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Order Pretentions and Claims

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.magick.order,alt.thelema,talk.religion.newage,alt.freemasonry,alt.evil,alt.christnet,alt.sufi
From: (xiwangmu)
Subject: Re: Order Pretentions and Claims (Was Re: New O.T.O. founded!)
Date: 5 May 1996 13:26:13 -0700

49960505 cinco de mayo (independence day?  I'm so ignorant)

E6 Frater Ad Dexteram OTO! (William Behun):
|Respect (okay, maybe not) to the Order.

I encourage respect of the Order, even while critiquing it.  Of course
I also encourage respect of the Chaos, and this may mean doing things
which the Order thinks are disrespectful. ;>

|Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

the word of Sin is Restriction!

|...the "Manchester Two" ....use an OTO lineage to validate their claim 
|that OTO is no longer an operative order....  That seems to me to be 
|a contradiction. 

what if they are merely saying that the leaders of the current Caliphate
OTO have fallen out of step with the Current?

|...not that they have founded an Order based upon a lineage that 
|happens to run through OTO.  

what I heard was a complaint about establishing their order on the basis
of grandiose claims.  need I provide the text to which I was replying?  
you did not do me the courtesy of assisting here:

Frater AD wrote (apparently providing an example of 'preposterousness':
# |How about founding an organisation and claiming all sorts of lineages 
# |for it just because one cannot work within a system where one is not 
# |in total control, 

all I said in response (rather dramatically) was 'that is exactly how most
Orders in fact ARE founded, and why'.  I don't see that you have really
responded except to say that these people shouldn't use the lineage of the
Order to substantiate their divergence.  if they are merely pointing out
the authority from which they draw and the OTO draws from a similar authority
how is this authority established and by whom?  if there is no Absolute
beyond local legal wrangling does this mean it's all meaningless, or that
we are merely horrified at the birth-pangs of alternatives to what is
becoming stagnant, the 'establishment'?

|...rather than founding their own Order, and having the intellectual honesty 
|to name it as such, they have coopted the name Ordo Templi Orientis to 
|describe their group.  

this is not a new complaint.  I addressed it directly in my response to you
and am surprised that you do not take it into consideration.  was it merely
too cryptic?  here:

# |and then ripping off another group's name and claiming the first group 
# |in invalid?  I think that takes the cake, personally.
# Ever heard of the Argentina Ashram (AA)? 
# The Order of the Sliver Star (SS)?
# The Order of the Rosy and Crux(RC)? 
# The Order of the Gelded Dog (GD)?
# Ever examined the history of the usage of these ordernames?  
# Of your *own* Order? (I haven't except tangentally).  
# Perhaps we might coordinate on this (contact me privately if you've interest).

if you did not get my meaning the AA (Argenteum Astrum), SS (Silver Star), 
RC (Rose Croix) and Golden Dawn (GD) have not always been identified with 
the same objects.  they have been co-opted, by the very prophet of your 
own Order, my brother, if my assessment is correct (which it may not be).  

Frater Heidrick explains to me that Crowley altered most everything in his
explanation of the grades and the ordernames when speaking of the AA.  yet 
when I compare his description in 'One Star in Sight' it is rather much 
like the Golden Dawn's just shifted slightly.

Let's compare Case in _The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order_ and
Crowley in the Dover _Magick in Theory and Practice_ (Book Four, Part III):

		10=01		Ipsissimus	Ipsissimus
		09=02		Magus		Magus
		08=03		Magister Templi Master of the Temple (same)
		07=04		Exempt Adept	Adeptus Exemptus (same)
		06=05		Greater Adept	Adeptus Major (same)
		05=06		Lesser Adept	Adeptus Minor (same)
		04=07		Philosophus	Philosophus
		03=08		Practicus	Practicus
		02=09		Theoricus	Zelator
		01=10		Zelator 	Neophyte
		00=00		--------        Probationer

	[Case, 157; Crowley, 231 interestingly enough]

This is indicative of a development over time and/or the merging and
separation/comparison of multiple social systems (Rosicrucian, GD, OTO).

And look what he calls the different levels of the AA (/GWB):

		*The Order of the S.S. (is this the AA, german SS, or is 
		 the AA the whole thing (SS/RC/GD), or both, or neither?)

		*The Order of the R.C. (is this replacing all Rosicrucia?)

		*The Order of the G.D. (is the equivalent of the Golden Dawn?)

	What was he doing if not absconding with the names of previous Orders
        while redefining them according to his preferences and whims which
	would have been objected to if he'd been involved in the Orders that
	he was reviving/reconstructing/redefining/co-opting?

Also, why this:
# Frater Superior noted: "The *Manifesto* provides a concise summary of 
# the various threads of initiatic tradition that make up the O.T.O.  It was 
# first published from Boleskine *circa* 1912 E.V., and reprinted in *The 
# Equinox* III(1)(Detroit: Universal, 1919). - H.B."

You yourself say that the OTO doesn't *now* make the claims that Frater LB
does in the Manifesto, and yet why does the Frater Superior here express
the apparent contrary.  Has there since been a retraction?  Am I 
misunderstanding something?

| the case of Mssr. Grant, et al, the Order formed may be completely 
|legitimate, and do excellent work, and further the cause of Thelema, und 
|so weiter... but it is not OTO.  

oh, THAT's what this is about.  I really don't understand the need for you
folks to piss and shit on your boundaries in order to establish them.  the
error of presuming Single Absolute Definitions must be pointed out in the
Evil Book *somewhere*, and if not this be one of its failings, as it is
contrary to LOVE.

it is the same bitching problem most of Western religion has.  eventually
we're going to learn that language control will not work on everyone as
a means of persuasion, whether that be legal (as the Caliphate OTO has 
effected), or merely popular (as the various members of the OTO demon-
strate amongst each other in their silly bickering about who is the 'real'
OTO; cf who is the 'real' Wiccan, who is the 'real' Christian, etc. in
a variety of forums).  

it is a social structural failure based on the notion that 


while this is very lovely when one is wielding a club or lawsuit and
exerting the force of personal power to dominate another human being
in their speech, I am not sure that it is often a respectful way to
engage those outside the Order, whether they are claiming that they
are the reincarnation of Edward Alexander (or maybe just) 'Aleister' 
Crowley or the new Outer Head of the Order (OTO's highest and invisible
office) or a spy and revolutionary sent to overturn the ordinary so as
strengthen the fold.

again, my response which I did not see you address:
# I cannot understand why you might castigate people for associating fantasy
# with their history.  It has been a predominant feature in most cultural
# affairs (esp. occult and religious) for the bulk of human existence, and
# may have very important personal and societal functions.

|There is already an OTO, 

several.   why not have 10,000 of them?
the Swiss and whatnot appear to have broken ranks because of the promotion
of Aleister Crowley.  as the Caliphate OTO places a great deal of emphasis
upon Mr. Crowley and his works and character and copyrights etc. it is
understandable why it would not wish to acknowledge these others as having
any claim on whatever horde it may cash in by secreting the Beast's writings
away and inspiring greater and greater membership.  it might get very rich, 
especially if Crowleyania continues to burgeon and it grows more conservative
as regards is information policies.  the Cult of Crowley must have some sort 
of half-life amongst generations of mages, mustn't it?  or is this going to
rival L.Ron Hubbard?

|that I and others believe is an operative order, 

this much is clear to me and to others, belief being reasonable, and
I might even say pervasive, though I do think this is questionable and
if the people to whom you were responding indicate that there is some
problem with its function then I think this should be known and heard.

|functioning with a legitimate head, 

ah, now THERE's the issue, isn't it, and it is the same TRIBAL bullshit
which is splitting up the land surface and keeping our attentions off
the fact that we're fucking up the biosphere for present pleasure at
the expense of horrible suffering and needless torture
the keyterm here is 'legitimate'.  what you accept as 'legitimate' and
what another accepts as such will likely differ.  this is normal, and
to be encouraged.

|and efficacious lineages.  

rightly phrased, if I understand you plainly.  the lineages concocted by
societies to substantiate themselves early in their development typically
become mythologized or historicized or both within a tradition.  the OTO
(in its various guises) appears to have suffered a psychic if not a legal
splintering in a global sense.  this FACT should not be overlooked, and
arguments to the contrary merely perpetuate our tedium.

|Therefore any other Order, no matter what its credentials, is not OTO.

that is not established.  what is established is that by some criteria
you have not made available within your criticism you have determined that
there is a single organization worthy of a three-syllable moniker which
other individuals have utilized in the formation of other organizations,
perhaps related to and/or originally residing within the present Order of
which we are both part.

apparently you may be referring to the various Motta documents which
describes to us a legal battle of co(s?)mic purportions.  or perhaps you are
in some privileged position with respect to the Current that you can be
so sure of your claims about what is what (I don't always follow the logic).

what if I were to describe to you an 'OTO' which defies paperwork, extends
beyond social systems?  have you noticed that there are lots of 'Rosicrucians'
around and that these seem to each claim to be the legitimate ones, even while
some historical writers contend that those who are involved never reveal their
membership in that fashion?  have you also noticed that there a number of
'Golden Dawn's and 'AA's??  Is this all just a big coincidence, and the OTO
Caliphate isn't participating in faulty, old-aeon politics of screaming 'no,
*we're* the real mccoy!'?  

I find it hard to think otherwise and am ashamed of my Order's inability to
come to terms with this principle in the New Aeon (whether you would choose
to call it 'Ma'atian' or 'Horusian' or 'Kaliyugan').  

the Calphate OTO should be on friendly terms with any others who happen to
disagree with its Officers or members opinions about their lineage.  respect 
for one's kin should extend beyond the boundaries of the initiatic framework 
to those who may contend even with the Order's objectives.  too often I have 
heard sweeping generalizations, perpetuating an image of rigidity and 
irritability, by members of the Caliphate OTO in its involvement with the 
occult arts and sciences.

I'd rather the Order stood for imagination, individual vision, and the
ability to voice one's opinion in a friendly if sometimes challenging 
atmosphere.  I don't get that as often from Caliphate OTO members, 
especially those who try to squash claims of rival Orders.  instead I'd 
rather see the Order Officers inspire alternative visions, encourage 
fractionization (with an explanation of legal limitations until these 
silly disputes may be resolved) and experimentation.
telling the kids that this is the only game in town isn't going to keep working

|The long list of Organisations from which OTO derives its wisdom does 
|not in the least impact this argument.  

you then go on to mention that the OTO doesn't *now* call itself these
things.  you must know that it does not in part because of the legal smack
given to it by the bodies masonic, yes?  how is 'from which X derives its
wisdom' different than 'lineage'?

|...all this was done simply to assuage the egos of those who felt 
|themselves slighted by Beta and OTO.  This would not be a good reason 
|to found an Order, in my eyes, at least.

I can see your point.  an action performed in haste or rash anger may not
be the best crux-point for an entire model society.  Then again, I think
many organizations and order have been formed in precisely these circum-
stances.  one might say that the Declaration of Independence may have been
written in such conditions, as have a number of similar post-wartime treaties

there is a popular zen story of a samurai who goes after another for an
honorable revenge and then before the final blow his target spits in his
face.  JCampbell spoke of it, as have OTO members of my memory.  he breaks
off then because of his rage in response.  the revenge should be quick,
without interference from untempered passions.  this may be something
similar to which you are saying.

|...[any] project you wish to propose to me I will examine with great 

oh?  ok, I'm tracking down the various names already, but I have little
information on the origins of Ordo Templi Orientis.  contact me in private
email separately and we can pursue (perhaps with assistance from pointers
within this forum :>).

thank you for your patience, my brother.


---------------------------------- additional notes on 'OTO' and name history

so far I have this from Cavendish:

		the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross 
		(myth: CRosenkreutz; members: gv/ia/io)

now CR was said to have been born in *GERMANY*, birthplace of so many
occult orders, including Ordo Templi Orientis.

what Cavenish calls 'an Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross':

		the Sublime, Most Ancient Genuine and Honourable 
		Society of the Golden and Rosy Cross, Abiding in 
		the Providence of God (1750s, Germany)

there are particular these for names, and 'East', 'Temple of the East'
and 'Order of the Temple of the East' were likely derived more out of
Templar or at least Medieval times than original in some way.  perhaps
I'm mistaken.  

there was a
		Brotherhood of the Goldan and Rosy Cross (1710, Germany)

as referenced by a Sigmund Richter, under the pseudonym of Sincerus Renatus.

hmm, Cavendish (126) says that the 'Ancient and Accepted Rite' of masonry
was created in 1750s.  not sure if this is related at all.  he also says
that the 18th degree of the 33 is Knight of the Pelican and Eagle, Sovereign
Prince Rose Croix of Heredom (remember 'Heredom' from Frater LB's text??).

NOTE: Caliphate OTO's Vth+ degree compares here, +PI (Pelican and 
      Eagle/Prince of Israel)(III:10: 

		V' - Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix, Knight of the
		     Pelican and Eagle

reconstructions and reconstructions.  we use the names of previous creators
and apply them in different ways or steal them wholesale.  this is the way
of Hermetica is it not?


Frater Heidrick mentioned had this to say about the
origin of the OTO and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light:

|Please say more about what constituted the HBoL.

This was a group formed to follow (in part) B.P.Randolph's teachings.
It was international in membership, started about a generation before
the Golden Dawn in London and I last heard of it in Oakland CA about
1970 e.v., when the Oakland Hermetic Library was broken up for sales.
I managed to pick up some rather nice 1st editions of Steiner, Crowley
and Westcott from the tables.  For history of this group, you need
to look in part to Clymer's books and other sources from mid 19th to
mid 20th century.

|With what other groups did it (OTO) merge?

Partial list, according to Crowley in 1912 e.v.:

The Gnostic Catholic Church, The Order of the Knights of the Holy Ghost,
The Order of the Illuminati, The Order of the Temple, The Order of the
Knights of St. John, The Order of the Knights of Malta, The Order of
the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail,
The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, The Holy Order of Rose Croix of
Heredom, The Order of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch, The Antient and
Primitive Rite of Masonry, The Rite of Memphis, The Rite of Mizraim,
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry, The Swedenborgian
Rite of Masonry, The Order of Martinists and the Order of the Sat Bhai.

Two or three of the above are either fictional or far-fetched.  Most of
this bunch had some existence and did have some influence on O.T.O.
at the time of it's formation.

|I'd like to analyse the beginnings of the historical OTO
|within this newsgroup, perhaps as part of a FAQ, since you do not appear
|to be generating one.

Much of the early history of the O.T.O. is just now emerging.  As for
a FAQ, aside from my History Outline and a changing form letter, it's
not really a plan of O.T.O. to have a FAQ.  There are too many frequently
asked questions.  My master list of short paragraphs in response is
presently over 70K long --- just the current matter; the ephemeral matter
is longer still, 86K.  That doesn't include any in-depth material, like the
discussions earlier this year on secrecy.  Face it.  O.T.O. is complex.

======== end of BHeidrick quote

neat stuff, eh?  review in public if you like, Frater AD, else send me email
thanks again

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