Any power is liable to be abused, but, ironically, protection from such an abuse of power can only be provided by the action of another yet more compelling power. Thus we see that power itself is completely amoral. While it is quite true that a powerless person can do little evil in the world, it is also true that such an individual is capable of doing far less good than a truly powerful person might do. The risk is that a powerful, but misguided, individual can do much greater damage to others than a similarly misguided weakling can. As has often been said before, sexual energy is the basis that underlies all our personal power; it is this fact which makes those villains so deadly who are able to consciously and effectively make use of their sexual powers. But, ultimately, there are Higher Powers which tend to inhibit the long-term misuse of this, as any other, energy. As human beings travel any path of increasing strength and self-control they bear within themselves something analogous to a gyroscope which exerts a counterpressure on them whenever they stray out of proper alignment. However, as experience has often taught, when it is forced far enough off of its axis a gyroscope is eventually flung completely out of control. Likewise, people dealing with previously unimagined powers may become seriously unbalanced, a danger to themselves and/or others. Outwardly, they may even yet appear quite impressive, if markedly eccentric; sometimes their charisma even manages to capture them a bevy of disciples. But they have lost their balance, and with it the ability to distinguish between their cherished self-delusions and the ever-changing reality in which they live. They seek to control others at all cost, even as people in danger of drowning will panic and clutch furiously at nearby swimmers. And, also like hysterical drowning victims, people who are abusing their sex power very often injure those upon whom they manage to grab hold. Nature's protection against such powerfully deranged individuals is that they never quite manage to complete their plans for self-deification before they complete their own self-destruction. Unfortunately, along the way they often create considerable misery and mayhem (Hitler is the best known modern example of this malady; the powers he abused were so great that he caused the deaths of tens of millions of human beings before he himself finally succumbed, and his legacy of vile hatred is with us even yet). Human nature in these cases literally cries out for the intervention of people who won't let themselves become innocent victims. In some ways the development of society can be seen as a product of the tension between those who seek to dominate others and those who seek to escape their domination. New attempts to dominate society are continually being made, and, as a consequence, new social strategies are continually evolving to try to minimize both the causes and the effects of the abuse of power.
The obvious fact that the extremely potent techniques of sex magick may be used to harm as well as to help has often been cited as a reason for the cloak of secrecy which has shrouded this technology throughout most of human history (though both the fear of persecution and the psychology of salesmanship are among the various equally plausible explanations for this practice of codes of silence). Many of the Western occult traditions of this particular magickal lore have included bloody oaths of secrecy and dire ceremonies of initiation as part of their training for practitioners, and even today some of the groups which study and teach the techniques of sex magick are still quite confidential about their methods and even the very fact of their existence. To illustrate this phenomenon reproduced here is one of the oaths administered by a group of Aleister Crowley's self-styled students (the names and vocabulary have been greatly altered in order to spare the sources any possible embarrassment):
"Once an Individual is approved for invitation she or he is approached privately by the sponsor (always someone of the other sex). The invitee is asked to take an Oath of Secrecy in the following terms:
"I, [Name here], do solemnly swear that I shall never under any circumstances reveal the existence of, or the Mysteries practiced by, the Fellowship which now invites me to partake of its Feasts, except with the complete consent of my Sacred Corps of this Autonomous Temple of Spiritual Knowledge. Even should I exercise my irrevocable right to decline this invitation, or to resign my membership at any future time, I shall yet keep forever in complete confidence everything which I should at any time happen to learn about this Autonomous Temple of Spiritual Knowledge. And if I should ever break this Most Solemn Oath may I be denied the enjoyment of love from that very moment until the day that I die. [Seal with a Kiss]"If the invitee refuses to take the entire Oath then nothing more can be said to him or her about the entire matter unless and until another invitation is issued.
"If the invitee does take the Oath then she or he is read the DISSEMINATION and invited to join.
"If the invitee declines to accept the invitation as offered then nothing more can be said to him or her about the entire matter unless the members of the previously inviting Sacred Corps, or another Sacred Corps, agree at some other time to offer a new invitation."
Not only does this group require an oath of secrecy, but in theory each member only knows the identities of four other members, and no two members know of the same four! The following quotes are from their "DISSEMINATION":
"ATSK [the Autonomous Temple of Spiritual Knowledge] is a Secret Chain of Individuals devoted to the Sublime Study and Perfect Practice of Sex Magick. Each member is at the center of a Sacred Corps of three people. Each Sacred Corps consists of a member, her or his sponsor, and his or her invitee (therefore the Secret Name of ATSK is LIL or ILI depending upon the sex of the member). Each member belongs as well to the Sacred Corps of her or his own sponsor and invitee. The membership of these three overlapping Sacred Corps is all that any member is allowed to know about the membership of ATSK. Invitation to membership is made only with the complete agreement of both current members of the inviting Sacred Corps."
"The Individual and the Sacred Corps are therefore ATSK's only units of organization. The Individual is to serve as a Vehicle and Receptacle of Divine Revelation, and the Sacred Corps serves to practice and perform the Supreme Ritual."
"...our mode of achieving Divine Revelation, the Supreme Ritual. It must always be performed by a complete Sacred Corps, exactly three people, one female, one male, and one either male or female." [Apparently this ATSK is dogmatically trinitarian in its approach to sex magick :)]"The role of Vehicle and Receptacle is always performed by the central member of the Sacred Corps, whether female or male, for we are all Women in the Eyes of God."
Clearly the kinds of people who form and perpetuate organizations like ATSK have very vivid imaginations, but you can also see from this example of underground group structure that many practitioners of sex magick still adhere to the goal of keeping their studies a complete secret from outsiders. While a policy of caution makes a great deal of sense in the case of any specific working group (especially when members' social circumstances dictate discretion), it does not necessarily therefore make any sense to treat the entire subject of sex magick as a secret. Though surely there are some members of these various 'secret' groups who will revile anyone who talks about 'their' ancient mysteries in plain language, does anyone truly believe that their traditional methods of training and evaluation have provided any better safeguard against the misuse of this knowledge then does the open publication of sex magick techniques along with good explanations of as many of the common pitfalls as it is reasonably possible for experienced authors to describe? The latter approach seems not only much more likely to create positive social change, but it also seems safer from a psycho-socio-historical point of view. What most of the above-ground "secret societies" have mainly succeeded in doing is just to attract a lot of fools, phonies, predators, and paranoiacs. At the very least Aleister Crowley is being honest in Chapter 88 of THE BOOK OF LIES, when he gives the Master's great secret as: "A SUCKER IS BORN EVERY MINUTE.". In light of that quote it's not surprising to learn that one of Crowley's recurring promotional gimmicks took the form of offering to let the public and/or his "private students" in on all the 'ancient secrets'. Knowing his sense of humor he was probably actually making this show of an aura of secrecy in order to spread interest in sex magick more widely than ever before! Unfortunately, since his death many of the people taken in by his gimmick have made the mistake of "preserving the secret" of the magick rather than preserving and enriching the actual study and practice of sexual magick itself.
While it is true that publishing this kind of material indeed makes it possible for very dangerous information to fall into the wrong hands, the evident fact that various manipulative "sex cults" have long existed is proof that the wrong hands must have picked up this information quite a few centuries ago. And we also know that publishing the techniques of sex magick makes them much more likely to land in the right hands as well.