by Harmony Pax
The recent expose on sexual harassment and molestation in Thelemic communities has had an explosive impact. Sister Georgia’s recollections of non consensual touching, the publicization of her private matters, and lewd behaviors within a magical setting are definitely breaches of fraternity and decency. Why did this behavior go on for so long? It may be linked to the geek social fallacies that are found in occulture, and not just nerd culture.
One point that many people have touched upon is the idea that we may be particularly vulnerable, because of the sex magic aspect in our mythos. However, ideas of sacred sexuality are found throughout the spiritual and arts community. From Jung’s anima and animus, to the eastern concepts of yin and yang, to the hieros gamos found in the Da Vinci Code, the idea of sex magic is all over Barnes and Noble, of all places. This does not, by the way, mean that people need to pick a side, or to pick the side that coincides with their assigned gender.
I wanted to use the phrase geek social fallacies because there are many aspects in which Thelema and nerd culture intersect. Many video games include occult references, for example the unicursal hexagram is the logo of a Yugioh character called Aleister, and one character in Final Fantasy 7 is named Sephiroth. There is no doubt that gamers are better represented within occulture than within the general public.
Just like geek culture, occulture was historically more male dominated. Most Rosicrucian inspired groups like the Golden and Rosy Cross, and the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) were all male from the 17th century, when they started, to the 19th century, when mixed gender groups began to form. Some of the first mixed groups included the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Comasonry, the OTO, and the AA. That’s 200 years or more of being all male, versus only 100 years of being mixed.
The Geek Feminism Wiki describes the geek social fallacies as “many of the differences between regular and geek social circles and how the latter invites unnecessary drama”.
The five fallacies are:
1) Ostracizers are Evil
Most geeks come from a background of ostracism and to inflict that upon another, for any reason, is inherently wrong. See Ostracism is evil for uses of this fallacy to silence geek feminist activism.
Because of this, some people may see toxic behavior and yet not say anything because they don’t want to be viewed as an ostracizer.
2) Friends Accept Me As I Am
Any criticism of another’s behavior, for any reason, is inherently wrong and a sign that they must not be true friends.
Because of this, some people may not call out toxic or abusive behavior when it happens, so that it can be resolved immediately.
3) Friendship Before All
The circle of friends is king and to prioritize anything above it, for any reason, is inherently wrong. This often leads to people sacrificing work, family, and romantic obligations to appease their friends.
This often also leads to people sacrificing their newer, or outgroup, friends to appease their older, or ingroup friends who might be abusers. In a community with continual churn, such as occulture, this leads to a cliquish mindset that may facilitate abuse and toxicity.
4) Friendship Is Transitive
All your friends can and should be friends with each other. Any idea of incompatibility due to conflicting interests, subcultures, and/or politics is inherently wrong.
A lot of times, someone’s lived experience becomes politicized by this. For example someone who calls out sexual harassment or a racist statement would be blackballed as an SJW and as intentionally ruining the friendship.
5) Friends Do Everything Together
Everybody should be invited and included in every gathering. To not attend an event or suggest somebody shouldn’t be invited due to logistics or conflicting interests is inherently wrong.
Sometimes that friend is a shitty person.
These geek social fallacies can be used to cover up rape and harassment within a community. If you see yourself making assumptions that coincide with one of these fallacies, stop and think about the person’s actions objectively instead of assuming that they would never do this or that.