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Crafting The Art Of Magic:
A Critical Review

By D. Hudson Frew (Morgann)

Copyright 1991 by D. Hudson Frew.
Used by permission of the author.

Update Continued

9. Victor Anderson says that virtually everything reported by Kelly about the Faery Tradition is inaccurate. Anderson asserts that the Goddess has always had a co-equal role with the Horned God, contrary to Kelly's statement on page 22:

... they did not worship a Goddess; rather, the concept of God they dealt with was of a male god opposed to Christianity....

Anderson is furious that Kelly published the names of members of his old coven; the Witch's right to anonymity being held in the highest regard both historically and in the modern community.
 My observations regarding Kelly's Faery Tradition agenda must be modified by Anderson's assertion, supported by the late Pendderwen's correspondence and the statements of others who were circling with them at the time, that Kelly never received a truly Faery initiation. The rite through which he passed was an amalgamation of Faery and Mohsian Craft initiation texts, performed for the express purpose of making it possible to pass Ed Fitch's Mohsian Book of Shadows to Kelly. This would explain why Kelly mistakenly passes this Mohsian BoS to others as a Faery Tradition BoS. It would also explain why Kelly had to ask Faery priest Dominic what the Faery God-names are on the occasion of Kelly initiating someone. Anderson believes that Kelly was told some of the Faery God-names, but states that the misinformation in Kelly's book is evidence that he is not truly in touch with the spirit of the Faery Tradition.
 Although Kelly's Faery initiation appears to be in question, the fact that he claims membership in that Tradition is enough to let my claim of him having a hidden Faery Tradition agenda stand as is.
 In a letter to the Spring '92 issue of Llewellyn New Times, Anderson expressed his outrage over Kelly's publishing of the mundane names of the members of Harpy Coven, violating the cardinal rule of confidentiality in such matters. Kelly defended his action in the same issue, arguing:

Victor and Cora object strenuously to my having published the names of some members of the Harpy Coven back in the 1930's. I simply cannot see any reason other than personal privacy for keeping their identities a secret. Since these people have now all passed on, their privacy cannot be violated, and so their names can be entered into the historical record, to give them the credit they deserve as members of what has now become a major religious movement in America. Similarly, the name and face of Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, never appeared in print in connection with AA while he was alive; but appeared on the cover of TIME magazine the week after he died. Perhaps the families of these Harpy Coven members would prefer not to have their Craft activity made known, but I see no reason why the Craft as a religion needs to be secret at all, not in the USA, and I consider it salutary to upset narrowminded relatives whenever possible. It is a common observation in the Twelve-Step programs that family dysfunction always revolves around the keeping of some kind of "family secret;" and I believe that saying applies to the Craft...

The naivete and irresponsibility of these statements, not to mention the callous disregard for human feelings, will offend the sensibilities of virtually any Witch. Kelly's bizarre statements equating the necessary & understandable secrecy of a persecuted minority religion with the damaging & co-dependent "family secrets" of an alcoholic's dysfunctional family are yet another example of Kelly's own personal agendas acting as "intellectual blinders", getting in the way of dispassionate and scholarly analysis of historical data.

10. "Robert", a British Witch who was initiated in Gardner's presence and worked in his coven, and who is often quoted in Kelly's book, says that Kelly came to him with a list of prepared questions on the order of "Who was Ameth?" and "Do you recognize this text?" etc.; questions designed solely to help Kelly bolster his argument. Robert says that Kelly never asked him for his own opinions of Gardner, or about how the coven functioned, or if Robert knew of any evidence to support Gardner's claims. Robert says that Kelly did not check any of the finished manuscript with him before going into print.
 I asked Robert point-blank if he knew of any evidence or testimony to the effect that Gardner was sexually addicted to scourging. Robert said that he is not aware of any. He observed that Gardner was devoted to scourging as a means of raising power and commented that it is true that he was made uncomfortable when Gardner would direct "Harder!" while being scourged. But, Robert said, he could not be sure whether or not this discomfiture was the result of projection on his own part.
 Robert volunteered that Gardner was up front about his non-existent doctorate in Gerald Gardner: Witch (attributed to Jack Bracelin). He said that when Gardner submitted his book on the Malaysian kris for publication, the manuscript was enthusiastically received until the publishers found out that Gardner had no academic credentials. Accordingly, the next time he submitted it, he claimed to have a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Singapore. This manuscript was printed without question and Gardner had a good laugh. Evidently, Gardner was not concerned about keeping this a secret.



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