A History of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Its Cultural Affects on the Twentieth Century
One group of people concerned with trying to answer the philosophical questions pressing the people of the nineteenth century was the Theosophical Society, founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky. The purpose of this organization was to be a forum for intellectuals to gather together and discuss the forces of life (being God) and how they relate! to the rest of the world through mystical insight and philosophic speculation. These insights and speculations tried to combine the ideas of both Judeo-Christian religions with those of the Hindus and Buddhists. The main foci of their studies concerned with reincarnation, evolution, the Qabbalah, and the supposed teachings of the masters of Atlantis. The Theosophical Society discussed these topics, but took no action upon them. They talked of ritual and the possibility of control through ritual, but did nothing to implement their discussion. Still, there were men and women who needed the reinforcement that ritual brings to supplement the discussion of philosophies. And there were those who searched for power to control life forces and other people, to whom the Theosophical Society had the answers, but not the courage to try the rituals. Some of these people were the men and women that made up the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is from the Golden Dawn (what the Order shall be called from here to save space,) that many ideas of cults and the occult that are known today were founded. This paper is the story of the Order, its achievements, and the legacy it left for the twentieth century found in the Charles Manson cult and Scientology.