Ok, so the last GD post was, admittedly, a little ... aggressive. The animosity comes entirely from my understanding of the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn.
See, I read The Secret Doctrine, and I thought the Chiefs that were being debunked by Nick and company, and the Secret Chiefs that David and company claim to have met were the Secret Chiefs who are supposed to be the Shepherds and Stewards of the spiritual evolution of the entire Western Civilization.
Turns out I was totally wrong-o.
So, if the GD is NOT, in fact, claiming they are the best of the best, the ideal Rosicrucians, and the outer face of the Secret Chiefs who are supposed to be overseeing and shepherding us all from a place of omniscient omnipotence, then they can have their Magician Cards back.
If they're willing to admit they're a bunch of Hermetic philosophers with some neat magical tech Working on becoming the best godmen they can be, and not the Gatekeepers of the True Mysteries of the ENTIRE Western Occult Tradition, then good on 'em. There's a big difference between "We have SOME awesome Western Hermetic Magic(k) going on over here" and "We have the ONLY TRUE awesome Western Hermetic Magic(k) ever."
The way I see it now, both sides are presenting realistic versions of what the Secret Chiefs are really all about based on their own understanding. They've got a lot more in common than I thought, and they could probably hash out all their differences over a beer or twelve, if they wanted to.
And for the rest of the Occult Community, please note that the Secret Chiefs are not omniscient omnipotent awesome advanced spiritual adepts with wisdom and power galore. They are just people, in the flesh, with a magical tradition going back to the first through third centuries, just like anyone else with an internet connection. They've got tech that's unpublished, but it's not completely different than anything you can find with careful applied studies of the publicly available source material (the stuff from the first through third centuries, not the GD stuff that's publicly available). They've got an initiatory structure, they're a Secret Society, ok, but they put their pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else.
I'd still like to see Nick and David face off with wands drawn at high noon, last magician standing wins. I'd stand proud next to the winner. But neither side is interested in nuking anyone to prove a point to me. Except Fr. VL, who is a real magician.