Whatever you think of The Satanic Temple, they’ve done more to advance the cause of liberty in the last 10 years than Ordo Templi Orientis has in the last 100.
When I say “whatever you think”, I mean to recognize, of course, that there’s plenty of criticism one might have for TST. Is what it does more about grandstanding for attention? Does it have more effect on policy than just raising awareness? And, so on.
I also am here clear to say OTO not Thelema, as I’m comparing organization to organization, not organization to movement.
But, here’s the thing: What has OTO actually done in the world in the last 100 years to raise awareness or effect policy that isn’t self-serving and self-dealing administration? Suing or threatening to sue others over copyrights? Suing people with money or to consolidate power and threatening to sue or leveraging copyright ownership over people they want to silence or to suppress documents?
There’s been some publishing efforts that have happened, but there’s a lot that hasn’t been published. Of course, I’d be remiss to not point out that Hermetic Library has been included in blame for publishers not wanting to publish Crowley material, because much of it is available online. But, the entire publishing industry has been groping for someone to blame for its decline, and isn’t a reliable narrator about that. Also, there’s plenty of unpublished material that could be. Also, what about new material?
But, since I mentioned Thelema: one might ask if people influenced by Thelema have changed things they wouldn’t have? Or did they encounter Thelema because they were inclined toward that already happening cultural shift and would have anyway? Probably the latter, if one is being honest.
To say that anyone who’s heard of Thelema or “Do what thou wilt” does what they go on to do because of that is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. It’s also the same argument used by anyone blaming video games for violence, & c. Also, it’s cherry picking examples. &c.
Frankly, hypothetically, I doubt there’s much that happened after encountering Thelema that wouldn’t have without it, some other way, tbh. Are people following their own purpose or not?
But that’s a possibly interesting hot take to consider, take it or leave it.