This is a reply to a post on the nature of religion by the always-fascinating christeos_pir; I put it here 'cause it got too long. Most of my readers should ignore it. :D
"[T]he priest, to be effective, must be necessarily a heretic; his influence depends on his knowledge that the popular cult is nonsense....I have written as if priestcraft was wholly selfish and dishonest. But The Book of the Law, while not denying the facts, reconciles them with the opposing view that the priest is wise and benevolent, instructing ignorance little by little...." -- AC, Magick, App. IX, p. 687 (first modern edition).
"[T]he circumstances under which the Book of the Law was written might suggest that it was an imposture. Every variation from the normal is an imposture! That isn't the point." -- AC, Diaries, 10 June 1923 EV.
"The idea of this obscure and fantastic play is as follows: --
By a glorious act human misery is secured (History of Christianity).
Hence, appreciation of the personality of Jesus is no excuse for being a Christian.
Inversely, by a vile and irrational series of acts human happiness is secured (Story of the play).
Hence, attacks on the Mystics of History need not cause us to condemn Mysticism...." -- AC, The God-Eater (1903).
See also the essay "Eleusis" in AC's Collected Works, 1904's The Sword of Song, some discussion in Fuller's Star in the West, the poem "AHA!," The Vision and the Voice (final Aethyrs), The Book of Lies (falsely so-called)...and the lengthy hint-factory from which all of these refs were collected, chapter three of my own (1997) Student Handbook -- esp. pp. 112-113, "sweet words for the Kings!" :)
93 93/93 -- AJ