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Earth Religion News, (Vol I No. 1, 2 & 3) Copyright 1976 E.R.N.

Publisher/Editor: Herman Slater

Quote: I agree that Gerald wrote his own B.O.S. from different sources . . . . My own people make some very dogmatic and sweeping statements concerning the Gardner - Crowley controversy. I am not yet decided whether to accept all of their claim in toto. Their attempted explanations seem convincing on a number of issues. I am inclined to adhere to their views until I discover other explanations which fit the facts insofar as I understand them.

It is alleged that "Hereditary" leaders in East Anglia deliberately embarked on a course of action which deprived Gerald Gardner of his "background"! Their concerted collusion to expurge the memory of "Old George" Pickingill was deemed essential to safeguard the admittedly difficult Public image of the Craft!

East Anglian Crafters were allegedly unanimous in deciding that "Old George" Pickingill and Aleister Crowley should never be linked with Gerald Gardner.

I consider it high time that Gerald Gardner was publicly vindicated! Unfortunately, the "Hereditary" persuasion does not agree. Neither my own people, nor their "Hereditary" associates, will confirm the source of Gerald's "Craft Authority".

It is alleged that "Hereditary" leaders present a united front to discourage any investigation into Gerald Gardners Craft background. They are mindful that any successful investigation must invariable associate both "Old George" Pickingill and Aleister Crowley with the "Hereditary" persuasion!

I will not dwell on Aleister Crowley. This unmitigated "Black" magician is rightly viewed with opprobrium by Brothers and Sisters of the Art. He would never be accepted as a Crafter! (Ce va sans dire!).

Aleister Crowley did have a fleeting acquaintance with the Craft. He was admitted to one of George Pickingill's "Nine Covens" in either 1899 or 1900!

Crowley did not last long in the Craft! He had been introduced to George Pickingill by Allen Bennett, his magical tutor in the Golden Dawn. Bennett is rumoured to have been "Old George" Pickingill's star pupil! One remembers the weird stories which still circulate about Bennett's supernatural powers - and his "blasting" rod! (Bennett did not come by his "blasting" rod from his association with the Golden Dawn, or the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society!)

There is some evidence to suggest that Crowley did have an early association with the "Hereditary" persuasion. My late grandfather claimed that he was present on three occasions when both Bennett and Crowley sought an audience with "Old George" Pickingill! The late "Magister" of my parent coven was adamant that Bennett held the 3rd rite of the "Hereditary" persuasion! However, he learned that Crowley had received only the Second Rite in one of "Old George" Pickingill's "Nine Covens".

My own people still retain an early photograph of "Old George" Pickingill and some of his pupils. Allan Bennett is easily recognised! The young man beside Bennett is remarkably like the young Crowley!

Perhaps the best corroboration of Crowley's Craft association is Gerald Gardner's own testimony. I cite page 54 of the paperback edition of "Witchcraft Today". Gerald assures his readers that Crowley himself claimed that he had been inside (the Craft! ed).

My brethren claim that Crowley was expelled from his parent coven! He was not interested in the Craft per se! Crowley was too preoccupied with awakening magical powers!

Crowley was allegedly drawn to "Old George" Pickingill -- and Allen Bennett -- and not to the Craft. This I can well believe. I cite page 93 of Eric Maple's "Witchcraft". There is a photograph of George Pickingale (sic) when he was 105. Maple dismisses "Old George" in several paragraphs. This summary dismissal of England's most reared and vilified "Satanist" is truly extraordinary. (It is also excellent testimony to the efficient suppression by East Anglian Crafters of George Pickingill's true magical states!)

Maple contents himself with repeating only one of "Old George" Pickingill's incredible feats. He repeats a favorite anecdote which still circulates among the Essex peasantry. It is alleged that "Old George" could smoke his pipe while his "imps" harvested a field in half an hour! One can imagine why young Crowley was attracted to "England's most notorious Witch" -- George Pickingill.

Crowley was allegedly expelled from the Craft because he was a pervert. I cite "The Great Beast" by John Symonds to corroborate Crowley's peculiar sexual problems. Please refer to page 23 (paperback edition):

"As he grew older, he found that any description of torture or blood aroused his feelings tremendously. He even liked to imagine himself in agony and, in particular, degraded by, and suffering at, the hands of a woman whom he described as "wicked, independent, courageous, ambitions".

"He never outgrew these fantasies of being hurt, and especially of being degraded by a woman of a certain type."

This does not square with Crowley's public image. One remembers Crowley's vaunted claim that he was introduced to a coven of witches when a young man, but refused to join because he could not bear to be bossed around by women! This extraordinary statement was prompted by his shame at being expelled.

Crowley was a pervert. He enjoyed being "punished" by the High Priestess of his parent coven. Crowley's High Priestess denounced him as "a dirty-minded, evilly-disposed, vicious little monster". (Crafters will consider this an apt summation!).

My brethren confirm that Crowley had been out of the Craft for over 40 years when he was introduced to Gerald Gardner. My own people are unable to confirm that Arnold Crowther first introduced Gerald to Crowley. However, I see no reason to doubt the word of the late Arnold Crowther. My brethren are adamant that Gerald first met Crowley in either 1945 or 1946. This confident assertion appears to vindicate Crowther's testimony.

Unfortunately there was a tenuous Craft association between Gerald and Crowley although neither man ever convened with the other. Both men were technically brethren of the same Craft persuasion.

Crowley had been admitted into one of the controversial "Nine Covens" personally founded by "Old George" Pickingill. As "Old George" Pickingill was a renegade "Hereditary" Magister, the "Nine Covens" could claim to derive their "Craft Authority" from the "Hereditary" persuasion.

Almost 40 years later, Gerald Gardner was "admitted" into yet another coven which was numbered among the "Nine Covens". Gerald was subsequently "accepted" into another "sister" coven, and could claim to have been affiliated with two of the "Nine Covens" professing the Pickingill variant of the "Hereditary" persuasion.

Certain Craft sources have sought to denigrate Gerald by falsely asserting that he was only a "1st Degree Witch". A basic failure to comprehend the correspondences between the modern "Three Degrees" and the Old "Three Rites" accounts for this absurd charge. The initial rumor arose because Gerald had only been "admitted" to one of his parent covens. (I note that Leo Martello publicly states that Gardner was only a 1st Degree Witch. I cite page 56 of "Black Magic, Satanism VooDoo": "Witch Covens are exclusive. When Dr. Gerald Gardner tried to promote Witchcraft with only a 1st degree he was ostracised by full witches." This quotation serves as the caption beneath a reproduction of Goya's painting of the Horned God being adored by Spanish Witches. The following gem appears on page 59 of Martello's "penny dreadful": "Traditionalist and many Hereditary Witches totally repudiated him and because he never obtained the second and third degree in the Craft, consider all Gardnarian witches fringe or stepchildren of the Craft."

One can only speculate on Martello's motive in subsequently claiming the 3rd. By his own admission he is only a "fringe" witch. Martello appears to believe that the "Hereditary" persuasion speaks of three "degrees". Both the "Traditionalists" and "the true persuasion" know nothing of "degrees".

It is pertinent to consider why "Traditional" and "Hereditary" leaders choose to denounce Gerald and "the Gardnerian Heresy". Both the "Druidic" and "Hereditary" leaders are affronted by the central postulates advanced by Gerald. It is axiomatic that English Covens have always been led by men. Indeed, the Magister or Master has always admitted candidates of both sexes. It is equally true that the vast majority of English Covens convened robed. Many "Traditionalists" also repudiate the notion that any Craft persuasion ever allowed a woman to conduct the rites in toto.

"Hereditary" leaders in East Anglia are strangely silent on this bitter Craft wrangling. Many prefer to repeat the unfounded accusation that Gerald was not lawfully initiated. These leaders are genuinely unaware that Gerald Gardner was affiliated with two sister covens.

Those "Hereditary" Crafters who preserve absolute silence recognise the base format of the rituals adopted by the "Nine Covens". It is pertinent to observe that "Old George" Pickingill imparted both his "Craft Authority", and his family rituals, to the leaders of the "Nine Covens".

The respective leaders of these "Nine Covens" were personally initiated by "Old George" Pickingill. Each of the "Nine Covens" could thus boast a continuous and unbroken Craft association for eight centuries.

The Pickingills of East Anglia originated in Saxon times. The first historically documented Pickingill was Julia, the Wicce of Brandon, who was killed in 1071. Each subsequent generation of this extraordinary family served as priests of the Old Religion. 'The Pickingills were renowned for their allegiance to the Horned God.

The Pickingills perpetuated many ancient Craft practices which did not obtain elsewhere in England. The rites adopted in Pickingilled covens were an almost unique amalgam of Scandinavian and French Craft practices. (One remembers the Danish settlement in East Anglia. The influx of French and Flemish Weavers into East Anglia introduced elements of the Cathar Faith, and the Old Religion as observed in France during the Middle Ages.)

"Old George" Pickingill introduced the classical hallmarks of the "Pickingill" covens into the "revised" rituals he compiled for his "Nine Covens". Neither "Old George" nor Gerald invented the central feature of WICCA (I cite the French miniature reproduced opposite page 64 in Penethorne Hughes' "Witchcraft". My own people still adhere to almost identical practices. My own parent coven was founded by "Old George" Pickingill's grandfather in the later half of the 18th century.)

The Pickingill-led covens have commemorated a cardinal tenet of the Old Religion. All of our rites are conducted in toto by a woman. This derives from the Scandinavian and French models. The Horned God was always served and honored by women in Scandinavia. The Mother Goddess could only be served and honored by men. Only women were sacrificed to the God -- in the Iron Age -- at the Spring Festival. Only men could be sacrificed -- in the Iron Age -- to propitiate the Mother Goddess.

The Scandinavian Fertility Religion deemed that the priestess was the Wife and Consort of the God. Only the priestess approved by the God could call upon Him to descend into the body of a man chosen as His living representative. Only a priest consecrated to the Goddess could call upon Her to descend into the body of a woman chosen as Her living representative. I need hardly add that the male priest was deemed the Husband and Consort of the Goddess.

Any Crafter should intuit that these fundamental tenets of the Scandinavian Fertility Religion have influenced general Craft practices. The insistence that only a man can initiate a woman, and only a woman can initiate a man, takes on a new meaning. The woman initiator is the living representative of the God, and the Husband and Consort of the Goddess. The man initiated by a woman also receives "maximum power" for his female initiator is the living representative of the Goddess, and the Wife and Consort of the God.

This ancient and cardinal Craft tenet is the true reason why every Crafter must denounce homosexuality. This disgusting perversion is a flagrant transgression of Natural Law, and negates the Life Force and Fertility Aspect engendered by the God and Goddess.

One wonders whether our practice of "Drawing Down the Moon" is not derived from this "sexual polarity". In many "Traditionalist" covens the Lady calls down the Sun on the Magister, and the Magister reciprocates by drawing down the Moon on the Lady.

I can find no published reference to substantiate our claim that "Old George" Pickingill devised the basic format of the Gardnerian rituals. Indeed, Eric Maple's reference to "Old George" do him little justice. (I cite pages 86 and 93 of "Witchcraft").

I will not dwell on the unique status of the Seven Witches of Canewdon. I fear I have digressed too much already. However, please examine Maple's claim that George Pickingale (sic) was the leader of the Seven Witches of Canewdon back in the 1890's. We can discuss this fascinating claim at a future date.

I would now refer you to an article on George Pickingill featured in "Prediction" Magazine several years ago. This article does not link "Old George" with either the Craft or his Canewdon Coven. Instead, it discusses his ancestry and relates his incredible "Satanic" powers.

"Hereditary" Crafters understandably view this renegade (?) Magister with horror. He was more infamous in his heyday than was Crowley in his.

"Old George" was acknowledged as the world's greatest living authority on Witchcraft, Satanism and Black Magic. He was consulted by occultists of every hew and tradition. They came from all over England, Europe and even America!

George Pickingill antagonised the Craft by publicly calling for the overthrow of the Xtian Religion. He was the most vociferous protagonist of the Horned God since the Middle Ages.

"Old George" devoted his excessively long life to the destruction of Xtianity, and the Restoration of the Old Religion. He freely imparted his magical expertise to Witches, Satanists, Rosicrucians and sundry Ceremonial Magicians.

George Pickingill did not hesitate to collaborate with Satanists. He believed that by promoting Satanism he was ensuring the destruction of the Xtian Church.

East Anglian Crafters were horrified when "Old George" started to launch covens which perpetuated so-called "Satanic" rituals. You are undoubtedly aware that a beautiful, young priestess conducted in toto the rites to honour the Horned God. This was the central feature of Scandinavian and French Craft practices in the Middle Ages. This "Priestess" syndrome was so wide-spread in France that the Satanists subsequently borrowed the practice.

Many "Hereditary" leaders in East Anglia repudiated George Pickingill's "Nine Covens" because they feared he was trying to revive Satanism under the guise of the "Hereditary" persuasion. The concept of covens led by female leaders horrified them. The practice of a High Priestess conducting the rituals in toto was quite alien to most East Anglian Crafters. However, I reiterate that it was ever the pivot of the "Pickingill" rituals. (Personally, I see no incongruity in "working" in Gardnerian circles and convening at "Hereditary convocations. The rites of many parent persuasion are too similar to the Gardnerian B.O.S. to cause any shift of basic allegiance -- or to be a coincidence.)

George Pickingill's "Nine Covens" were domiciled in Norfolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Sussex and Hampshire. The leaders of these covens had to meet Old George's exact standards. Each leader had to substantiate "witch blood", and be associated with a reputable (read "Hereditary") coven. "Old George" refused to "pass his power" to any but a suitable candidate.

In many ways, George Pickingill anticipated Gerald Gardner. "Old George" culled rituals from the most ancient Craft sources, and then passed his "brainchild" off as the true Craft ritual. He was more vociferous than Gardner in that he actively campaigned to overthrow the Establishment. (It is not surprising that no Crafter will publicly link George Pickingill with the "Hereditary" persuasion.). Gerald had no truck with the Left Hand Path. He wisely chose to whitewash the Craft, but continued to public revival of the Old Religion instigated by his infamous predecessor.

Gerald and Crowley were both delighted to learn that each was a brother in the same Craft persuasion. They became firm friends. Each man genuinely liked and respected the other. Gerald and Crowley corresponded quite regularly. It was their correspondence which ultimately led to the ridiculous charge that Crowley was expressly commissioned to write the Gardnerian B.O.S.

Crowley was naturally interested in Geralds determined effort to restore the Old Religion. Gerald and Crowley were poles apart, but both men were anxious to revive the worship of the Ancient Gods.

Gerald saw no incongruity in citing Crowley's poetry. He was not averse to discussing the best magical means of launching Wicca. Gerald was acutely aware the collusion of "Hereditary" Crafters had deprived him of his "Craft Authority".

Crowley was delighted to be consulted on the Wicca project. After all, he had been a Crafter 40 years earlier. He saw himself as the magical adviser.

Crowley was unable to produce the B.O.S. received from his parent coven. It had been destroyed 40 years earlier. However, his magical papers contained many passages and rites borrowed from the "Pickingill" rituals. Crowley volunteered to use "Magical recall" in an attempt to remember the exact rites. Gerald gratefully assented.

Gerald had two source references from his own Craft affiliations. He was quite anxious to determine whether Crowley's B.O.S. differed radically from his own rituals.

It must be stressed that "Old George" Pickingill launched his "Nine Covens" at various intervals over a period of 60 years. "Old George" had a basic format, but was invariably amending the wording and introducing different concepts.

Gerald had noted startling differences in each B.O.S. received from the "sister" covens to which he was affiliated. He was most anxious to see whether Crowley's parent coven used an entirely different B.O.S.

Gerald's correspondence and Crowley's "drafts" were found by Crowley's literary executors, Louis Wilkinson and John Symonds. Both Wilkinson and Symonds paid little heed to these Craft rituals. However, after the Gardnerian B.O.S. was published, Symonds realised that many of Crowley's draft rituals were similar in content. Francis was a close friend of Louis Wilkinson. King noted that Gerald's letters queried how Crowley was progressing with the Craft rites. He recognised the similarity in format between the published Gardnerian B.O.S. and the Crowley manuscripts. King added two and two together, and publicly accused Gerald of commissioning Crowley to write the Gardnerian B.O.S.

My own people stress that Crowley destroyed his original B.O.S. However, he retained many draft sheets of various rites. Crowley was desirous of implementing George Pickingill's life-dream of destroying Xtianity. He was in awe of his "Master" and, as a competent occultist, recognised that there was "power" in the magical rites devised by George Pickingill.

Crowley was bitter because he was expelled from the Craft. However, he used the knowledge gleaned from George Pickingill, and the magical potency inherent in the Pickingill rituals, to draft his own magical rituals.

You may not be aware that Crowley drew heavily from "Old George" Pickingill's magical rituals when compiling his own O.T.O. rituals. (The O.T.O. rites speak of a volume of Secret Lore, a magic dagger, garters, etc., etc. A dagger is immersed in a sacred chalice as a substitute for the Great Rite.)

Francis King noticed several similarities between Wicca and the O.T.O. This merely confirmed his suspicions that Crowley had written the Gardnerian B.O.S. I would add that "Wicca" has several similarities with basic Golden Dawn Rituals. I believe that this correspondence with the Golden Dawn convinced Francis King of Crowley's authorship of the Gardnerian B.O.S. However, one concedes that the circumstantial evidence appears damning. (You may not know that "Old George" Pickingill collaborated with pseudo-Rosicrucians to compile the Golden Dawn Rituals).

My own people aver that there is a simple explanation for the existence of a B.O.S. written entirely in Crowley's own long-hand. (You will recall that Ray Buckland publicly admitted it was formerly exhibited on the Isle of Man.)

Crowley eventually compiled a B.O.S. which he assured Gerald was a reasonably accurate facsimile of the rituals used by his parent coven. Gerald was delighted. He now had three distinct "Books" which were used by "Sister" covens. Gerald set about devising his own rituals using the three Craft sources as models.

Crowley and Gerald congratulated each other on the birth of Wicca. Crowley conferred an honorary membership in the O.T.O. on Gardner. Gerald reciprocated by inviting Crowley to accept an honorary membership in Wicca. Crowley dutifully copied out the present Gardnerian B.O.S.

Neither, I, nor my own people have sighted the Crowley manuscript which was formerly exhibited on the Isle of Man. It is impossible that Gerald exhibited the B.O.S. which Crowley claimed was "an authentic portrayal". However, he may have displayed the present Gardnerian B.O.S. which Crowley copied out when he accepted an honorary membership of Wicca.

Gerald's detractors have claimed that Crowley's handwriting was certain proof that he copied out the B.O.S. at an advanced age. Various reports have confirmed that the handwriting in the B.O.S. on the Isle of Man was that of an aged and very sick man. It certainly does not correspond with specimens of long-hand when Crowley was in his prime.

My brethren cite this as proof of their contentions. However, Gerald's detractors adamantly maintain that the existence of this B.O.S. on the Isle of Man affirms that Crowley was the author of the Gardnerian B.O.S. They foolishly believe that this was the original draft copy Crowley presented to Gerald. . . . . . . . . I assure you that Gerald used authentic Craft "originals" when devising his rites. It is unfortunate that East Anglian Crafters have chosen to deny Gardner his "Craft Authority" and background. However, the "Hereditary" persuasion refuses to associate either "Old George" Pickingill or Aleister Crowley with the Craft.

My own people are anxious to see their Gardnerian siblings prosper. (The "Gardnerian" persuasion perpetuates many of our own ancient rites.) I am delighted to hear that the "Gardnerian" persuasion is going from strength to strength in the United States.

Gerald should be publicly vindicated for writing his own B.O.S. He was determined to substitute more wholesome "thought forms" for those inherent in the rituals he received. My statement that "Old George" Pickingill collaborated with pseudo-Rosicrucians to compile the Golden Dawn Rituals requires qualification.

It was never my intention to infer that this Essex "farm laborer" possessed a specialist knowledge of classical languages. I used the word "collaborated" advisedly. [See T.W.s. Nos. 40 & 41 -- ed.]

A newspaper obituary claimed that England had produced only two outstanding Magicians -- George Pickingill and Merlin. (I cite the "Prediction" article quoted in T.W. 40). This was an extravagant obituary for a "farm laborer".

A small coterie of Master Masons established a lengthy an productive relationship with George Pickingill from the 1850's onwards. These Freemasons entertained "Rosicrucian" fantasies, and sought personal verification that Masonic Crafters and Rosicrucian Crafters were siblings of the Old Religion.

"Old George" awed these Masonic "Rosicrucians" with demonstrations of his mastery over various Elementals. He was also to fascinate them by expounding "the inner secrets" of Masonry.

None of these learned Master Masons could comprehend how this non-Mason had penetrated their Craft mysteries. It was reluctantly conceded that the Witch Cult may have possessed some secret arcane knowledge.

Occult-minded Freemasons were to question "Old George" very thoroughly over a period of many years. Indeed, George Pickingill was their only informant.

Crafters are enjoined "to read between the lines" when digesting the stated areas of research undertaken by the Metropolitan College, the literary forum of the Rosicrucian Society of England. (I cite page 221 of "The Secret Rituals of the Golden Dawn" by R.G. Torrens):

"The body was calculated to meet the requirements of those worthy Masons who wish to study the science and antiquities of the craft, and trace it, through its successive developments, to the present time; also to cull information from all the records extant, of those brother, and when such combinations were necessary to protect the weak against the strong".

These terms of reference appear innocuous enough. However, they were discretely extended to enable many leading Masons to investigate George Pickingill.

George Pickingill's revelations about "the Brotherhood" interested these Masonic "Rosicrucians".

It is no exaggeration to claim that George Pickingill's machinations materially influenced the founding of the two "Rosicrucian" Orders -- the Rosicrucian Society of England, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Two Master Masons, who were to become founding members of the Rosicrucian Society of England, had been accepted by "Old George" as his pupils. I allude to Hargrave Jennings and W.J. Hughan.

Both Jennings and Hughan believed that the Masonic Craft could learn much of value from e Witch Cult. "Old George" freely exchanged ideas and Craft Rituals with these two eminent pupils.

Hargrave Jennings collaborated with George Pickingill on a very ambitious project -- a Craft Ritual which would incorporate the best elements of traditional Witchcraft, accepted Masonic symbolism, and Rosicrucian magic.

The Craft Ritual jointly compiled by George Pickingill and Hargrave Jennings was to deceive many eminent "Rosicrucian" experts.. Crafters may not be aware that Hargrave Jennings was one of England's foremost experts on the Rosicrucian Rites and Mysteries.

There was a third "collaborator" in what proved to be one of the finest literary hoaxes of the 19th century -- the French occultist, J.B. Ragon.

Ragon was deemed an outstanding Rosicrucian scholar. It was widely rumoured that he had been initiated into a genuine "Rosicrucian" Fraternity.

Fortunately for Ragon's well-merited reputation, he was a posthumous "collaborator".

One of Hargrave Jennings' many Continental friends secured a number of "authentic Rosicrucian manuscripts" from the estate of the recently-deceased Ragon. Hargrave Jennings purchased these documents, and obtained a bill of sale from his friend which state that Ragon had formerly owned the manuscripts.

Jennings was thrilled with his purchase. George Pickingill and Jennings revised their original Craft Ritual to conform to the degree structure, and the archaic terminology, of Ragon's supposedly authentic manuscripts.

One concedes that Ragon's source documentation may have been authentic Rosicrucian manuscripts.

Armed with the "Rosicrucian manuscripts" and his bill of sale, Hargrave Jennings brazenly perpetrated a deliberate fraud. He assured his startled Masonic colleagues that "the Brotherhood" had accorded English Crafters a miraculous dispensation to found a Rosicrucian Fraternity. One need hardly ad that Jennings omitted to mention that he had collaborated with England's most notorious Witch to amend and modify the said authentic rituals.

Those Masons who fondly imagined themselves to be "Rosicrucians" hailed the discovery of the authentic rituals as authority to found an English Temple. They concurred with Hennings' premise that the manuscripts constituted a dispensation from "the Brotherhood".

Robert W. Little was satisfied that the manuscripts had been formerly owned by Ragon. Both Hockley and MacKenzie pronounced the rituals to be genuine. The Rosicrucian Society of England was subsequently founded on the assumption that hierarchical succession was conferred by the possession of Ragons' manuscripts.

Crafters may not be aware that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an off-shoot of this Rosicrucian Society of England.

It is now known that many of the Golden Dawn rituals were expressly written by S.L. MacGregor Mathers after he had carefully perused the Craft Rites compiled jointly by Hargrave Jennings and George Pickingill.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was also founded on a series of ingenious fabrications. Space precludes my further elaboration. Much more will be said later with the editor's kind permission.

Crafters will be interested to learn that Dr. Wescott held a Charter from the Palladist Co-Masons to found an English Lodge of this infamous Order. (I cite "A Manual of Sex Magick" by Lewis T. Culling. A photographic reproduction of this Charter corroborates Culling's statement).

Dr. Westcott had no hierarchical authority to found the Golden Dawn. His subterfuges to invest his Order with authority and the cloak of respectability are ably recounted in "Encyclopedia of the Unknown". (I cite pages 99 to 106). Unquote.


Dear Sir:

As far as this idiot's statement that Crowley was a Witch and left the Craft because he couldn't work with the women, this is the rankest type of insanity that finds absolutely no justification except in the psychotic mind of some nut.

With very best wishes,

Very Sincerely yours,

F.I Regardie D.C.


By Dr. Leo Louis Martello

The above Pickingill "plum pudding" from a "well wisher" (Translate: Doreen Valiente) makes a good story. Occasionally I enjoy fiction. However, this is presented as fact. Notice lately how all those who denied any association of Crowley and Gardner are now admitting it, while others who attacked me for mentioning it (One may read Gerald Gardner: Witch by J. L. Bracelin, pub. 1960, England), have never had the decency to apologise. There is no mention of George Pickingill in Gardner's biography by one of his initiates and heirs. Gardner doesn't mention him in any of his books. And Doreen Valiente's ABC of Witchcraft, Past & Present, omits him.

Now Valiente has disinterred Pickingill from his grave, writing under the pseudonym of "well wisher", but doesn't hesitate to attack me by name. And her facts are all mixed up. She quotes me out of context, and either hasn't read, or chose to ignore for expediency's sake, what I later wrote on Hereditary Witches (See my "Thoughts On The Third Degree" in issue No. 59 of Green Egg). You may also read my comments on "degrees" and Ms. Valiente's claims, in my Introduction to the Crowthers' book SECRETS OF ANCIENT WITCHCRAFT etc. Now let me quote her: "Martello appears to believe that the Hereditary persuasion speaks of three degrees! . . . I BELIEVE NO SUCH THING as many of my cited writing prove, and I KNOW better, and if Ms. Valiente chooses to become John Score's Craft prostitute and henchwoman because of his deeply repressed homosexuality and her own hang-ups, so be it, but the fact remains that there are at least two Hereditary Witch Covens in Britain who have nothing to do with her or any of the other publicised covens there. And George Pickingill was considered an evil old many who was a Satanist and it's no wonder that he's not mentioned in any of Gardner's writings (if he even knew him), as to the "strange silence" of the East Anglian Witches who still feel that Gardner was not lawfully admitted to the Craft (and in the above diatribe there's no mention of "Old Dorothy" Clutterbuck except to imply that hers was one of the "nine covens" of Pickingill. Others believe that she simply combined Murray and Leland and some local folklore and "did her own thing.") the Witches of Radonshire, especially in Clyro, Hay and Newbridge-on-Wye, who call Halloween-Samhain "Llanhallant Eve" consider the whole lot of them nothing more than Halloween masqueraders.

Then this article goes on to say all those things that I have in the past: That the Magister in English Hereditary covens could initiate BOTH men and women, that nudity was not a requirement etc. But once again the absurd anti-homosexual bigotry is offered under the archaic and disproved idea that male must initiate female, female initiate male, and such Puritan comments like "This disgusting perversion is a flagrant transgression of Natural Law, and negates the Life Force and FERTILITY ASPECT engendered by the God and Goddess." Crap! Strange that those who stress fertility so much seem to be infertile themselves: I'm not aware if Ms. Valiente has ever born any children! Her anti-homosexualism seems to stem from some kind of personal thing (perhaps rejection by a former beau or husband, who knows?) rather than from any philosophical conviction, since she has been described to be as a "Queen Bee" type once surrounded by the "hairdresser set" and married to (or was) Casimir, a tiny Spanish chef who barely reaches up to her bosoms, who claims a familiar named "Hob" who lives in a monkey head carved out of a coconut, and is called Filia Panos (daughter of Pan) by her coven, and who is believed to have only gotten into the Craft and claimed Witchhood after publication of her first book Where Witchcraft Lives. She is knowledgeable (but so much she doesn't know right in her own country) but has her own axe to grind, and her association with John Score has undermined her stature and authenticity. I will have more to say on the Hereditary English covens, the Continentals, George Pickingill, the Radnorshire Witches, the similarities between East Anglian Witches and certain Italian-Sicilian strege, the Crowley contributions to the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, etc., etc., in the next issues of EARTH RELIGION NEWS.