Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Order Of Ancient Mysteries

In "In the beginning...", the Introduction to Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: The Doll's House (New York, 1995), pp. 8-11, Destiny of the Endless informs us that:

"...the Order of Ancient Mysteries...was in no wise Ancient, having been founded only sixteen years earlier..." (p. 8)

I think that Destiny of all beings ought to know better. This organization is called not the Ancient Order of Mysteries but the Order of Ancient Mysteries. It is not possible to found an Ancient Order now but it is certainly possible to found a new Order for the purpose of investigating and studying whatever Ancient Mysteries there may be.

But does Burgess conceal or deny the fact that he has founded the Order and pretend that this organization is as Ancient as the Mysteries that it studies? That would indeed be dishonesty of high degree. I think that Sandman Midnight Theatre, which I must reread, hints at this.

I met a biographer of the founder of Wicca who said, "Gardner was adept at saying things that were true but misleading." When I requested an example, I was told that Gardner asked someone to write a ritual for him, then wrote in one of his books, "Another ritual that I have heard is...," not stating but nevertheless making his readers believe that this was an ancient ritual. I think that deliberately making someone believe an untruth is lying.

Happy Christmas, everyone.

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