Re: Ciphers (Was: Berber/Tifinagh)

Date: Mon Nov 10 2003 - 10:16:35 EST

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    Quoting John Cowan <>:

    > scripsit:
    > > That would not describe the current use Theban (when it offers no real
    > > secrecy, and when most occultists are aware of modern computer-based
    > > encryption).
    > The intention of secrecy is not the same thing, obviously, as actual
    > secrecy, as too many have found out to their cost. But surely the reason
    > for using Theban, as a practical matter, is to keep the cowans (:-)) out?

    Yeah, but these days any cowan whose seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer is likely to
    identify a black-handled knife with Theban on the hilt as an athamé. If they've
    half a brain and access to google they can work out the rest sooner or later.

    My point however is not that Theban is cryptographically poor (though it is),
    but rather that there is little intention of secrecy in its use; its use is
    more comparable to the use of ecclestiastic scripts in some other religious or
    occult practice. I'm happy to dismiss it as a "mere cipher", but once we start
    (as people did earlier in this thread) examining this description more closely
    in an attemt to produce a firmer guideline for when scripts will or will not be
    encoded it begins to fall down. Michael's suggestion that the definition is one
    of whim is correct I think. It's a whim of concensus though, and I for one am
    happy enough with such whims ruling in edge cases (and half the point of Theban
    is to be an edge case).

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