Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Dave V. Barrett's "A Brief Guide to Secret Religions" and why I am now world famous...

Waking from my slumber on the living room sofa this morning (well, early afternoon), I let the dog out into the garden before realising that Jimmy the Postman had already been and gone, having delivered at least one parcel along with the usual plethora of junk mail. Eagerly opening the package I discovered that it was a copy of Dr. David V. Barrett's latest book, A Brief Guide to Secret Religions: A Complete Guide to Hermetic, Pagan and Esoteric Beliefs, which I had ordered some time ago. Published in 2011 by Robinson, the book offers a rather objective overview of a wide variety of different esoteric magico-religious and mystical movements, from those which are Pagan in basis such as Wicca and Druidry to New Age movements, Satanism and even the Church of Scientology.

The cover of Barrett's new book, featuring
that quintessentially Pagan monument,
Stonehenge.

Dr. Barrett is perhaps best publicly known for his work as a journalist, publishing articles and book reviews in the likes of The Independent and The Guardian, as well as the somewhat more specialist Fortean Times. Having attained his sociology doctorate from that loyal bastion of Gaddafiism, the London School of Economics (LSE), he has published several similar titles in the past, including The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, 'Cults', and Alternative Religions (2001) and A Brief History of Secret Societies: An Unbiased History of Our Desire for Secret Knowledge (2007), both of which are recommended for anyone with a general interest in either new religious movements or secret societies, respectively. I first met Dr. Barrett at "The Moot with No Name", an esoteric gathering organised by the Atlantis Bookshop which met in the Devereux Pub just off of the Strand (it has since been renamed "The Atlantis Bookshop Presents..." and now takes place in the neighbouring Milfords pub). For several months I used to frequent the weekly event back in 2010, before I realised that the entry fee coupled with travel costs and the price of several alcoholic beverages was eating away far too much of my student budget. Nonetheless, prior to ceasing to be a regular, in September 2010 I actually gave a lecture at the Moot one night on "The Origins of Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft", which is of course related to my ongoing independent research. Barrett attended said lecture, and took notes on what I was saying, leading to a brief correspondence between us.

The exciting thing here.... (well, for myself anyway).... is that Barrett included a quote from my lecture regarding the origins of Wicca and the wider contemporary British Witchcraft movement in his new book, and my name even appears in the Index! Perhaps it is a little premature of me to proclaim myself as being world famous just yet, but I'm sorely tempted to, I must admit. He has me listed as "Doyle-White", a hyphenated form of my surname that I've since rejected for "Doyle White"; the hyphen just had far too many elitist and Upper Class pretensions for my liking, but other than that it's a real honour for me. My congratulations go out to David, and I hope that his book sells well !

My name in the Index;
global superstardom is mine!!!

3 comments:

  1. yaaaaay well the fuck done you tart. :D xx

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  2. Language Billy. What would your poor mother say! x

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  3. The references to you in that book are what led me to google you and thus find this blog. I look forward to your continued development as a scholar.

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