I’m nicking a topic from Nick Farrell (get it?!) because to be honest I’m feeling the need to comment as someone who’s enabled Watchers by agreeing to be interviewed by them and the way I figure it considering that my own posts about the interview tend to be so popular (there’s a steady following for the Training Day posts too but no where near same heights) it’s better to air any notions people may have.
- I’m NOT currently a contributer to Watchers of the Dawn blog. I have been interviewed by them because of a personal encounter with former friends who’d broken away from the parent Order to form their own.
- I am a member of their Facebook group and occasional commentator as my conscience and sense of ethics (with some black humour often thrown in) dictates. Many witches and magicians have challenged me on this point, pointing out that participation is agreement and the truth is I think our previous systems of vouching for people are failing us. We need a counter perspective because leadership thrives when it is challenged to be healthy.
Now that that has been stated lets take a look at the objectives of Watchers and see how they might operate.
“For as long as your kind’s been around, we’ve been watching … We observe, we record, but we never interfere… Too much of man’s history has been lost. When you get through all of life’s crap, the only thing that matters is the truth” – Joe Dawson (Highlander).
Watchers of the Dawn is far from a secret society existing for thousands of years to record the misgivings of the occult leaders but even so working clandestinely as they do seems to work. Now no more than Nick Farrell I don’t claim they are perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Nick comments, “These guys are not real journalists and rely a little too much on what people actually post on the Internet, rather than digging out the real story”, and I tend to agree with him. I studied New Media in my undergraduate degree and so I understand the power media can hold on a public audience. Heck I used it to my own defense when I agreed to be interviewed – no point fibbing I had an agenda.
Where I begin to recoil with Nick is in the concept that Watchers is a default policing system. I would wager that Nick is being facetious here because he knows that the abuses like those he is aware off or even those I’ve posted about on my blog in last few weeks aren’t so-called “in-house” crimes. They are simply put a matter for the authorities. Any self-respecting High Priest/ess, Archdruid or Imperator/Hierophant should really know the difference – a lot of it is common sense. I’m all too aware that people have to be concerned with job security and family concerns if it comes to light through the media that a witch reported another witch for violence or sexual assault/abuse – it’s sensationalistic and any editor would LOVE the chance to play with that title but if our titles and efforts to be awarded those same titles are to stand to anything we need to have courage. You’d be surprised at how fleeting judges can be as they don’t rightly care about your pseudo-Egyptian Order but whether there has been wrong-doing.
There is a difference between a self-appointed policing system and that of a counter-cultural or anachistic media outlet. Both fullfill their respective roles in the larger social system but the latter is outside the system while the former is part of the system.
Another reason why I feel Watchers are necessary is that while the rumour mill is ever so busy rumours are often the tools by which the socipaths and narcissitic leaders brow beat others to get to the top. Case in point the first thing my former brothers and friends did was to issue an email, which they’d falsely assumed was private, to all the Temple members to undermine my voice within the group. Remember too that their attacks were founded in half-truths and colourful retellings – so while the truth doesn’t paint me in a very favourable light their lies paint them in the best light imaginable.
We cannot put the lens aside in order to judge which perceptions accurately portray the world and which do not. Given this impossibility, why are humans committed to the search for “truth”? Because, Nietzsche answers, truth is a useful illusion, one that serves a fundamental drive to survive. — ‘Nietzche’, The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism, 2nd Ed. (2010).
The commonality between the Witch and the Magician is the search for ‘truth’. Both are essentially searching for a/the truth behind existence to divine meaning from the world around them. However, few of us ever really stop to consider the concept of truth, we know it is precious and needs to be protected from the profane. Even non-initiates of the WMT some how hold that some things must be discovered rather than imparted to the wandering soul before us. Perhaps its time to rethink how we perceive truth as a precious commodity but rather a liberating force that can drive our traditions and our systems further into the future. As such I propose that we endeavour to honour the preciousness of truth when we see it and learn to advocate for others in our shared communities.
It would be nice if Watchers wasn’t necessary but as I said I know people who cannot come out publicly and state things on the record because doing the right thing would punish them in the eyes of society. These people do have very high moral compasses which is why they do tend to be locked in perpetual “witch wars” and “bitchcraft” and it can get messy. Anedotally I’ve heard of three cases of children being removed permenantly/temporarily from parents arms as the spotlight focused on them rather than the perpetrator. Clever showpersons can do such things, eventually courts figure it out but takes time. In my view, I suspect that while Watchers is far from my own cup of tea that their approach is saving people from being attacked and undermined for doing the right thing.
Time is telling and keeping an open, yet critical eye on Watchers and those they report on will tell a lot more. So too will developing supports for pagans/esoteric whistle-blowers.