Uh oh. I think I hear the distant horrible din of another Thelemic wild hunt of many furiously chasing one that dared enter their dark woods.
Not a good look for the community to be always so ready to hunt people down.
The part where the community reacts by creating enemies and monsters in response to anyone who expresses dissent is a form of bullying, and seems to me to be a pattern of behaviour that recurs over time.
The recurring pattern of behaviour in the way the Thelemic community responds to people talking about it, and let me be clear this is people both inside and outside the community that receive this treatment, should give everyone, inside and outside, pause.
On the other hand, anyone harboring any lingering doubts about whether Thelema is a religion (legal classification or otherwise), should have a clear answer now. It sure quacks like an old aeon duck.
The Thelemic community’s response to criticism is triggering to anyone that’s been on the receiving end of it, should be an embarrassment to anyone engaged in it, and a warning sign to anyone seeing it.
And the piling on, the badgering, making it exhausting to bring up; that’s all part of the point, whether the people doing it are conscious of that or not (some are, some aren’t).
This quick piling on to confront criticism does nothing to self-reflect on the critique. And when the target of the pile retreats, the self-congratulatory echo chamber of those left with themselves in the pile up becomes a self-congratulatory echo chamber, a self-love bomb that denies what actually just happened and reinforces both the lack of reflection and the social mechanism of attacking critics.
As could also be said of California as a generalization, where OTO was revived, the community is not nearly as progressive as it thinks it is.