Mary Daly: The Witch of Boston College
Note: Mary Daly died in January 2010. Mary was a living, breathing troublesome verb. She is now a noun in books and online. —Stephen Hand
It is good to be tolerant, even of incoherent things, we are told today. The devil himself ought to be given a seat at the table. So the courts have ruled. But that can’t stop us from noticing that Mary Daly represents the meltdown of the dissident transgressive mind, the logical end of neo-modernist rebellion. She is a witch. Her aggressive mission is to “spin new covens” everywhere within the “shell” of Roman Catholicism. The stronger the resistance the better. She rejects the Creed as mythological, “perfectly dead” (1), and yet has no problem believing that toads, spiders and bees send her messages all the time (2). Nor does she blush to admit that she regularly “conjures” the presence of many deceased womyn (sic) at the beginning of her lectures; among them the lesbian poet Sappho; Hypatia, an ancient philosopher, Hildegard von Bingen; Sojourner Truth, and Virginia Woolf.
She weeps for “murdered trees” (3) but is cold to the bloody legacy of Roe v. Wade. Mary Daly taught so-called Feminist Ethics at Boston College and is, I’m afraid to say, the emblematic pseudo-intellectual. Her involvement with the college goes back to the 60’s when she was appointed assistant professor in theology with the blessing of the notoriously conflicted John Cardinal Wright, whom, she says, was “known as a liberal”(4), and who more or less nurtured her aspirations ( even helping her financially).
“To Sin is to Be”
Daly’s philosophic motto is “to sin is to be” (5). She refuses to bend the knee to the “patriarchal” Father, God, insisting that worship is “not kneeling in front of so-and-so but swirling in energy”(6). She calls this “Energy”— the “mother-triple-goddess’— by many names: Isis, Hera-Demeter-Kore, Thetis-Amphitrite-Kore and others.
Daly is often photographed holding a battle-ax, which she calls the symbol of her particularly ideological lesbianism. Lesbianism and the Craft, according to Daly’s hallucinations, are inextricably bound in the creative, elemental forces. There is no place for men in the “Reality” of Mary Daly. Having failed to keep them out of her classes at BC altogether, she will not allow male students to speak in her class room under the pretext that Patriarchy has done too much talking already. When some dare to raise their hands she either ignores or openly rebukes them. So much for feminist “diversity”.
Contempt for Creation
Mary Daly’s contempt for men, reflecting a contempt for creation itself, has gone to such execrable extremes as to allow her, in perfect seriousness, to see in the Infancy Narratives and the Incarnation the “rape” of Mary—and, symbolically, the “rape of all matter”— by the Patriarchal deity (7). And, regarding the Immaculate Conception, she says:
“The Immaculate Conception is the ultimate depiction of (pre-natal) woman-battering, a mythic model of incestuous assault.”(8)
And this is the woman whom Matthew Fox extols as one of the feminist lights who has been called in our time to save the planet(9) through a decisive rejection of what he calls Augustinian “fall/redemption theology”. This rejection is allegedly done in favor of a “creation-centered” theology which is inclusive of everything from paganism and witchcraft to “justice and liberation movements”. Mary Daly, however, may not think much of Matthew Fox necessarily. She generally distrusts men who want to take up women’s causes and prefers that “womyn” (sic) take up the battle ax’s themselves.
In all of her writings, Daly is out to utterly deconstruct the Roman Catholic religion in favor of a “pre-christian, Metapatriarchal Reality” (sic)[which has no basis in history] which she refers to as a “Pirates adventure”, involving the concerted breaking of taboos and “the Courage to Sin” (10). Her earliest religious experiences, she says, were invariably of an animistic/pantheistic kind. A “hedge” at school would “speak” to her. The “message” mysteriously whispering “Continued existence”, which she took to mean “I was, and am, and will be”, words that ominously recall the very Name of God (11). One cannot help but be reminded of the deceitful, hubristic promise of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden who told our first parents they would become “as gods” by doubting the Creator’s words, countering it with the Anti-Word, and transgressing His commandments. Such experiences Daly calls “Leaps into greater Self-Realization as a deviant/defiant . . .”. Self is the beginning and end of her overheated imagination, the despairing philosophical psychosis which sees the world and her own being as “de-composition” moving towards the Nothing / Nihilism.
It is Mary Daly’s mission to assist Catholic girls in following her (she would say assisting them to “spiral”) into such “Leaps” of “consciousness”. And there is little doubt she is succeeding. When, in years past, mostly because of parental complaints, the administration of Boston College considered taking some kind of action against her (she was denied tenure but not an ongoing, very long, position) it was the student body which collected in protest and ensured her place on the faculty, despite the concerns of Catholic parents. When she urges her students into the “ecstasies” of transgression, she tells them that sin is “heightened being” (12), the deliciously ineluctable forces of Nature (Daly is notorious for capitalizing only words which she deems meaningful. She never—or only inconsistently— capitalizes “catholic”or “church” or words associated with the Church.)
Of her ideologic Lesbianism, she is not reticent to explain. The year was 1972. A “sparking”, “Volcanic Taboo Breaking”, year. She and her hag “friend” had been reading an account of a lesbian’s descent into the vortex of violation. She says:
“My friend and I read this piece together and soon sprang into action. From that Moment nothing was ever the same again. I Re-Call (sic) looking out my office window at trees whose branches met and having an overwhelmingly powerful intuition that expressed itself in the words ‘the trees came together’. I would now call that experience ‘an intuition of Elemental integrity’ ” (13)
Once upon a time this admission/boast alone (never mind her witchcraft!) would have been sufficient to expel a Professor from any Catholic College on earth. Alas, not so today, apparently. It should be noted that the word which Daly uses of that “experience”, integrity, is a precise theological term which denoted the Original “integrity” of Adam and Eve before the Fall. Daly, like so many of her tired colleagues in theology today, is essentially a word spinner, using words carefully and artfully. For her and those like her, it is the intoxication with words and neologisms which gives an even greater thrill to experience. This idolatry of learning, without regard for the true ends of learning and the intellect, is almost always at the heart of the fall of a dissident soul. Daly makes no bones about it. She says of her falling away from the Faith:
“The more I studied and the more I traveled, ripping away cultural limitations and mindbindings (sic), the less frequently I went to Church. I was not afflicted with piety or missionary zeal. . . My Lust was for the Life of the Mind. The simple fact is that the more I studied and explored, the more I was in touch with mySelf, and going to Church became odious.” (14)
Parents should take notice of such words as they consider sending their children “off to college”. Even (perhaps especially) off to colleges like Boston College where all of this was allowed in the name of the Church and academic “pluralism”. Of course learning, per se, is not to blame. But, as our Lord said, “no disciple is greater than his master”. The educational fruit will not fall far from the educational root/tree.
Beyond Good and Evil
Daly’s intellectual point of departure is the same as it was for Nietzsche; she declares that her Craft is “beyond good and evil” (15). She refers to this existence as a life of “spinning”:
“Spinning is a heightened manifestation of be-ing, which, is, at root, Sinning. Indeed, Spinning is quintessential Sinning.”16
So, to “spin” is to “sin” in Daly’s lexicon of be-ing. In this she is a thorough modern. Experience, interiority, and subjectivity are the alpha and omega of being for the modern / post-modern world. Since Descartes and Kant, it is perhaps the sign of modernity and “Enlightenment”. But it is clearly an enlightenment which attempts to countervail itself against Him Who is the “Light of the World”. It is thus what John Paul II calls the Anti-Word. For Daley, all talk of holiness, Charity, self-denial, prayer, etc., are just so many ploys of Patriarchalism. In her sad hubris, Daly is convinced she is “beyond” the need for redemption. The title of one of her books, indeed, is “Beyond God the Father”. Thus her “spinning” advocates the positivity of sinning, not the alleged negativity of humility and worship or family. For Mary Daley, as for so many of our dissident teachers today, the family is, in the words of one writer, a “threat to utopia”, the very root of cultural oppression. And make no mistake about it, Mary Daly is, like so many of her delerious peers, a Utopian.
Though it should be clear to all that anyone who boasts of being “beyond good and evil” has about as much right as Jeffrey Dahmer to bewail the alleged universal oppression of women, or any perceived wrong, Mary Daly is also “beyond” logic and consistency. She threw away the law of contradiction about the same time she threw away her bra. No. Mary Daly does not see the jungle she is birthing. She is oblivious to the tooth and claw brutality which is all that will remain when her dream of desconstructing the Church is finally achieved, all but for Christ’s faithful. She is spinning a Web which, in the end, will become her spiritual coffin. And her own words will advance against her like a deadly Spider, which, of necessity, must devour everything in its silk-like, deceitful, trap. And Boston College today is also covered by the hideously spun Web.
Contempt for Women / Creation
The truth is that Mary Daly hates actual women who have emerged from creation. She hates biological destiny which is ontologically rooted in the genuine diversity of creation, the creation which she so fears and despises, preferring a “metaReality” of her own conjuring. Mary Daly wants Crones, not women. Thus she has made a life attempting, via re-“education”, to morph real women into crones and hags. Like all specifically ideologic homosexuals Mary Daly has problems with creation with all of its opposites, dualisms, complements, and unyielding objectivity. As a homosexual she is, by definition, tragically stunted, thwarted by her choices, infantile, and narcissistic. The tragic obsession with sex which so many ideologic homosexuals manifest (read her books, or Camille Paglia if you doubt) signifies a depressive state, a compulsion to avoid the full responsibility of growing up and a loathing of the responsibilities implied in marriage to an-other. And, as it has ever been, this compulsion can only thrive by denial. Rather than admit a weakness or fault, the rebellious spirit follows into the Luciferian denial of the real and into the colossal hallucination of cosmic mutiny.
That is why Mary Daly loves to go to Ireland. Of all the places on earth, there is no place, she says, where she would rather be spinning with her Crones, because the Luciferian spirit is most intense when it is violating the virgin, whether that virgin be literal or whether She be the Church in Ireland. Sexual violation of the pure, and desecration of the Holy, have the same transgressive root. Blasphemy and rape are of a piece, as the Marquis de Sade understood perfectly. It is the same spirit which, in 1789, hoisted the Prostitute on top of the high altar of Notre Dame cathredal in Paris in the name of Reason. Then, as now, tyranny was euphemized as “liberty, equality and fraternity”. Today it is called the “first amendment”. It is the same spirit which hurls crucifix’s and other holy objects around while preparing young girls for sexual violation/sacrifice, ala MTV, in our pornosophic culture. It is the same spirit which would make the New Madonna of the New Age name her poor, bastard, child “Lourdes”. And which would declare, with ABC/ Disney, that there is “Nothing Sacred” as it wages an all-out propaganda war against Catholic orthodoxy.
Regarding the seamless web of neo-paganism, a woman wrote me:
“I don’t know what it is exactly, but I think there is some link between the worship of victims such as Lady Diana, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis and Kevorkian, abortion, homosexuality, bizarre fashions like body piercing, weird music of destruction, the rise of the popularity of Halloween, extreme violence in movies and on TV, increase in violent crime, birth control, black lipstick and nail polish and white makeup, anorexia, hatred of the Church, Satanism…. Is this the “culture of Death?” Is it nihilism? My intuition tells me all the above are related, but how?”
It is clear that this woman’s intuition regarding the seamless web in which a total resurgence of a blatant paganism is occurring is exactly to the point. All of the phenomena she mentions, which are evident to anyone in an urban setting especially, are classic elements of paganism and essentially amount to a counter-religion of polytheistic, satanistic, witchcraft, fatalistic despair, and ubiquitous sensual/masochistic elements. Clearly we are in it; the time, that is, when the ancient god-demons are returning and when the flow of blood may only get worse, as entertainment and hatred of Truth combine into the proportions of a techno-utopian, globalist, Roman Circus. When people turn away from God, the Maker of heaven and earth, they revert to paganism inevitably, as the Old Testament shows over and over. This is, of course, all very serious. We must weep for and pray for the world. Especially for our children. Those Catholics living most of their lives in the 21st century will probably bear the brunt of it. And we will have persons like Mary Daly to thank. Hopefully Boston College has learned a lesson. (17) —Stephen Hand
Mary Daly, Outercourse: The Be-dazzling Voyage Harper San Francisco 1992
Footnotes to The Witch of Boston College
1 p. 150
2 ibid. p. 304 305.
4 ibid p.56
5 National Catholic Reporter, ‘Smuggle back What’s Lost’, wild Mary Daly tells women. May 31, 1996.
7 Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics (sic) of Radical Feminism, Boston, Beacon Press p.75
8 Ibid p. 104; cf.. Also Crisis magazine, October 1991.
9 Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, Bear & Company Pub, Sanae Fe, NM, pp 49, 210
10 Outercourse, ibid, p. 130
11 In Exodus 3:14 God reveals Himself to Moses as YHWH, The “I AM”. cf.. The words of Jesus also, John 8:58.
12 Outercourse, ibid, p. 292
13 Ibid. P.144
14 Ibid. P.60
15 Ibid. P. 292, 328, etc.
16ibid. P. 292
17 In one moment of rare and unintended philosophical and psychological lucidity, Mary Daly was honest enough to say (her words): “I am a positively revolting hag” (p. 322). The tragedy is that lucidity so quickly relapses into delirium and, given the state of modern education today, few students in the covens—which are everywhere if Daly can be believed— can see the truth or its consequences anyway. This is why we must ever pray especially for students, but also for all those who are tempted to despair in today’s climate of philosophical and moral nihilism.