On VICE, the Modern Mystery School, and the Lineage of King Salomon
By Matthew Koren

On VICE, the Modern Mystery School, and the Lineage of King Salomon

One of my initiates asked me to comment on a recent article that attacks the Modern Mystery School and its leadership.

Suffice it to say, I disagree with Wilding’s choices in this article and his distorted portrayal of the Modern Mystery School. They do not match my personal experience at all.

First, I’ll say that this is not the first article falsely accusing the Modern Mystery School of being a cult or sexually exploiting people (particularly women). We’ve received this kind of attack a few times since the school opened its doors to share esoteric and metaphysical teachings in 1997. It is expected and encouraged for people to question us, as we have nothing to hide.

I repeat, we have nothing to hide. The secret teachings of the Western Mystery tradition are open to all who have ears to hear.

I can assure you that the Modern Mystery School is not a cult. By implying that the Modern Mystery School is a cult, Wilding is suggesting that I and many others were tricked into being in a cult because we must be stupid or brainwashed. Let’s address that false assumption first.

‘Cult’ is a simple and overused word used by simple and overused minds. It’s been used to describe Greek life at universities, football clubs, religions of all kinds, as well as social/community organizations to the point of meaninglessness. Due to its careless use, including Wilding’s, its lack of meaning ranks up there with the word ‘News,’ which now has to be trademarked so corporations can avoid lawsuits over their misrepresentation of what news used to be: actual, factual, and unbiased. By his choice of words, Wilding has debased and degenerated his own work. What a way to treat your own research, trying to find any behavior that can fit mildly within the category of cult. Especially with how generous a word ‘cult’ is due to its extreme LACK of meaning, and WIDE open interpretation. It took Wilding MULTIPLE YEARS to piece together a few snippets of evidence to support his claims. This is because, again, we’re not actually a cult.

For the record, I graduated from a very good undergraduate institution—one that produces the 3rd most PhD’s in the country and the most Rhodes scholars. I scored very highly on my SAT, and by most common standards am not considered stupid. I can tell the difference between signing over my life insurance policy to a maniacal leader who abuses his (the abusive leaders are typically male, right?) followers, and an organization whose stated goals are self-improvement and world peace.

Having been trained as a research psychologist and having written a scientific thesis based on experimental data I collected of my own research design, I’ve reached my own conclusions based on my observations of real results in the world, not my baseless beliefs, hopes, or dreams.

To this end, Wilding may have missed, by error of omission or negligence, that many of the initiates in the Western Mystery tradition are scientists conducting scientific studies on the phenomenon of consciousness, which most people assume is immeasurable. It is not, which is why intuitive intelligence is studied by PhD scientists at Heartmath Institute (see also Cardiac Coherence) and precursors to quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity were studied by Tibetan Buddhists thousands of years ago.

Second, the summary view that we are a sex-cult is contrived and downright false, pieced together from Wilding’s interviews in an obtuse fashion, and does not reflect the full context of the information given to Wilding by his interviewees. In other words, he “cherry picked” bits of the interviews and included only those snippets that supported his bias.

For this point, you may be particularly interested in a post by one of the people, Liane Salgado, who was quoted in the article. She articulated to  Ipsissimus Dave and our community that she felt like her comments do NOT support this conclusion and she wished she hadn’t spoken to Wilding at all. You can read that by clicking on this link. It’s no surprise to me that one of Wildings sources of information wants nothing to do with him, due to his careless and biased presentation of her words in way that do not reflect her true perspective of and orientation toward the Modern Mystery School.

If reporters told you that Mahatma Gandhi sexually exploited women, would you believe them? If reporters told you that Mother Theresa exploited the poor, would you believe them? Yet, sensationalist authors are propagating both of these narratives in misguided attempts to sell newspapers, books, and magazines. And yes, I’m comparing Founder Gudni and Ipsissimus Dave to Gandhi and Mother Theresa because I respect men that dedicate their life to serving the greater good, which they do at great personal cost to themselves and their families.

If someone thinks it, that doesn’t make it true. Such “thinking” is really assuming something is true, perhaps because you heard it “from somewhere.”  But did you check it out for yourself? Americans think a lot of things about cultures they’ve never experienced. We know because less than 10% of Americans have their passports. Lots of people think the world is flat right now, or that Canadians live in igloos. Where is the evidence?  Where is the critical thinking? It’s not that they are unintelligent (I know at least one flat-earther that runs Whole Foods store that books 4M in revenue a month), it’s just that their assumptions and worldview simply lead them to different conclusions than those who KNOW from personal experience and critical inquiry.

Third, this author’s completely disrespectful desecration of our most sacred and secret warrior initiation right at the beginning of the article is just the beginning of his careless and biased fantasy story, which clearly demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of what an initiatory wisdom tradition does.

Anyone willing to do a modicum of research will find that vision questing and ceremonial burial are an active part of indigenous lineages RIGHT NOW in the USA and around the world. I know those indigenous people would be horrified if someone wrote about their secret and sacred oral traditions, and the symbolic renewal process of dying and rebirthing as effected through this type of ceremony. Especially when it is so ignorantly labeled as ‘bizarre.’

Clearly Wilding does not care about sacred things, and obviously has no knowledge of them. As a 3rd Step Ritual Master and Guide in the Lineage of King Salomon, in the face of such ignorance and disrespect, I am compelled to defend the Modern Mystery School and this lineage so that truth can neutralize his fictitious claims.

It’s especially insulting that I need to debase my day by taking time from my clients, my employees, and my businesses to even respond to his MERE OPINION and judgement of this sacred lineage due to the degree of shameless ignorance and disrespect he dumps on my doorstep, which amounts to GROSS MISCONDUCT in the name of journalism.

Due to this lineage’s tireless attention to, and protection of, the purity of these teachings, countless lives have been saved, altered, and transformed for the better.

To speak of my personal experience: before this work I was a renaissance man without a cause. I did what I wanted without much regard for others. I was selfish, and narrow-minded. Now, 9 years later, I know way less than I thought I did, and I spend much more time inquiring, meditating, LISTENING rather than judging others (and I used to judge with the best of them). As a result, I’ve run my own businesses for years that provide real jobs to people, helping to raise families, and generally contribute to conscious capitalism in my community—a way of doing business that uplifts and honors the human condition.

What if all entrepreneurs and executives, and the businesses they run, judged their success by increasing not just financial capital, but also environmental, social, and spiritual capital? How quickly would the world change if we changed our definition of GDP (which is to say, changed our MINDS) from a measure that values destructive growth to a measure that values regenerative systems? A fundamental teaching of the Hermetic lineage is that ALL IS MIND. When we harness the power of our mind by our will, our world can change overnight—the same way it changed when we all decided to “lockdown” in service to the greater good. For better, or for worse, we have the power.

Fourth, we’ve had tens of thousands of people come through the mystery school since 1997, and some of those people are still active today. Again, this work is not easy, but you’ll note that we must not be a very good cult because we don’t impose on others’ free will, nor does the organization financially exploit its students. We don’t ‘brainwash’, and we don’t manipulate.

Instead, we challenge our initiates to stand up for themselves and do the deep inner work we are each called to do. Not many people are willing to do that. If you are part of the majority that would rather blame others for your life results than take responsibility for not doing the practices taught by this lineage in order to eliminate your negative ego and change your life, you have not received the message we espouse. Every wisdom tradition in the East and West teaches radical self-responsibility—I challenge you to show me a tradition that promotes victimhood as an access to self-empowerment and freedom.

None of our programs are mandatory, but there are prerequisites to be completed prior to taking higher level teachings. There’s a difference. Would you say that colleges and universities coerce their students to financial ruin by forcing them to take mandatory pre-requisites for their higher level courses and charging them increasing tuition annually? Does it surprise you that you don’t get your degree if you’ve taken most but not all of the credits required? You do realize that your PhD is not guaranteed even after you’ve completed all the required credits? You typically then have to submit your own research to a peer-review process. If you can defend your research and methods, only then are you awarded a PhD in your field.

Would you say your accountant or lawyer is being financially taken advantage of because he or she needs to take continuing education classes lest they lose their license? Would you let them represent you in front of the IRS or a judge in a court of law if they didn’t demonstrate their current technical understanding of the topics at hand?

So even if you spend the money, you are not guaranteed a status—you have to perform.  Same thing in our lineage. You have to take action. You have to practice and stay current in your activities and techniques to remain certified.

Further, most professionals, particularly those who spend >$100k on their MBA’s would not be in shock at the price tag for a top-tier program, taught by not one, but three of the most highly trained and educated master teachers in our organization. Here is what some people have said about the School of the Mage program:

  • “School of Mage is so much more than a PhD program, which costs well over $100K. Worth every single penny in every class.”
  • “How much is it to work with Tony Robbins?”
  • “Totally life changing program.”
  • “Some coaches cost much more to work with for just one year.”

Fifth, now that that’s out of the way, allow me a moment to vent about Wilding and VICE (founded in part by Proud Boy Gavin McInnes): Since you’ve made it this far, I know that you’re more intelligent and discerning than Wilding is. I realize all the above is pretty straight-forward. However, it needs to be addressed since he has debased the conversation to such a degree by his terrible editing of interviewee content that didn’t quite fit the narrative he was trying to portray in this dribble of an article that carries on for tens of pages.

Shame on VICE, not that I’ve ever heard of them before this. My colleagues had to tell me this piece was even written. 500k readers? Doesn’t quite compare to Epoch Times 1.3 million subscribers, and they’re blocked by China for their nonpartisan and truthful reporting. What about NYT’s 7M digital subscribers? And that doesn’t even include their print subscribers. I feel compassion for the lengths Wilding and his fellow writers must go to grab attention to fund their failing ad money machine. I hope they can find a less desperate editor in another more reputable news organization that values something more than clicks on a website or eyes on an article.

Sixth, on to other less obvious points the article covers which you wouldn’t know unless you asked me and which I’d like to comment on:

No one in the school has ever encouraged me to start my own spiritual business. I started Spirit in Transition in 2015 as a rebrand of my prior business coaching/consulting practice. I did this because I chose to, and, for the record, it is not my only source of revenue. In fact, all of our Ipsissimi (that’s the plural form of Ipsissimus in the Latin conjugation, for the record) have been and are successful business people in various businesses outside of the Modern Mystery School.

As a successful business person myself, I know how difficult it can be to run multiple businesses. Especially a business where you’re trying to actually help people! If you evaluate the highest grossing industries in the world, you’d likely find entertainment, drugs, and porn grossing far more cash than self-empowerment and metaphysics. I don’t feel the need to go find the data here, but let me know if I’m wrong. Our Ipsissimi and the Council of 12 women have been able to help 10’s of thousands more people than I. They are not doing this because it is a “lucrative business,” or as a “job,” or as a way to “make money”. They do this because they are fully committed to a mission of empowering people, bringing these ancient teachings alive to those who seek, and helping us be active contributors to the awakening of the human collective, so that we can create a better world. We call this the mission of Shamballah, which is a world of peace, harmony, love, sustainability, and joy. I’ve got so much more work to do to catch up with these gentlemen and gentlewomen!

I spent a lot of time vetting the mystery school and this lineage specifically, including studying with Laurie Secrist, Gudni’s former wife, and business partner/instructor for the Rocky Mountain Mystery School in Ogden, UT (mentioned in the article). After I attended the Adept and Ritual Master programs with both organizations, I realized from experience where the true magick lies. I am a Guide for the Modern Mystery School today, and not Laurie’s Spiritual Mystery School (Triolite Foundation), because I can feel the difference.

As an aside, since he mentions it, Gudnason and Secrist are not the only ones to have had contact with the Galactic Federation. The US Gov’t/CIA  and Stanford University have been trying to infiltrate the Galactic Federation for years. Maybe our own government should attend Galactic Activation so they can learn how to contact the Galactic Federation directly, rather than instructing remote viewers to spy on them.

Seventh, as far as the sexual exploitation is concerned, all I can say is that it’s my job to consent to how I have sex and who I have sex with. If I feel pressure to have sex with someone, then it’s up to my own sense of empowerment and confidence to choose to continue, or hit the abort button. I’m told I’m sexy too, but no one thus far has invited me to an orgy, as part of sacred temple or otherwise. Now that I live in Florida, I’m working on my beach body, so I hope I do get the next invite.

In all seriousness, from what I’ve seen, there are no orgies happening at the Modern Mystery School. Also, there has been no indication to me that any official activities have involved sexual intercourse. If I was witness to, or an object of, objectifying or sexual commentary over the course of my studies at the School, my assumption would be that its intent is to liberate me from damaging and repressive societal programming around sex. Being a sexually liberated gay man, I feel I have transformed my relationship to sex in this regard. However, most people still have a tumultuous relationship with their sex.

Passion is a very powerful force for change and transformation. Harnessing and expressing passion does not mean whipping out your sexual organs and smashing them together with others’. Intercourse can actually dissipate or release energy, which would be the opposite of building the energy. Also, while I have your attention talking about sex, just because I wink, whistle or drool at you doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you. Maybe if Wilding had more sex, he’d intuitively know the difference. But most gay men are still learning that lesson so I don’t judge him too harshly on this point. I believe, and this is my most pessimistic view, that we all suffer from some degree of sexual frustration, disillusionment, and trauma. Hopefully, through the incredible and visionary work of the Modern Mystery School, we can all change that.

I can’t think of any organization anywhere that more effectively normalizes this aspect of our culture. The Modern Mystery School is expert at deprogramming learned negative connotations to, and indeed elevates, the beautiful energy of passion and eros to manifest our desires and to express pure Agape love.

Finally, in summary, the efficacy of these teachings are in the results that this royal and divine lineage has created for those initiates who have applied the teachings to their daily lives (i.e. do their Adept practices, meditate and pray directly to God, know themselves AS God, etc.). You can find numerous posts from those on Facebook who disagree with the article’s characterization of the Modern Mystery School, Founder Gudni Gudnason, Ipsissimus Dave Lanyon, and Ipsissimus Hideto Nakagome (the Japanese part of our school was barely mentioned, maybe because we’re so good at liberating women in otherwise repressive cultures).

In the Adept program (Empower Thyself), we teach you to use your own discernment to eliminate your negative ego. Your negative ego loves sensationalist (aka garbage) reporting, because it’s dramatic and validates your own small opinion of yourself. Those of you who have attended Empower Thyself program may remember that your negative ego wants you to remain small and powerless, right? Feel free to contact me if this sounds fun! I’d be happy to share these teachings with you. 😉

OK, the actual end of this rant *ahem* I mean, rebuttal…

This 5000+ year old lineage is about self-empowerment and restoring free will/choice to a world full of victims. When you are ready to take responsibility for yourself, then you will find the application of these teachings will produce tremendous results for you.

But you will not get results simply because you paid money to receive the teachings. Empower Thyself is an initiation, just the beginning. You have to do the work to effect the results you want to produce in your life. You have to work the magick!

One last thought—Yes, we are a threat to people. Liberating and empowering ideas have been demonized and repressed for centuries by people who want to control and dominate others. Download the latest list of banned books, try to search for Tiananmen Square massacre from the internet in China, study the Inquisition, ask yourself why the government didn’t promote healthy diets and exercise as a way to combat COVID-19 in addition to vaccinations. It’s socially acceptable to NOT take responsibility for yourself. It’s even easier to blame someone else for your own disempowerment. I hope that you WAKE UP and start asking yourself the hard questions, like the questions we ask ourselves in the study of Universal Kabbalah: Who am I? What am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What is my purpose?

After all, these questions will liberate and heal your soul.

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the splinter out of your eye, and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? First take the beam of wood out of your eye and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” ~Matthew 7:1-5

Watch, next they’ll call us ‘Bible Bangers.’

My name is Matthew Koren, and this is where I stand.