An interview with one of the first Filianists.
Q. You were there at the very beginning of Filianism, or Madrianism as it was then called?
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. What name did you use?
A. Sister Julia. A lot of early articles appeared under that name.
Q. Probably the most fundamental question any one interested will ask is: Where did the Filianic Scriptures come from?
A. They were written in the 1970s, mostly in Oxford over a period of a few years.
Q. Do you know this for certain?
A. I was heavily involved in the writing of them.
Q. You wrote some or all of them?
Q. Was this channeling?
A. If channeling means deep trance states or voices from above, then no. They were written quite consciously. They often have clear and intentional influences from traditional sources. Some – possibly all – were written in a very slightly altered state of consciousness. However this may be no more than is common in intensive creative writing.
Q. So you rule out any supernatural influence?
A. I do not feel I am in a position to either claim it or to rule it out. Even if I did, my opinion is nothing more than my opinion.
Q. Were any drugs involved?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Were any fabricated origins claimed at the time?
A. Yes. It was claimed that there were secret communities in Britain that had carried the tradition down the centuries from pre-patriarchal times. Those claims were quietly dropped later. I don’t think many people have even heard of them these days, fortunately.
Q. Why were such claims made?
A. To give some sense of background and tradition to the Faith. It was a foolish thing to do but sometimes one does foolish things.
Q. Was this done in a cynical way? Were you trying to deceive people?
A. On a purely factual level, of course it was a deception. It wasn’t in any way cynical or ill-intended.
For my part I had done a quite a bit of reading around ancient and modern religious traditions. It seemed that there had been many occasions when texts were attributed to great teachers etc. without having been objectively written by them. I don’t think this sort of thing was “fraud” in the sense that modern people would see it as being, with their heavy emphasis on things like individual authorship. It would mostly have been a matter of declaring one’s filiation to that tradition and a belief that one’s own individual authorship was of no importance. That is hard for the modern mind to accept, but it was the kind of thinking behind these claims.
We were aware that we had no living tradition. We believed, or hoped, that we were representing something not too unlike – or at least a rendition for the modern mind of – a feminine spiritual tradition that we postulated to have existed in the past.
Q. If I include a comment section on the web page this interview appears on, will you answer further questions from readers?
A. I will answer questions about the scriptures and the intellectual and spiritual origins of Filianism. I will not answer questions about who was who, who did what and where or anything of that sort. I have no intention of violating anyone’s privacy or of satisfying anyone’s biographical curiosity. I will do my best to clarify anything relating to the origins of Filianism itself in the spirit that I have here.