embarassed or really tired of having these wars resurface every couple of months. I really can’t even fathom who all this is supposed to help. If I see a bunch of boys squabbling over technicalities on any subject my eyes glaze over and I look for the exit.
Any quality spiritual path should be leading one from the old way to the new way. If we’ve built our entire edifice on the types of arguments that are actually no different than people arguing in a music or television forum, where people will flame out over things most people wouldn’t even think about, then we’re evincing unbalanced behavior. If a stalker is up in your business, I can fully sympathize, I’ve been there and I know the behavior is very real. But feeding the stalker and talking about the stalker and even paying attention to the stalker’s business and worse yet, actually caring what they think about you, is just giving the stalker the power to continue to make your life miserable. It means they’re in your head.
Most importantly, if you’re on a valid spiritual path you know that there is a part of us that transcends mental understanding. This is that thing that words cannot express, it is that link to oneness and its voice is silence. Most Golden Dawn people understand this and I’m sure 9/10 students aren’t involved in these arguments. If someone wants to dress up and parade around like they own the Golden Dawn just let them (or if it gets serious let the law and the courts deal with it). Let students use it as an exercise in discretion. Let the people who are interested in the paradigm figure out on their own who’s an authority.
And even more importantly GD people who find themselves in a dance with a stalker really need to look at why they’re in that dance because it really isn’t about who is right or wrong. It’s about why you’d give a damn about one in the first place.