New Age occultist David Goddard has been called out on his imaginative and self-congratulatory lineage by someone who was actually there.
Goddard, who was once Maxine Saunders magical partner, was involved in the Servants of the Light School in the 1990s. SOL was founded by Ernest Butler.
He was one of many who were appointed to succeed Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki before being removed for the crime of being a little too useful.
After SOL, Goddard turned into professional “occult teacher” and has a habit of talking up his lineage on the Internet to boost sales. His bile against SOL for the way he was treated has now gone beyond reason to the point of silliness*, and has attracted the attention of Ian Rees.
Rees left SOL in 1978 before Goddard joined and so knows the facts of the period, rather than what Goddard has been spinning.
What appears to have gotten Rees’ goat was a podcast by David Goddard entitled WE Butler Esoteric Giant.
Noting that in the guise of appreciating Ernest Butler’s work Rees said that Goddard spent most of the podcast attacking the Servants of the Light.
“He also delivers a not very coded message to suggest that he is the true heir of W E Butler. He suggests that he received a line of initiation from Robert King, Ernest’s first teacher and that he was the disciple of Olive Ashcroft whom he describes as “Ernest’s heart daughter” and who Butler really wanted to be SOL’s leader,” Rees said.
“This is just not true. He made it very clear that Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki supported by Michael, Tom Oloman and Olive should carry the school after him.”
However, Rees pours some cold water on other aspects of Goddard’s story.
Robert King is plainly nonsense as Bishop King died in 1954, the year of Mr Goddard’s birth… any claims of inner transmission have to be treated with considerable scepticism, said Rees.
Even removing the New Age bollocks language which Goddard seems to spout a little too freely, Olive Ashcroft was not exactly Butler’s “heart daughter” either.
She worked with Tom Oloman, who knew her well and she and Tom, together with Dolores and Michael Ashcroft Nowicki, were the inner group that worked with Ernest on the development of the SOL.
While Olive was David Goddard’s supervisor she would have trained him in the training programme of the SOL and that was it, Rees said.
Goddard claimed that SOL was “not a contacted school” and yet this flies in the face of what Butler himself said about it.
“Ernest was very clear that the SOL was a contacted group working with the mysteries; he announced it in Round Merlin’s Table the house magazine of the association. He also makes reference to it in the SOL lessons something David Goddard must have been aware of. “
Rees said that as someone who was there in those early days it was clear that something very powerful was working through the SOL.
“There was a potent inner being working through the school and many if not most of us who worked with the SOL then were changed forever by our studies. Indeed 42 years later I still refer back to that work and find new possibilities in it,” he said.
Rees said that other than the obvious problems of reinventing history in the attempt to big himself up, Goddard illustrates a problem in contemporary occultism: namely associating yourself with well-known occult or spiritual figures and claiming something called lineage.
“David Goddard in particular has cultivated this, in some of his literature he describes himself as a lineage holder, but he is not the only one. The 20th century
Glastonbury mystic Ronald Heaver has also been a rich mine for some claims of lineage and transmission,” Rees said.
One of the Watchers was in Servants of the Light during the 1990s. He was told by David Goddard at an SOL conference that he had never met Butler, something that is confirmed by our own research.
Goddard made it clear that he had received most of his non-Alexandrian teaching from Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, which is something both of them would rather forget. The rest comes from the Liberal Catholic Church with smatterings of Halevi with some Buddhist stuff thrown in.
He attended one of Goddard’s workshops where he described SOL as one of the only contacted schools left in the UK and dismissing the Ibis Fraternity. The exact quote was:
“The Ibis Fraternity was a child of Butler’s old Age and like many children born of elderly parents it was sickly.”
Still, when you are insecure and you need a lineage you can talk up anyone.
Goddard historically has made a great deal of the importance of being a contacted group. His problem is that he seems to believe that Inner Plane Beings only contact him.
This is not the first time Rees has pointed out flaws in Goddard’s work there was this review here of Goddard’s book Tower of Alchemy which bares far too many similarities to Ashcroft-Nowicki’s rewrite of the course which must have happened in the early 1980s.
(*) To be fair he is not the only one. Servants of the Light has used him as its boogie man for nearly 20 years. Even though other “successors to Dolores” have been and gone.