Balanone's Temple of Set REF

Date: July 29, 1997
Version: 1.01
Author/Editor: Balanone
Copyright: 1997, Temple of Set

This is one man's REF document concerning the Temple of Set. Its information is drawn from a number of resources, including electronic discussions, hard copy correspondence, internal Temple of Set documents, etc.

This document is fairly comprehensive and contains many quotes from newsgroup and echo discussions. Its current size is over 150k. Those who wish a smaller document on the same topic should use Balanone's Temple of Set FAQ, created for this purpose.

Qualifications: Balanone has been an active member of the Temple of Set since early 1976, and so is intimately familiar with Setian philosophy and practice. While this document is just one person's statement, and not an official statement from/by the organization, this person has the depth of experience to be reasonably confident in his accuracy. Corrections, additions, and differences of opinion from other members of the Temple of Set are more than welcome, and within reason all such will be included in this document.

1.0 Introduction
2.0 Philosophy
  2.1   Xeper
  2.2   Initiation
  2.3   Satanism
  2.4   Left Hand Path
  2.5   Metaphysics
  2.6   Dogma vs Doctrine
3.0 Religion
  3.1   The Temple of Set as a Religion
  3.2   Set
  3.3   The Gift of Set
4.0 Magic
  4.1   Black Magic
  4.2   Ritual Practices
  4.3   Occult Studies
    4.3.1     Astrology
    4.3.2     Thelema and Crowley
5.0 The Organization
  5.1   Membership in the Temple
  5.2   Relations with Other Organizations
  5.3   Why the Temple of Set?
  5.4   Our Reputation(s)
  5.5   Pylons and Orders
  5.6   The High Priest
6.0 Setians and Setianism
  6.1   Activities
  6.2   Setians
  6.3   Why are we here?
  6.4   Miscellaneous
7.0 Contact and Information
  7.1   Formal and Official Contact
  7.2   Informal Contact
  7.3   Friendly and Neutral Others
  7.4   Unfriendly Others
  7.5   Getting More Information
  7.6   Those Stories About Us
    7.6.1     A Cult?
    7.6.2     Satanists?
    7.6.3     Naziism and Fascism
    7.6.4     Presidio
    7.6.5     Other Occultists
    7.6.6     The Setian Illuminati
8.0 Miscellaneous
  8.1   Miscellaneous Links
  8.2   FAQ/REF Sources

1.0 Introduction

The Temple of Set is today's leading religious and philosophical initiatory organization of the left hand path. (At least we think it is.)

2.0 Philosophy

2.1 Xeper

  1. Perhaps the best discussion of Xeper available online is Magus Don Webb's, found at:
  2. Balanone: Setian Philosophy centers around the Egyptian concept of Xeper (often spelled Khepher), personified by the Egyptian Neter (god?) Xepera (Khephra), a concept that can be translated to "self improvement," or perhaps "Be all you can be."

    Though that statement above seems simple enough, the study and pursuit of Xeper has proven complex and long, intriguing and challenging enough to keep Setians occupied for a life time.

  3. Apr 28, 1996, Priest Roger Whitaker, Xepera-l:

    Xeper describes a methodology for manifestation. You cannot separate yourself from the force which motivates one to Xeper. It is ingrained within the many and varied paths which lead to it. Xeper such as it is results in a deeper recognition of Self consciousness, i.e., the uniquely human ability to sense its separateness within the body even while it resides within it. This heightened sense of Self Being, itself the result of polaric constituents - its me, in this other thing called a body - becomes a building block of a personal methodology based upon knowledge, intuition, learning and change as a result of the preceding.

    The results of Xeper are manifestations into the world of ideas, art, science and culture. For the individual the results of Xeper become a metaphysical departure point for developing a bond with the Prince of Darkness by creating a matrix of linked ideas whose path leads towards the Genesis of Self Being.

  4. Doesn't everyone seek to grow, improve, or Xeper?

  5. alt.pagan, Wed Feb 28, '96, 06:37, From : Balanone, Subj : Definition: Satanist

    >>"Those who call themselves Setians strive to grow from within as
    >> individuals

    >Silly me, but I thought that it was everyone's goal to grow--or it is it
    >wrong to grow as an individual and dare to question dogma?

    I wish everyone had the goal to grow. It seems the majority of people today do not. Fortunately there are many within the Pagan culture that do.

    Question though: What is your primary, all-important, number one goal? Is it to grow? be a good person? honor the gods? improve the world? Various Pagans will choose various primary goals. The goal of growth happens to be the one chosen as primary by Setians.

2.2  Initiation

2.3  Satanism

2.4  Left Hand Path

The Left Hand Path is the tradition of spiritual dissent. It is a process of using the ideas and actions of the Seeker to create or realize an immortal, individual, potent, and powerful essence that will survive death. The Left Hand Path is the quest for personal immortality, won by hard effort without grace of gods, even of our role model, Set.

2.5  Metaphysics

2.6  Dogma vs Doctrine

The Temple of Set has no dogma, but it does have teachings. We're sometimes accused of having dogma because of these teachings.

3.0  Religion

3.1  The Temple of Set as a Religion

Is the Temple of Set a religion?

3.2  Set

3.3  The Gift of Set

4.0  Magic

4.1  Black Magic

4.2  Ritual Practices

Setian ritual practice is generally not discussed in public forums. However, some specific questions seem to require answers.

4.3  Occult Studies

4.3.1    Astrology

4.3.2    Thelema and Crowley

5.0  The Organization

5.1  Membership in the Temple

5.2  Relations with Other Organizations

5.3  Why the Temple of Set?

5.4  Our Reputation(s)

5.5  Pylons and Orders

5.5.1  Pylons of the Temple of Set

Setians who live in the same area sometimes organize a local pylon in which they can meet together regularly for discussions, study, ritual work, and other activities. See for a good discussion of local pylons within the Temple of Set.

In addition to local pylons, there are correspondence pylons which support the Xeper of Setians who wish to participate in group discussions and activities by correspondence.

5.5.2  Orders of the Temple of Set

5.6  The High Priest

6.0  Setians and Setianism

Setian is the generic term which applies to each member of the Temple of Set. Setians is the term which applies to two or more members, and to the entire membership together.

Setianism is a term which can be applied to the Setian philosophy, the Setian religion, and/or the Setian way of life. Some (many?) Setians prefer the terms "Setian philosophy," "Setian religion," and "Setian way of life" over the term "Setianism." I find "Setianism" a convenient term to use when I am referring specifically to the Setian way of life, or to any combination of these ideas.

6.1  Activities

What do Setians do?

6.2  Setians

6.2.1  Specific Setians

6.2.2  Questions about Setians

6.3  Why are we here?

"Here" may be any digital forum -- you may be reading this on a web site, a newsgroup, or FTP archive. I've tried to generalize the answer to apply to most situations. For that matter, "here" may also apply to Pagan gatherings, meetings in hotels, new age fairs, etc.

6.4  Miscellaneous

7.0  Contact and Information

7.1  Formal and Official Contact

7.2  Informal Contact

The Setian Discussions echo (tagname: SET) is the only FTN (Fido Technology Network) echo hosted by Setians concerning Setian philosophy or the Temple of Set. Moderation is minimal, topics can be anything of interest to Setians, and participation is open to all who are not openly hostile to the Temple or to Setians. This echo is carried on the FIDO North America backbone, and by most major hubs within PODS. It is carried in Australia by both FIDO and PODS, and in Germany (and perhaps other areas of Europe) by PODS. In prior years, the echo was called "Base of Set" (its original name, as established by Sinistar on the BBS known as Purgatory) and sometimes simply "SET". If your local BBS or other network doesn't carry the echo, the echo's moderator (Balanone) will usually work with the Sysop and/or network to arrange access. Balanone can be contacted through the email addresses listed in this doc.

Rather than Setian-run bulletin board systems, it's much easier to find a BBS which has access to the Setian Discussions echo, either as part of the FIDO network or as part of the PODS network. (PODS is dedicated to Pagan activities and discussions.) Again, Balanone is willing to help anyone who needs to find a local bulletin board system connected to either of these two networks.

7.3  Friendly and Neutral Others

Though I've often quoted from others' responses to frequently asked questions, still this document is just one person's compilation concerning the Temple of Set. Anyone who needs a more comprehensive view should contact one or more of the other Setians (above, or better through Xepera-l), and perhaps one or more people who aren't Setian. Here are a few people who are active online, whose independent views concerning the Temple of Set at this time appear to be informed and reasonable. Please note that neither I nor the Temple of Set have much influence over nor agree with everything these people say.

7.4  Unfriendly Others

Note: My goal here is to identify a few people whose messages, documents, or web pages you're likely to run into on the Internet, and who are biased against the Temple of Set for a variety of reasons. I try to concentrate only on those who are actively campaigning against the Temple of Set in one fashion or another, so you will understand a little about where their bias comes from. I will not dwell on those who have attacked or irritated us in the past and no longer do so. I also don't bother discussing the loud but otherwise insignificant twits which plague the alt.* newsgroups. They rapidly show themselves to be inconsequential to anyone of intelligence.

7.5  Getting More Information

7.6  Those Stories About Us

Despite our general policy of keeping a low profile, sometimes rumors about us do get spread, generally by people who dislike or fear us for some reason (perhaps because so little is known about us, or simply because of our non-Christian belief system, or for other reasons). If anyone (perhaps someone else at a location of one of our formal meetings, or someone you meet on the 'net, or some other acquaintance) should ask you any of the following questions, it's good to be able to give them the correct answers.

7.6.1    A Cult?

"Is this a cult?" No. Some people may define "cult" to mean any non-Christian religion, and then yes, we don't believe in the Christian religion. But most people reserve the word "cult" to you mean something dangerous to society or its members, and no, we're not a cult since we are beneficial to our members, and we're not anti-social by any means.

7.6.2    Satanists?

"Are you Satanists?" Probably not. Some of our people were members of the Church of Satan in the early 1970's, but we feel our practices and philosophies have evolved so much past that point that we have little in common with modern Satanism. Many modern Satanists say we are not Satanists. If by "satanism" you mean the worship of a Satan, or anti-Christian belief, then most definitely we are not, since we do not believe in the Christian god, Jesus, nor devil, and we have little reason to be "anti-Christian." If by Satanism you mean an antinomian freedom from the unreasoning limitations of various elements of society, then by that definition we would qualify. (See 2.3 -- Satanism for more discussion of this question.)

7.6.3    Naziism and Fascism

Are you fascists? Nazis?

7.6.4    Presidio

What about the Presidio stories?

On August 14, 1987 CE the San Francisco home of Lilith and Dr. Aquino was raided by San Francisco Police officer Glen Pamfiloff on a search warrant obtained as a consequence of the accusations of Army chaplain Lawrence Adams-Thompson that the Aquinos had kidnapped and sexually abused his stepdaughter as part of the Presidio of San Francisco day-care witch-hunt.

These claims were investigated in depth by the SFPD, the FBI, and the US Army CID. No charges were ever made in any jurisdiction, and the evidence has shown Dr. Aquino and Lilith Aquino to be innocent of any such activity. Full details can be read in the alt.pagan post, dated Sun Jun 02, 22:14, From :, Subj : Re: Curio courts the CAW.

7.6.5    Other Occultists

7.6.6    The Setian Illuminati

8.0  Miscellaneous

8.1  Miscellaneous Links

8.2  FAQ/REF Sources

  1. Setian Discussions echo FAQ. author: Balanone, version: Dec 30, 1996
  2. "More About the Temple of Set" web page. author: Balanone, version: Nov 25, 1996
  3. The alt.satanism FAQ file. author/editor: Lupo the Butcher, Version 2.3, January 7, 1996
  4. Temple of Set alt.satanism FAQ. author: Dr. Michael Aquino, version: Oct 10, 1995
  5. Misc email from Xepera-l mailing list
  6. Misc email from newsgroups and echos