Dead Names, Dead Dog: A Plausible Pseudonym?

Authors have many reasons for giving themselves pseudonyms. In Dead Names, we finally get to hear “Simon’s” justification after thirty years:

…they were asking for personal training and initiation, and I had always steered clear of that type of involvement, preferring to stay aloof from any hint that I was somehow creating a cult or offering a spiritual solution that could be obtained from my hands alone… but I have always found spiritual “teachers” to be dangerous and have resisted the temptation to create a cult of my own, hence my anonymity and use of a pseudonym.

Thus, here we have “Simon’s” justification for his use of a pseudonym. Sounds reasonable, right? Well…

During my research, I uncovered a number of articles from Earth Religion News written by “Simon.” Starting in 1973, he wrote a number of pieces, including movie and book reviews and commentaries of the pagan scene that would hardly compel people to write him in search of spiritual wisdom. One is compelled to wonder how reviewing The Exorcist qualifies one for guruhood.

Let us not rush to judgment. It’s not as if “Simon’s” bio in the back of Dead Names prominently features him in his role as an occult teacher. Right?

Simon was a frequent lecturer for the famed Warlock Shop in Brooklyn and the Magickal Childe in Manhattan for more than ten years… speaking on topics as diverse as… occultism and fascism, ceremonial magic, demonolatry, the Tarot, the Qabala, and Asian occult systems. He also conducted private classes for the New York City OTO during this period…

Those ten years (1974-1984) cover the period both before and after the release of the Necronomicon. “Simon” would no doubt point out the distinction between individual and group instruction here. Nonetheless, I’d think that the sensible and most plausible way to avoid teaching occult topics would be, well, not to teach occult topics.

Still, “Simon’s” intention was to avoid creating a cult, right? Let’s add the statement of Magickal Childe scene member Alan Cabal to the mix:

Simon decided to start a group of his own, one that would span the different traditions and merge the gentle current of the wicca with the rigorous scholarship of the Golden Dawn/OTO trend under the umbrella of the Necronomicon. Heavily inspired by the Illuminatus books and Timothy Leary’s exopsychology theory of the eight-circuit brain, he launched Stargroup-1 at these parties.

All this, of course, means that “Simon’s” stated reason for keeping a pseudonym has pretty much fallen by the wayside. If so, why should people keep quiet about it any more? If you’ve got a view on that, please express it in the comments.

Published in: on July 15, 2006 at 10:09 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. One is compelled to perceive “Simon” walking a fine line: on the one hand, it would look silly to come out as a guru, on the other, if you make the product unavailable but release tantalizing hints, demand ought naturally to grow. Imam hide-and-seek.

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