As many know by now, the occult writer known as E.A. Koetting, purveyor of "Become A Living God" and related publications was arrested the other day during a traffic stop. During this stop, various drugs and a gun were allegedly recovered by the officers on the scene, and the "Living God" himself was then taken into custody, along with a roommate. He and the roommate reportedly have since posted bail and are awaiting the next steps in the legal process.
Since this occurred, many occultists on Facebook and elsewhere have offered their take on these events, some with barely restrained glee, and others with a more balanced approach to their commentary. It seems obvious that many have been waiting for just this sort of thing to happen to Mr. Koetting. This is to be expected, because Mr. Koetting's claims of supposedly near-godlike powers, disclosures of numerous "magickal homicides" "archangelic rapes" etc., along with his infomercial-styled marketing methods, seem to have made many people rather resentful of him. Others feel that he has exposed formerly secret teachings to the "profane" in a grand scheme to get rich "at the expense of the gullible". Again, tacky marketing methods aside, all of this was to be expected. Proclaim yourself king of the hill, and then watch as the long line of those who want to knock you off of that hill forms.
It is a fact of life that you cannot become successful without making a few enemies along the way, some of whom will be unknown to you. These people may not all be actively working against you, but they're not going to shed tears if a life-altering misfortune befalls you either. Some will even kick you when you're down, making you wonder what you did to them personally to make them hate you so much.
Some of the online commentary I've read has included shock that Mr. Koetting has a day job (gasp!), and is said to be employed as a carpet cleaner in his mundane life. Others had no idea (myself included) that "E. A. Koetting" is a pseudonym and not the author's real name. Some have speculated that Koetting ran afoul of another magickal group with which he may have had some contention, and this situation resulted from their magickal attacks upon him. I have no idea if that's what actually happened, although I'm sure it's possible.
It's no secret that I, and many others, have found a lot of value in Koetting's magickal methods. I still think his "Book of Azazel" is an inspired work, along with a few of his other titles, most of which I've read, some more than once. Specifically, his teachings on evocation radically altered my magickal practice and resulted in experiences for me that I would not have had otherwise. The divination training course that he offered had a similar effect on my work, although not to as great a degree.
For these reasons I have been very appreciative to him for his years of work and dedication to the arts magickal, just as I have been appreciative of other influences on what I do magickally, such as Jason "Inominandum" Miller, Donald Michael Kraig, Cat Yronwode, Aaron Leitch, Michael W. Ford, Lon Milo Duquette, Phil Hine, Peter Carroll, and countless others. I have also found great value in the works of Aleister Crowley, who is another occultist who battled his own personal demons, albeit unsuccessfully.
The "personal demon" angle for this recent Koetting situation was the most impactful for me, and hit home the hardest. Many of us have gone into extended and pitched warfare against our personal demons, myself included. Mr. Koetting has himself said on numerous occasions that he suffered through a horrible upbringing as a child. I can say the same (maybe I'll write about it one day), as can many others. Unfortunately we can't pick our parents, and it is nearly a given that children who are severely emotionally damaged by their childhood experiences tend to become substance abusers as adults, depending upon the level of damage and types of abuses they suffered.
Am I implying that the drugs found in the car during this stop were likely Mr. Koetting's? No. But I'm also not saying they weren't, because I don't know one way or the other what belonged to whom, and neither does anyone else outside of him and his roommate. The point I'm making is that many who have suffered emotionally during their early lives sometimes retain unresolved issues well into their adulthood. I'm also saying "There, but for the grace of Goddess, go I."
Unless you've lived a person's life, you have no real clue what struggles they're dealing with on an ongoing basis. Some succeed at binding and/or reintegrating their personal demons, while others' demons have their hellish way with them until death. Some stay clean and sober for years, while others relapse every other month. That's life.
But to be fair, and before anyone accuses me of undue sympathy for Mr. Koetting, I should point out that I am against "compulsive" drug use of any kind, no matter the drug (pharmaceuticals included). My personal stance also includes excessive and unrestrained alcohol consumption. This stance has absolutely nothing to do with any moralizing or pontification, a la "Just Say No", but instead has everything to do with becoming fully sovereign over one's life, which by definition cannot include any addictions or compulsive drug use. That is part of the main message found within the Luciferian philosophy as far as I've understood it. And that evolution from rampant addiction to relative normalcy is usually a process, one which requires active effort and almost never happens overnight.
So does my herein publicly-declared stance mean that I always stick to "one or two drinks" as intended when I'm out with friends or with my girlfriend? Nope. But it does mean that I am consciously aware of that particular struggle, have set my own standard by which to live (whether I always fully meet it or not), and fully recognize and celebrate my progress in that area over the years.
I am one of those who only 9 or 10 years ago would be inebriated 4 or 5 nights out of any random week, and basically took the other 2-3 nights off for recovery. At one point I estimated that I spent about $1500 per month on alcohol and related activities - I truly wish I had access to that money now.
But I am also one who nowadays probably only consumes alcohol 3-4 times per year, if that often, with intentions of eventually not consuming it at all. How did my decrease in consumption happen? Years of inner work.
I am one who used to get addicted to everything I ever tried, but am now one who has been nearly 8 years clean from any hard drugs or pills, after a couple of years of having a $500 per day habit (which I thought I could afford at the time because business was very good). I attribute my cessation of the hard stuff 100% to my spiritual practices (regardless of the fact that I can't financially or otherwise afford to do it like that anymore) with most of my real inner progress being made while working with various so-called "infernal" entities (take THAT Christianity!).
My mother, lifelong Pentecostal that she is, absolutely hates it when I tell her that Lucifer Himself is one of the main ones who helped me quit drinking so much and so often (Ave Lucifer!). My conception of Lucifer has nothing to do with her Christianized concept, and instead shows Him to be representative of my higher self deified - an anthropomorphic personification of my highest ideals. That doesn't fit her "narrative", so she has no idea how to deal with it since her Jesus couldn't do that for me (even after 15 years of being a Christian) and its always the fun part of me throwing that in her face. I'm such an awesome son.
Does any of that disclosure mean that I look down upon those who choose to partake in drugs or alcohol, however frequently or in whatever amounts? Not even slightly. In fact, I envy those who can stop precisely when they choose to (and not just because they've run out of money). I envy those who grew up in good homes and have had no comparable damage done to their developing young psyches. I envy those who haven't gone through what I've gone through in life due to consequences for substance abuses of one sort or another. I also envy those who have always remained clean and sober throughout their entire lives. That simply hasn't been my reality, but I'm working on it even though I still wouldn't say I've mastered it completely. Not a justification, but if you'd lived my life or knew my background, you'd wonder how I've made it at all, let alone made it into my mid-40s.
So I'm not trying to put myself on a pedestal by any means. Far from it, because I know better than anyone that I still have a lot of inner work left to do; this is indeed a work in progress. I'm probably still somewhat in danger of relapsing in one way or another if I get around the wrong people for long enough, even after all these years, which is why I don't deal with any of my former bar friends at all, not even returning their (gradually more infrequent) calls. Eventually I'll be able to be around anyone anywhere no matter what they're into, but I'm still not absolutely certain that I'm there yet so I steer clear. I'd much rather be friendless than to be a drunk or an addict if those are my options. Being true to Luciferianism as I understand it is far more important to me than any of that, and I will not be a hypocrite about the fact that I am still at war with it, which is why I can openly discuss my struggles right along with my stance. Frankly it also helps that I write under a pseudonym, just as Mr. Koetting does, but not as much as you might think.
I am also against riding around with illegal substances and illegal firearms in a car, albeit for different reasons. Even if you do it frequently, and seem to get away with it, you only need to be caught once for it to go really badly. Growing up back home as a young man, I've seen this happen over and over, where a routine traffic stop turns into a 3-to-5 year or longer prison sentence for some unlucky individual - it's almost a cliche to me.
It's just really dumb to ride around like that, especially when you have a lot to lose if you're caught; sorry there's just no other way to put that. And that isn't directed at Koetting specifically by any means (not that he'll read this), because how many athletes, entertainers, and others get caught doing the exact same thing the exact same way? Believe it or not, police rely on traffic stops to make the vast majority of their drug and firearm arrests, so even if you're going to "ride dirty" on occasion at least be vigilant about it while in traffic. Keep your car insured and legal to be on the road, abide the speed limit, come to a complete stop, etc.
(Again, I don't know the specifics of the case, or the backstory, so it could still turn out that Koetting was actually an innocent bystander in all this. We'll see what he says happened when he addresses this situation himself.)
As occultists, we have proven techniques and methods to discover and handle our demons more effectively than many other types of people. It seems that the Hermetically-derived Western Tradition of magickal practice is well-constructed for just that, and that alone comprises a good portion of its appeal for me. Many of my own emotional wounds have been healed as a result of meditation, along with long-overdue closure on painful and tragic childhood events for which I had no rationalizations prior to coming onto this path.
I'm really just saying that magick works if you work it, and not just for getting jobs and bedmates, although you still have to be vigilant and use common sense. Sure, magick is great for manifesting jobs and bedmates, but it can do so much more than that if you direct it to. It can help you make sense of yourself and your current and former relationships. It can reveal things to you about yourself that you would never have otherwise discovered. It can even transform you from being a drug-and-alcohol-addicted constantly angry black male statistic like I was, into a gradually more dignified and respectable person over time.
In closing, the main takeaway from this situation for me was the primary importance of practitioners actually doing the inner work on ourselves so that these sorts of personal demons are better managed and can't easily create these types of unfortunate situations for us. Crowley failed miserably at this, and perhaps Koetting has also, although each has demonstrated above-average magickal prowess and the ability to make obscure magickal concepts much easier to understand. (Ok, I take that last part back, Crowley is still pretty obscure.) This statement doesn't at all mean that I equate Koetting with Crowley because I can't make that equation; I am simply using Crowley's struggles as an example to make my point.
Koetting may also have failed so far at becoming a bonafide "Living God" as indicated by his recent woes, but this same tortured literary savant who can channel and develop a classic occult work like "The Book of Azazel" along with the Mastering Evocation/Divination/Soul Travel courses, can also bounce back from this, hopefully stronger and more focused than ever. I hope he learns a lot from this experience, and grows from it, whether he escapes having to do time or not. If indeed the drugs were his, then I hope he makes it a priority to do the necessary inner work to quell that proclivity and get a solid handle on it. Maybe during the process he'll learn some Jedi mind tricks to use on the next cop. One thing he'll learn for sure during this process, as I did, is that those who are still with you when things go badly, are more than likely those who were always with you.
I for one am looking forward to his next work, instead of his next headline. Why? Because "There, but for the grace of Goddess, go I."