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OTO and Wicca

To: alt.magick
From: (Bill Heidrick)
Subject: OTO and Wicca
Date: 6 Jan 1995 05:28:07 GMT

Quoting: |Arlie Stephens ( 

|Do you have evidence that Gardner was ever a member of the O.T.O. ?


A. Gardner's initiation to the middle OTO degrees is noted in Crowley's
B. Gardner wrote in 1948 e.v. that he believed himself to be the head
of O.T.O. in Europe (Letter is in the Harry Ransome Humanities Research
Center collection at the U.of Texas, Austin).
C. Many other contemporaries of Crowley c. 1947-8 e.v. mention Gardner's
being a member of O.T.O., in correspondence.
D. Gardner's charter to operate an O.T.O. body exists, apparently in
Gardner's hand but signed by Crowley (A.Greenfield has it in GA).

|I interpret from the above that you, with access to both Masonic and OTO 
|materials, and to (at least) the published Gardnerian materials, believe
|that the Gardnerian materials are more similar to the O.T.O. than to 

Identical, rather than more similar, in some parts -- based on the unpublished
Gardnarian rituals in Kelly's 1970's master's thesis, not to be confused with
his more recent and strange book on the subject.  O.T.O. verbatim, not the
same as the language in 19th century AASR published version of ritual.

|Is it possible that the O.T.O. is more similar to the 
|Co-Masons than to the Masons ?

Until about 1920 e.v., O.T.O. claimed to be a co-Masonic version of AASR.
We don't make that claim now, to avoid profitless and pointless difficulty
with regular Craft Masonry and AASR.  During that earlier time, AASR degrees
were recognized in O.T.O. as granting O.T.O. equivalent degrees, no further
initiation necessary.

|Also, would you be breaking any oaths to point out *which* parts of 
|Gardner's BOS appear to be verbatim copies of OTO materials ? 

To say that would be to break my oaths.  Bend 'em I do, but so far no "snap."
Anyone with an old set of the three cord rituals and Francis King's book
can find it for themselves.  I can say it is there, but I may not say
exactly where or even confirm the accuracy or inaccuracy of parts of King's
book --- it's close enough to the old drafts of the O.T.O. rituals to
serve this purpose.

|I could easily
|imagine Gardner copying O.T.O. rituals if he had access to them;

He had access.  Crowley sent him over to study the rituals with Gerald
Yorke -- again noted in abbreviated form in Crowley's last diary.

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

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