My entire career in magic people have been telling me "Did it work or not? That is the main question."
When I questioned the efficacy of OTO initiations, people told me: "well they work. Something definitely happens".
When I question whether Scroodge McDuck is as effective a wealth god as Dzambhala, people told me: "but the ritual worked!"
When I question whether it is important to be so traditional that there is no room for creativity or improvisation people tell me: "but it worked"
That used to be the question for me, but I got over it.
See, the way that magic is, just about anything will "work". You can stick your thumb up your ass and dance on one foot while chanting for a result in pig latin and it will work. And yes, I know this from experience.
I assume that when just about anyone does magic, some magic happens. My questions are:
1. Did it meet the stated Goals?
2. How well?
3. How fast?
4. How applicable is it in most situations?
5. Can I do it anywhere?
6. Can I do it anytime?
7. Is it repeatable?
8. How strong was the result?
9. Were there any side effects?
10. Does this work for everyone or just me?
11. Do you need any particular gifts to work this?
So when people leave Chaos magic, its not because they think that Chos Magic doesnt work. Its a matter of how well it works vs other things. When people leave the OTO, its not that there is nothing happening at the initiations, its that they are not producing the results in people that is worth continuing on for, When people loosen up about tradition, its that they realize that they arent getting measurably better results using thread spun by a virgin than they were when they were using embroidery thread.
As practical magicians we need to ask ourselves tougher questions than we usually do.