The other day (Wednesday, and I'm not sure what day I'm going to finish this post and get it up on the blog) a friend and I had an interesting conversation over on Facebook.
He was bemoaning that, by publicizing the Mass his OTO Lodge is doing as "Crowley's Mass", that it promoted Thelema as a cult of personality around Crowley. I, of course, responded as any child of Marketing would, that getting people in the door is about branding. It's okay that the Crowley, the branding, gets them in the door, if you deliver more than the promise. Crowley is the 'promise' - whether it's the perceived edginess or whatever - the sizzle that brings them in the door - spiritual development is the steak you deliver.
Of course, I have to acknowledge that I'm just as pissy about the rainbows and unicorn farts branding that brings a lot of folks into neopaganry or Wicca. Magic/religion/spirituality is always happy joyful singing, healing always occurs, reincarnation is a good thing (covered previously in the blog), etc. I'm that that different in view than my friend is. Which has a lot to do with why we are friends. The only difference is that I have a longer view of the sales funnel. He's focused on that first click, the opt-in. I see the opt-in as a necessary step, but once we Pagans get that e-mail address we start them in a long-term e-mail drip sales campaign, with an OUTSTANDING 'hero story'.