I believe that everyone has a right to express themselves and their beliefs, as long as it doesn’t pose any harm to others in the present or in the future. After publishing a recent article, entitled, Lovecraft Used The Term “Cthulhu” As A Code For Thelema, author Jason Colavito responded with his criticisms in Mystic and Artist Warlock Asylum Claims Lovecraft Had Secret Messages for Followers of Crowley’s Thelema. I can understand Colavito’s perspective, however different, or critical of my article it was. One thing that bothered me about Colavito’s article was the comments made by his followers. If you don’t agree with a person’s beliefs or observations, then welcome to the club. But attacking a person’s character because you have to stay true to “worshipping” the ideal H. P. Lovecraft as an atheist is unacceptable. Mister Colavito starts off his argument by giving his readers a little bit about my background and then adds this statement to the discussion:
“His spiritual journey would be of little concern to me if he hadn’t written a strange blog post yesterday attempting to prove that H. P. Lovecraft was an occultist operating with secret connections to Aleister Crowley’s Thelema.”
I am not certain how sincere these words are. If Mister Colavito wasn’t versed in Lovecraftian fiction, then I could understand the reason for this statement. However, Mister Colavito has done a remarkable job as a writer in covering Lovecraft in his essays and published material. It is because of Mister Colavito’s familiarity with Lovecraft that I thought he may have heard of the work of scholar Dan Harms, and the “Warlock Asylum & Dan Harms Debates About The Simon Necronomicon.” Nor does he inform his readers that I invited him for interview years ago and had a notable dialogue with Mister Colavito under the “Was Cthulhu a King of Atlantis?” article. Maybe Mister Colavito wants to give his readers as little information as possible for fear that they may discover some truths that do not support some of the themes surrounding his work. To add more fuel to the fire, Mister Colavito continues:
“Bey comes from the school of speculation that mistakes fantasy for fact and which dares us to try to prove a negative. Thus, instead of starting from facts and working to conclusions, he prefers to imagine possibilities and demand that we find evidence to disprove them. “
I find Mister Colavito’s statement to be somewhat of an oxymoron because he is guilty of this sort of foul play in the paragraph preceding the one cited above. Notice in the following statement how Mister Colavito doesn’t start from facts, but provides an opinion held by himself and his congregation that he tries to impress on others as fact:
“If this claim sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Half a century ago, self-styled practitioners of “magick” adopted the work of H. P. Lovecraft into their systems of ritual. Kenneth Grant was the most famous proponent of the practice back then, but reflections of it can be found in the discussion of Aleister Crowley in the Simon Necronomicon and in the modern occult writings of Donald Tyson, who has speculated beyond the evidence in pursuit of a thesis that Lovecraft had secret occult knowledge.”
Really Mister Colavito? The Simon Necronomicon? Well, this is what the Simon Necronomicon say in its introduction:
“Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos was meant for entertainment. Scholars, of course, are able to find higher, ulterior motives in Lovecraft’s writings, as can be done with any manifestation of Art.”
Mister Colavito, nor is his following is aware of such statements in fear that it may offset their own beliefs and thesis. It is for this reason that Mister Colavito can make such assumptions about my beliefs, while keeping his audience at distance from articles like Simon Necronomicon Practitioners Don’t Believe in the Cthulhu Mythos. Mister Colavito digs his grave further with this critique:
“Bey assumes that this means that Lovecraft maintained an active pagan belief system for the remaining four decades of his life. “Yes,” Bey writes, “Lovecraft was doing magic long before Aleister Crowley. A gate opened in his mind.” He omits the fact that Lovecraft also said that right before his Greek phase he had a Muslim phase. Perhaps he was a secret jihadi too!”
Of course to Mister Colavito and his “church” such sarcastic logic would make sense. However, in Crowley and Lovecraft’s time, Islam, specifically Sufism, was the seed that gave life to western magic. All forms of western occultism finds its origin in Islamic lands. The article, Secret Tradition of Islam, goes into detail about this. So for Lovecraft to go through a Muslim phase before that of paganism, describes the historical movement and development of western occultism.
The problem with Mister Colavito’s presentation is that it has an agenda. Mister Colavito and his congregation have never interviewed or presented an opinion different from their own. Mister Colavito makes the comical challenge of talking about Cthulhu and why it’s not important that this central term to Lovecraftian mythology, and its sum of 93, should be ignored, even though how Lovecraft’s fiction has been compared with Crowley’s magick for decades. Okay Mister Colavitio.
Mister Colavito’s article ends with a few members of take it upon themselves to say nasty thins about my character simply because I wrote an article that differs from the normal opinion of Lovecraft. I was called a narcissist and silly by my fellow Americans all because of an article about an author that has since passed the physical plane over half a century now. Maybe they need some religion other than the one Mister Colavito provides that will at least teach them human compassion. After all we are citizens of the same country. If you don’t like what I wrote, then lets discuss that, but attacking me and my name for no reason doesn’t make sense. I mean, Mister Colavitio did open the article by saying that I am an artist and mystic. Some artists do have pseudonyms and some mystics are born with names reflective of their path and culture.
It is for these reasons that I see no need in participating in Mister Colavito’s congregation, which insists on putting a condom on H. P. Lovecraft’s legacy by promoting a conservative view of his writings. Personally, I don’t practice occultism connected to Lovecraft or what have you. However, I have done so in the past, and if I find some useful information for those who do, I am going to write about it. Why? Because too many Lovecraftian scholars dismiss valid claims without proper evidence.
Despite our differences, I appreciate the work of Jason Colavito. He has done a great job in bringing truths to light by his skeptical approach. There has been certain information on his website that has helped me in my own studies though we have differing opinions on other things. Although, I will not join your “congregation,” I wish you all the best in life!