Samuel Liddell Mathers
Mason, 33'; G.D. 5'=6' ['S Rioghail Mo Dhream (Royal is my tribe)] and 7'=4' [Deo Duce Comite Ferro (With God as my leader and the sword as my companion)]
Admitted to the S.R.I.A. (Societas Rosicruciana In Anglia) in 1882, taking the motto 'S Rioghal Mo Dhream, and so became associated with Dr. Robert Woodman and Dr. William Wynn Westcott.
Mr. Mathers has been involved with the Theosophical Society for some years, although it is unclear exactly when he joined, having previously become interested in Mrs. Anna B. Kingsford's ideas.
He is of course one of the three founding members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, in which he holds the 7'=4' (Adeptus Exemptus) grade. It is unclear why he should also be listed as continuing to hold the 5'=6' grade (Adeptus Minor, two levels less advanced), and also why he should not be listed as having attained the 6'=5' grade (Adeptus Major), but this is also true of Drs. Woodman and Westcott.
I suspect that he would take orders badly, unless they were quite complex, as for example if he were set a task rather than given an order. If he sets his mind to a goal, there is no telling what he might be willing to suffer in order to achieve his end; if he is not interested, he would not take it up in the first place. On the positive side of this, I suspect that he would make it very clear if he did not intend to take up a task.
I think that he would need some strong evidence that we know what we are about before he would surrender his overweening pride. He is not a fool, he only appears that way when around Westcott, whose bumptiousness overflows onto everything around him. I suspect that he seized upon the G.D. as a means to have control in an occult organization, and I doubt very much that he believes Westcott's ridiculous stories about secret ciphers. To be fair, however, Mathers has been turning the G.D. into the most knowledgeable and (in my opinion) genuine occult society of modern times, largely by force of personality and his own willingness to study. I think that he is more concerned with learning occult secrets than with sharing them, but I also believe that his desire for G.D. members to be expert in occult matters is genuine. He is very strict about examinations, but I cannot say that he has failed anyone out of pique or spite; instead he has been accused of such by persons who cannot be bothered to learn what they ought and are angered by the notion that the G.D. should, unlike all other such organizations, have standards.
He has taught himself a modicum of Hebrew to join his Latin and Greek, and of course he also has good French.
|Report of 23/3/89, A.E.|