August 20th, 2007

From"Decoded" The arrival


I want to announce there will be lots of pix and comments on our highly successful meeting and Working on Arabia Mountain the weekend just passed, and - in a separate article - I will expose to some very hard scrutiny the notorious "our religion" speech made by "King" Dave at NOTOCON which upset even some of his supporters and, concurrently, an analysis of the rather strange numbers and claims put forward by USGL, which seems to have developed a sudden interest in making reports that look remarkably like a rebuttal to my STATEMENT REGARDING THE O.T.O.  We've got some charts of our own, MBA-generated, inspected and approved, that show a very different story of the past, present and future membership of the magical order or religion or whatever the boss-man says it is this week.  Meanwhile....

Now, return to this hallowed  previous entry and buy some of my rare books, help me pay my bills and enjoy what I've written. Reprints of TRUE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL : THE WESTERN SEXUAL MAGICK TRADITION (authorized reprint), LIBER 31 (3 copies remain!) and STORY OF THE HERMETIC BROTHERHOOD still available for now! Going fast. New sales every day.

From"Decoded" The arrival



By T Allen Greenfield, Bishop

You should always be skeptical about statistics, including the ones I throw at you, because it's so easy to misinterpret numbers.”

 "All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it." H.L. Menken 

"The 2006-2007 fiscal year has been a significant one for U.S.G.L. We  have continued our course of slow but steady growth in membership as  well as in the programs and services offered to our membership...." Sabazius X*, Annual Report, US Grand Lodge, Fiscal Year 2006


"For according to a 1987 report by John Cannell, the vast majority of school districts and all states were scoring above average on nationally normed standardized tests (Cannell, 1987). Since it is logically impossible for all of any population to be above average on a single measure, it was clear that something was amiss, that something about nationally normed standardized tests or their use had been leading to false inferences about the status of learning in the nation's schools."
Report on the notorious "Texas Education Miracle"

 One of the easiest ways to have statistics misrepresent a reality without actual outright fraud is to change the rules in the middle of the game, while having a solitary rule for your statistical illustration.  Hence, let's say you are a state governor scoring 50th in annual standardized testing for student excellence.  If the test is modified to be simpler, and the method of statistical analysis does not adjust for it, it is nearly inevitable that your results will "pick up" and you can then claim your method 'works'.  It does, lower standards produce better results.  It does not, however, present an accurate picture of your educational system.


  Many years ago I started following with great interest - long before U.S. Grand Lodge of OTO came into being, the annual demographic reports on OTO membership generated for International Grand Lodge.  While the system was flawed, it was, I believe, honest.  There was, however, never any statistical evaluation, and some things were never brought out but were obvious -- the 'revolving door' of Minervals and I*s who provided much of the income, but many - I have no real idea how many - did not stay with the program, though their money certainly funded it. Very few of the Minervals I saw pass through Eulis Camp-Oasis-Lodge in the 1980s and '90s are still in OTO.  As a Lodge Master, I was 'privileged' to see the break-down of the degrees above V*, but this - by imperial decree - remained concealed from the rest of the membership.

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