a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


OTO Religious?

From: Bill Heidrick 
Subject: Re:OTO Religious? (Was Re: Where else to find Thelema?)
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 22:43:23 -0400

93 Peggy,

Peggy  asks:

>How exactly is it religious, apart from EGC?

Masonry is not a religion, particularly in so far as it does not espouse
any particular belief and allows any VSL (Volume of the Sacred Law) to
be used, depending on the religion of the candidate for Making or Raising.
O.T.O. had some religious qualities earlier, but became a formal religious
organization when Crowley required that only one Book of the Law or
VSL be used in the initiations, i.e. Liber AL vel Legis -- the final name
he gave to that text is borrowed from this terminology in Freemasonry.
By requiring that O.T.O. accept the Law of Thelema, Crowley made O.T.O.
a single denomination within Thelema as a Religion, i.e. a church or
religious fraternal organization.  This is a violation of one of the
"Landmarks" of Freemasonry, thereby rendering O.T.O. further unlikely to
be accepted back into regular Masonry as it is interpreted by the United
Grand Lodge of England.  Given the passage in Liber AL:

AL I,56:  "Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no
expected house cometh that child.  Aum!  All words are sacred and all
prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first
half of the equation, leave the second unattacked.  But thou hast all in
the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark."

a body accepting Thelema does not have to reject other Religions in their
entirety.  However, that's equally true of Buddhism and Hinduism, which
are considered religions in their own rights.  Thus, there is a slight
change in the perception of religion with the change of the Aeon and the
presence of Thelema as the religious orientation -- tolerance, to be
specific.  That is close to but not an adequate conformity with the
Landmark of avoidance from particular religious affiliation that characterizes
traditional Freemasonry.  O.T.O. affirms Thelema, thereby becoming a part
of a religion.  Freemasonry may use the ambient religious expression of
a place, but does not affirm it.  O.T.O. employs religious elements in
its initiations, Freemasonry employs religious metaphor in its initiations.
The difference may be subtle, but it is over the line of demarcation
between secular and religious.

>Also, why do you say "EGC within it"?  I thought the EGC was

E.G.C was separate as well as internal to O.T.O. for a number of years, but
that separate establishment failed.  O.T.O. continues to have the E.G.C.
internal aspect unchanged.  The separate establishment of E.G.C. had the
O.T.O. membership, initiations and other O.T.O. religious aspects removed,
except for the Gnostic Mass and Thelema itself, which were common to both.
To restate the point:  O.T.O. sponsored a setting up of an independent
E.G.C., external to and in addition to the E.G.C. within O.T.O.  The same
Patriarch was involved in both, but otherwise the E.G.C. within O.T.O.
had only a partial overlap of membership with the E.G.C. outside O.T.O.
This separate establishment was tried as an experiment from the early 1980's
until the early 1990's e.v., when the Bishops and officers of the separate
version of E.G.C. let the thing fall apart by failing to maintain corporate
standing and to maintain central records.  After some years, O.T.O. welcomed
the separate E.G.C. Bishops into the E.G.C. within O.T.O., at their
application.  Most were already O.T.O. members by then; but some were
not and still are not, aside from their limited ecclesiastical membership
through the E.G.C. in O.T.O.  At present, the E.G.C. in O.T.O. is the
only surviving organization of E.G.C. bishops.  There are other Gnostic
Catholic Bishops, some Thelemic and some not.  "E.G.C." is a particular
name within that larger group.  Estimates have the total number of similar
"Wandering Bishops", the largest group of which the Gnostic Catholic and
E.G.C. bishops are succeeding smaller sub groups, at about 20,000 to
40,000 individual consecrated prelates.  All this fans out from the
schism of Utrecht of 1739 e.v.  In that place and time, one of the last
steps of the Protestant reformation occurred.  A valid consecration
(by Roman Catholic standards of consecration by at least three Bishops
having apostolic succession) got away from the church in Rome.  It's been
multiplying like rabbits in the 256 years since.  Various novel religions
have emerged and taken co-consecration in that line of succession.  Many
of these have ceased to be Christian, but all possess a valid line of
the "Apostolic Succession" that is a part of the unbroken sequences of
consecrations.  Most are Dutch Old Catholic, and the remainder
tend to be Gnostic Christian in some sense or other -- taking the
distinction that anyone can become a priest or bishop through the proper
rite of consecration.  Quite a few are Gnostic but not Christian -- E.G.C.
is one of the threads coming off in that direction.

For more information, read _Red Flame_ #2, written by the Fr. Y.V., GSG
of O.T.O., about the E.G.C. and the Gnostic Mass, available through
Pangenetor Lodge of O.T.O.

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races