Morgan posted on Gleamings from the Dawn regarding obtaining membership in groups. I made the comment that most reasons given for excluding people from Golden Dawn groups are bullshit. He challenged me to explain. I think this is too long for a comment so I'm posting it here.
When he challenged me, I realized I was in over my head a bit because I don't know many GD groups, only two. However, I am going to give it a shot anyway. Please don't think this is about any one group. Chances are if you're reading this, I've never met a soul in your group. Heck, I've never met you. I'm not commenting about your group at all.
The Purpose of a Golden Dawn Lodge
The purpose of a lodge is to teach and initiate. It is not to do magick. It is not to make public appearances. It is not to influence other branches of the tradition. It is not a social club of the "in" crowd. An "in" crowd of magicians? Please.
Did I just say the purpose isn't to do magick? Yes I did. The original GD was not a magickal group. You do real magickal work in a "GD" sort of way when you're in the inner order. The outer stuff is TRAINING and development.
Given that purpose the only qualifications that should always be considered are can this person be taught? Can this person be initiated? Almost everything else is bullshit. However, it may be very important bullshit.
Things to Consider
Does this person have the mental capacity to study this material?
Does this person have the mental stability to be initiated, be taught and learn?
What else do people think really matter? This is almost all there is to it. Almost.
Can this group be of service to this candidate? In other words, can they teach and initiate this person? Is the dynamic of the group in such a state of disorder that it can not guide the new person at this time?
Can the hierophant be a proper guide? If the hierophant personally dislikes the candidate, initiating that person does them a tremendous disservice. Even if the dislike is unjustified, the karmic link can not be fulfilled in this situation. I'd go so far as to refuse to participate in an initiation as an officer if the hierophant disliked the candidate. This reason is only valid while that hierophant holds the throne.
Bullshit reasons work in both directions. They can range from "we are so good, we can even help this guy" to "this person is morally inferior." Both of these are full blown ego issues orders of magnitude out of line with what should be considered. Additionally, almost everything that has to do with whether or not a person is liked has nothing to do with the purpose of forming a lodge in the first place.
In the first instance, if a person doesn't have the mental stability to be taught or initiated, then he doesn't. It is simple as that. If s/he is violent, insane or does not have the mental capacity to learn, you do not initiate. Period. Especially if the person is insane because most groups do not have the expertise to deal with a situation like that. Thinking you're so good that you can work with this type of person is merely a demonstration of ego inflation. Your bubble will get popped.
Conversely, not initiating someone because they are morally inferior or have a questionable past is an equal exercise in ego. The point is teaching! The point is a candidate's personal development! Of course they aren't coming to you perfect. What is worse is I've seen people denied access to lodges or initiations for actions that would not get a current member booted from the group. Let's examine that. Candidate X's behavior is so bad we can't let him in but Member X can hang with us even though s/he has done the same thing while a member. Really? Get over yourselves.
I am afraid you have still got the idea that the Great Work is a tea-party. Contact with other students only means that you will criticize their hats and then their morals; and I am not going to encourage this. Your work is not anybody else's; and undirected chatter is the worse poisonous element in human society.
Claiming moral superiority is a huge slippery slope.
I'm not sure what is worse denying someone because you dislike them or initiating someone because you like them even though they are not suited for the Work. Who would put someone through the pain of the initiation process when you know they are going fail? Why would someone do that? Mostly because people don't have the balls to say to someone they like that they've been denied. The other reason is they want their friends around them so they can be comfortable socially.
These same people call themselves magicians? If you can't be socially uncomfortable, you will not succeed in the Work.
If these reasons are used too often and acted upon, it is a sign you're group is done. The egregore will close. The group will dissolve. No worries. The Work continues through the aeons.
Now you could hear all the bs listed above regarding a candidate and feel it is all bs and still not initiate. Why? Because we humans have no idea why we say what we say. We have no idea why we think what we think. So, our inner selves say no and our brains must make up a reason. Save everyone the grief of making up lies and just say no and be done with it.
However, if you listen to the reasons, you'll know pretty quickly what your egregore is going to deal with. Most people's speech is a direct reflection of their inner selves. They are not talking about the candidate but their own failings, fears and desires masquerading as superiority over another. Humility is coming just around the corner. Don't fret too much. That is just want you asked for by asking for your own initiations. This too is part of the Work.