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Is the Dan Harms Machine Breaking Down?


I would like to welcome everyone to the GateWalker’s Info Page. If this is your first time here, I suggest that you review our previous articles in order to understand our current discussion.

Recently, Dan Harms and I have been having an ongoing debate concerning the Simon Necronomicon as a spiritual system. Dan Harms comments can be seen here:

Harms opens his argument with the following words:

“Still, without practicing the magick of the Simon Necronomicon, how can I make a judgment as to its spiritual usefulness?

Frankly, while understanding of a system might come from practice, it is nonetheless possible for an outsider to make some determinations about a spirituality.  I make no claims to deep spirituality, but over the years I have met people of many different faiths who I respect, and I think I’ve learned something about them.”

While Dan makes the “honest” statement that understanding of a system comes from practicing it, he continues to justify his previous critical observations of the Simon Necronomicon by trying to prove how an “Outsider” can judge a system spiritually. I agree with Harms to a point. An individual can determine whether or not a spiritual practice is for them or not by reviewing the system’s main text, Bible, or etc. Yet if the inquiring individual decides that a certain set of spiritual practices is not for them, this does not mean that the system is invalid either. For example, there are millions of people who are member of the Catholic Church, and while the Church has a very large membership, a review of Catholic history will show that the Church is also responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Despite the massive genocide committed by the Catholic Church, many people have successfully integrated this system into their lives, and have made tremendous spiritual gains. This can also be said of other religions, such as Judaism and Islam. Yet all of these religions are considered “spiritual” by their practitioners. Therefore,  the choice of how one expresses their spirituality and the system they use to do this is entirely a personal choice. Harms continues:

“First, it often helps to listen to what others practicing a system have to say about it.  For example, we might look to the words of Denny Sargent that Warlock has kindly posted:”

I am not certain what Harms means by the statement quoted above since Denny Sargent is not a GateWalker! It is here that we find Harms’ statement to be quite deceptive. The whole idea of the Interview with Sargent was to get a vibe from someone who was around during the time that the Simon Necronomicon was being edited. Therefore, Denny Sargent’s Interview is one of an “Outsider’s perspective.” Deeny Sargent is a Historian and has been around the Occult Community for quite some time. His Interview is available at this link:

Out of all the things that Sargent mentioned in the Interview, Harms tries to validate his position by taking a few points out of context ad posts them in a certain sequence to give his readers a certain message. This is not investigative journalism. Harms completely ignores what the Historian Sargent states in the beginning of the Interview:

“I think it is a usable system that has tenuous historical roots, but nevertheless is quite real in many ways. And I had and have utter respect for Simon as a writer but also as a mage. He is a very very bright guy, very creative and has the rare gift of renewing and revitalizing long forgotten (or never manifested!) magickal rites and symbols so they are both usable and effective. However- I do not think that the Necronomicom itself as such ever was ‘real’ until manifested by Lovecraft and others like Simon. My MA is focused on ancient history and I did a lot of my research on Egypt and Mesopotamia- so what I can say, as a historian, is that Simon’s work is BASED on Sumerian and other Mesopotamian magickal systems, images and incantations. It is my opinion that he was reviving a Sumerian magickal tradition within the ’schema’ of the Necronomicon- and maybe he (and Herman) figured that they could make some $ as well…:)”

Sargent is a learned Historian who respects “Simon” not only as an Occultist, but a Mage. Sargent has a MA  in ancient history and states that ‘Simon’s work is BASED on Sumerian and other Mesopotamian magickal systems.’ I think that it is clear that Sargent has great respect for the Simon Necronomicon as a metaphysical system.

Harms continues with trying to justify his errors by quoting the following form the Interview:

“First, it often helps to listen to what others practicing a system have to say about it.  For example, we might look to the words of Denny Sargent that Warlock has kindly posted:

Before you do one single thing in that book, read the whole thing, get some books on Sumerian & Mesopotamian mythology and read them etc etc. Then ask yourself- why do I want to mess with THIS syatem?


One should have already developed in another magickal system before jumping into the Necronomicon, IMHO.


It doesn’t matter what system it is these are your steps to awareness via magick- if Simon’s system helps you do any of these (Im very doubtful about it helping with [talking to one’s Holy Guardian Angel]) Go for it!

or even

BTW- I had a magickal friend in NYC who died horribly in the 1980s- the last thing he was doing was this system- he had the sigils all over his room- utterly disorganized and chaotic- gave me the creeps- a month later he was dead. Not for the novice. Not for the dabbler. Not for the drugged or imbalanced. Not for the weak-willed or silly.

If one reads accounts like this, one might be right to ask whether the system might not be as great as its proponents suggest.”

Harms here makes a couple of quotes from my Interview with Denny Sargent, yet in doing so, he also shows that the system that is laid out in the Simon Necronomicon is quite real and has quite a tremendous power behind it. This is what Sargent was implying when the Interview is read in its proper context. Notice the complete context of Sargent’s words:

“Know ALL the gods and spirits in that book. Do your homework. Don’t be sarcastic, stoned, slack or silly- you will get burned. Before you do one single thing in that book, read the whole thing, get some books on Sumerian & Mesopotamian mythology and read them etc etc. Then ask yourself- why do I want to mess with THIS syatem? What about Norse, Tantric, Qabala, Egyptian, Celtic….etc- systems? Most people seem drawn to the Necronomicon due to some sort of Goth ‘demonic’ Lovecraftian fixation- for those people Id suggest a role-playing game like Call of Cthulhu etc…. My #1 suggestion? That everyone achieves a clear connection with your Guardian Angel (Spirit, Self etc) before doing Simon’s Necronomicon system. That said- if you are dead set (!) on using his Necronomicin, then do so intelligently and with a clear plan- this is how the book is set use-step-by-step. The whole layer-by-layer pattern is important- don’t skit around and don’t be half-assed! Think of Crowley’s definition of magick:”

It is clearly evident that Historian Denny Sargent was stressing the importance for preparation before jumping into Simon Necronomics. It is a very serious step because the system will engage the practitioner with very serious powers.

Harms continues with trying to justify himself:

“Beyond that, if one speaks with the advocates for a spiritual system for some time, one starts to get a feel for how deep their spirituality is.  I’ve found questions such as these to be valuable:
  1. Does the person speak more about how their system has helped them, or about how those with other beliefs simply do not match up?
  2. When justifying their beliefs, does the person turn to its benefits to themselves or others, or appeal to an outside authority (history, a prophetic leader, etc.)?
  3. When challenged, does the person answer the question directly, or attempt evasion or appeal to authority?
  4. If they speak of being persecuted, do they mean losing their home, family, job, etc., or simply that others disagree with them?
  5. Does the person view their detractors with respect, or does he or she cast aspersions on their motives, suggest they are pawns of darker powers, or otherwise seek to emphasize personality and motives over substantive issues”

I can agree with Harms on some of his perspective listed above, yet my question to Harms is-Was this his perspective when he wrote the Necronomicon Files, since they couldn’t find a “serious practitioner at the time that the book was written?” at the time, how could they make the statements that they have in their observations, without first consulting someone who was practicing this system? It is interesting to note that at the time of posting this article, Harms had only one other individual to comment on his article. Venus Satanas stated the following:

“I really like your guidelines. you outline some important things to take into consideration, especially the ‘appeal to authority’. zealots want to shift responsibility onto their deities whenever something goes wrong. I tried the Simon magic method years ago. after a while, I thought myself insane for even wanting to try it. nothing really came of it, though. I considered it to be a failed effort, but at least I learned a few things about it. now, years later, i know that its a failed system. It happens in magic, i guess. I’ve had more results as always with satanic ritual, witchcraft and chaos magic.  Any system of magic could potentially be dangerous and destructive to the self – in the hands of someone who is imbalanced.”

I guess everybody can see now some of the friends that Harms considers to be part of a “spiritual system.” Just one look at “Venus Santanis’ website is a testament to this:

I can say the system in the Simon Necronomicon has been a great benefit to me. It is a spiritual “matial art” so it is often misunderstood by those who are not trained in it by someone with experience. This controversy reminds me of other mystical warriors who were critisized for their skill in Japan-the Shinobi. However, I will write a separate blog illustrating my point further. For now though, I think I can best sum up this post with the words of a good friend of mind who just happens to be the author of the Necronomicon Files:

“I believe that this illuminates a great deal of how the debate progresses on the Internet. When someone asks whether the Necronomicon is “real,” the sides are drawn between the Lovecraft fans, who believe that the Necronomicons on the market are inauthentic, and the magickal pratitioners, who insist that these Necronomicons may be useful magickallyeven if they are of recent origin….so the two sides are eventually paired off against each other upon what is essentially a non-issue…At the same time, even if we dismiss the claims that the published Necronomicons are sources of magickal power, we cannot dismiss that they do have the power to change peple’s beliefs, and their perceptions of the world.”

I think my good friend and author has provided us with enough information that indeed the Simon Necronomicon does have the spiritual transformational power to make life something great!