… a thought making crooked all that is straight.

A reply to Kenaz Filan’s post concerning the Voudon Gnostic Workbook

This is a reply to a post by Kenaz Filan on his blog concerning the Voudon Gnostic Workbook. Commenting is being refused on his blog, otherwise I would have posted it there. His original post can be found HERE:

Kenaz, I have rarely read such an ill-informed polemic piece which can only be sparked by someone, desperately trying to sell mediocre books like Vodou love magic to a naive audience, while posing like a Voudon High priest while knowing obviously very little.

You clearly have no idea of Haitian secret societies and their incorporation of martinist and other concepts which are clearly and strongly present in various lineages of zobop, bizango etc. Even a read of Milo Rigaud’s books, an authority on Voudon, would have explained a lot.

Quick research would have also told you that Bertiaux has actually lived in haiti, as the manager of the local church of england museum and a philosophy teacher – the records should be easy to track. To accuse Bertiaux and his school of trying to remove Voudon from the hands of black people is similarly strange as the current head of the OTOA\LCN, C. Willis is black (while you on the other hand are very white :)) – also the VGW is full of glowing excitement for African and Haitian Gnosis in various forms and Bertiaux tirelessly attributes all his knowledge to Mstr. Jean Maine, a black Haitian.

Anyways, I will leave it at that and hope the interested reader will come to his own conclusion and judgement, there are various books out there dealing with Bertiaux’ Gnosis, such as his own tomes but also David Beth’s Voudon Gnosis published by Fulgur and the books by Kenneth Grant. Bertiaux, last but not least has shown that Voudon is actually en par with the most sophisticated systems of philosophy and contains all the essence of a universal truth and gnosis that he easily shows through his comparative religious efforts.

12 responses

  1. Great post, couldn’t agree more.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:37 am

  2. Thanks, Krist. Really like the look of your blog, so will be adding you to my blogroll 🙂

    April 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

  3. Comments to my blog are screened because of spammers, not dissenting opinions. I’ll be responding to this one on my blog (and welcome any comments you may have) but just wanted to clear that issue up.

    April 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  4. Hi Kenaz,
    Then maybe it’s a blogspot thing, because I tried several times over the day with my wordpress account and .com site to post a comment and I kept getting a message saying it was “refused”. I know others also tried, so maybe the spam setting is a little high as even an ole blogger like me couldn’t post anything 😉

    April 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm

  5. It could well be a bug, or it could be WordPress and Blogger are playing Stupid Net Tricks with each other. In any event, I’m sorry you had problems posting comments and I will check my settings to make sure I’m not blocking others from posting their thoughts.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm

  6. No problem. I tried all Wednesday afternoon – maybe it was a “Wednesday thing” 🙂

    April 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm

  7. I have posted a response to your concerns. Looking forward to further dialogue.

    April 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

  8. There is actually something wrong with commenting on your site, I think, Kenaz.

    Just wrote a nice, long thing about there being a lot of mileage to what McGee is saying, used an analogy from Theosophy mythologising its own origins to “de-brown” them, agreed with Jack, agreed with you on the Surrealism thing… And now it’s all gone.


    Anyway this is all really interesting. Keep it up, folks!

    April 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

  9. LOL. Glad it wasn’t just me with the commenting or I might have taken it personally 😉

    Sorry to disappoint you Gordon but the following is my final word on the matter:

    April 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  10. Hi Kenaz,

    Thanks for posting a reply to the reply 🙂

    There are high priests in Benin Voudon, which of course is the cradle of all Voudon.

    And as to accusing Bertiaux/VGs of being racist you then say you didn’t know CW was black because he didn’t have a “black name” LOL Now who’s the racist?

    As a bisexual woman, I have no problem with nude gay wrestling, do you? … 😉

    I think enough has been said and normal service will be resuming on my blog.

    Best wishes

    April 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

  11. I had always heard the heads of Beninois temples called “Chiefs” rather than High Priests. But I’d also caution you that there are many major differences between Beninois and Haitian practices. (One friend of mine, a Houngan Asogwe who is currently doing field work in Benin, has noted that Benin Vodoun shares some spirit-names with Haitian Vodou but that Haitian practices have a much stronger Kongo slant than Beninois).

    I never said Courtney Willis didn’t have a “black” name – I said that his name didn’t sound Haitian. (i.e. French – although you do have some Haitians with Polish and German last names thanks to interesting accidents of history). As I said, the question would not be “is CW black?” but “is CW Haitian?” If Mr. Willis is indeed Haitian, then my apologies.

    As far as nude gay oil wrestling goes, I have no problems with it at all: I might even be inclined to participate if the participants were sufficiently attractive and all parties were using a water-based lubricant that didn’t break down latex 😉 But I have not yet run into any Haitian Vodou rituals that involve nude gay oil wrestling: neither have I seen any Afro-Atlantean time travel performed.

    Again, I actually rather liked Bertiaux’s work as a Surrealist work and have found quite a few of his magical ideas to be profound and effective. I believe he had some experience with Haitian practices, and that he was a polymath who did extensive research in several fields (his comments on logical philosophy are excellent and suggest he is a very erudite man, for example). But I remain unconvinced that his OTOA/LCN has any kind of a direct, unbroken lineage to current or historical Haitian practices.

    April 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  12. I disagree, but thanks for your comments.

    April 3, 2011 at 7:34 am