The Society of Dark Lily: Frequently Asked Questions
I have tried to answer a number of relevant questions concerning the Society of Dark Lily. However, what I do know is not necessarily the truth. I was never a member of the Society of Dark Lily (SoDL) and I only communicated with two members of SoDL on a couple of occasions and these were only by telephone. With this being said I hope that what I do know (gleaned from conversation and the journals) will be of some use to answer the following questions
What are the origins of SoDL?
As I understand it, SoDL was a descendant of the Anglican Satanic Church run by an individual claiming to be an adept and using the name Raoul Belphlegor (or something similar). However, events took a turn when a genuine adept (name unknown) realised that this ‘false teacher’ was affecting worthwhile individuals detrimentally. Belphlegor mysteriously became ill causing the collapse or more accurately (I believe) the re-organisation and re-orientation of the group with the new Adept taking over control.
What is the significance of the name?
Unknown. All that I do know is that the name was originally used as early as 1908 – one of the members of DL having seen two broadsheets entitled “Lilium Arcanum” one dated 1908 the other 1910. It seems that little else is known (even by SoDL) about this predecessor.
Is the Satanism of DL related to any other paths e.g. modern, traditional, generational etc.?
There is a connection to the teachings of Anton LaVey and his Church of Satan, though I am not sure whether SoDL members were also members of CoS. Dark Lily tended to keep on reasonable terms with other Left Hand Path groups, though there was a problem with the Temple of Set. Exactly what went on is really only known between those involved in both groups and conjecture will not really clarify the matter or particularly benefit anyone.
What are the main beliefs of the SoDL?
Essentially DL promoted positive psychology: self-knowledge - as a means to personal and occult power - and self-responsibility. They were not purely materialistic, though their world-view was more orientated towards logic and knowledge than self-delusion and belief. They also taught that humanity can achieve far more than one might suspect, though only a few will ever really achieve this.
Did DL practice any forms of ritual or magic?
Dark Lily’s take on rituals was more akin to that of Chaos magic: the ritual that works for you is the one that you have designed, use what works, and discard what doesn’t. They also taught that all deities are self-produced and therefore all religions have an equal validity to the individual. As they say ‘knocking anothers’ religion does nothing for your own.’
What was the position (if any) of DL on politics/race/sex/abortion etc.?
Dark Lily was apolitical, though if it should be categorised they were closest to liberalism. However their adept said that you cannot be political and occult, you have to be one or the other because dividing your attention between the two will tend to leave you unsuccessful at both. One deeper aspect of this view is that politics requires the individual to take a stance, either by one’s own volition or by virtue of having to react to someone else who has taken a stance.
I spoke to their adept about the current aeonic theories and teachings that some modern occult and Satanic groups promote and he said that it was no longer necessary to use only western archetypes. The reason being that it may have been relevant when there was no contact between different cultures and races but it is now irrelevant. Also, consider their teaching on immortality and ‘re-incarnation’, how can you justify racial superiority (which is also a stance) when part of you may have been a Jew or a Negro, an Asian or a Caucasian?
Their attitude to sex is explained specifically in two of their articles (which will be posted on this site). Firstly, the individual must understand exactly what does and what doesn’t work for him or her. Everyone is unique/different so there can be no orthodoxy or normality when it comes to sex. Gay is fine, S&M is fine, voyeurism is fine and in fact DL pretty much said that anything goes as long as you are not harming another. Once you have accepted your own inclinations all that remains is remaining unaffected by the opinions of others. They were totally opposed to paedophilia and animal abuse.
I am unsure of their views on abortion. My own inclination is that, as DL said all green issues were just word-speak until the politicians dealt with overpopulation issue, their view on abortion is that it is okay. But I may be totally wrong!
Are there any DL influenced groups around today?
As far as I know there are no specifically DL influenced groups today. However it is likely that there are a number of groups and individuals who were subtly (or perhaps overtly) influenced by DL and who have taken their teachings, altered them a little and used them in their own groups.
What was the DL position on animal/human sacrifice?
DL was opposed to both of these.
What was the membership structure like?
Essentially, I believe that the membership was quite low and, to quote from a letter written by one of the members ‘deliberately restricted’. Individuals were allowed to leave whenever they desired, and new members were only seldom sought. An advertisement for membership was actually placed in one of the journals and this specified that they were looking for men and women over 25 years with a stable disposition. As far as I am aware the teaching took the form of a one-on-one with the adept with members deciding whether or not they wished to discuss the teachings with one another. On some occasion’s group ritual work did occur, though I do not know how many attended or the frequency that group work occurred. Essentially the teaching system had an individualistic orientation.
Why did the Society cease?
According to their adept, the Society of Dark Lily was closed down because the majority of people could not or would not accept his fundamental teaching: that there are no gods. Whether there is more to it than this I am not sure, though I have wondered….