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The Solar Lodge, History of OTO

To: alt.magick
From: (B Heidrick)
Subject: The Solar Lodge, History of OTO
Date: 9 Oct 1994 10:06:01 -0400

Quoting: > (me194) 


>Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.

  This initially southern California based organization was never a part
of O.T.O.  It was formed following thefts of MSS and initiation materials
from the estate of Karl Germer, home of Mildred Burlingame and home of Dr.
Regardie.  Although no connection was established through the courts
between the thefts of the O.T.O. and Golden Dawn materials and this
organization, individuals provided evidence and accounts that strongly
raised the suspicions of Grady McMurtry in the direction of the group. 
Originally lead by the Braytons and Durnstine, this group continued in
several incarnations, droping outward claims to being O.T.O. over a decade
ago.  One member of the founding triad of this organization had received
an unchartered (not authorized and hence not valid for O.T.O. membership)
initiation to Minerval by Mildred in the year following the death of Karl
Germer.  No member of this "Solar Lodge" was a member of O.T.O. in any
sense, and none had charter to initiate into O.T.O. membership, let alone
adequate standing to do so.  Some former members of "Solar Lodge" joined
O.T.O. after leaving that organization -- thus providing some of the
information mentioned here.
    Fake O.T.O.'s are a major source of injury to O.T.O. --- lacking the
culture and living tradition of the Order, they get themselves and us into
trouble.  Why do these fakes start?  Most likely it's a case of confusing
O.T.O. with A.'.A.'. and Thelema.  In some cases, no finger pointing, it's
outright fraud for money or dominance games.  No god can give you an outer
order; only living human labor in the context of the laws of the times can
do that.  Gods (and Goddesses) create inner orders.  An outer order is a
legal entity, intended to exist in corporate (multiple pun, please note)
form, as well as to ground and socialize the mysteries through the living
members.  An inner order is not a legal entity but the moving will of the
gods(goddesses) in the work of it's members, living or not.  See previous
posts about love under will.

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

To: alt.magick
From: (Bill Heidrick)
Subject: Various OTO Groups
Date: 29 Oct 1994 22:34:00 -0500
Quoting: >Denis F Castillo ( 


>While browsing the WWW, I ran across Mr. Bill Siebert's
>article on Chthonic-Auranian OTO, and he mentioned about
>the Caliphate OTO and Grant's Typhonian OTO.

>How many OTO groups are there?

One.  The others are either fakes or groups loose with the name.  Naturally,
other groups might answer differently --- or, possibly not...

What are their major differences?

Too many to enumerate.

Do all of them profess the Law of Thelema?


Here's a run-down on some of 'em, including bits of the background and our 
basis for saying we are the only O.T.O.

   Crowley died in December of 1947 e.v.; and in accord with his wishes Karl
Germer became International Head of O.T.O., serving from late 1947 e.v. until
Germer's death in 1962 e.v.  Agape Lodge continued in Southern California until
1949 e.v., after which the Lodge ceased to hold regular meetings.
   Under Karl Germer, the O.T.O. entered a period of relative dormancy. The only
initiations from the later Germer period were promotions to higher degree for
members initiated earlier.  Germer notified McMurtry and others that O.T.O. was
to be incorporated and governed by a triumvirate of officers, but this
incorporation was never accomplished under Germer's headship of O.T.O.  Germer
did charter a group in England under Kenneth Grant; but Germer subsequently
closed the new group in England and expelled Grant from O.T.O. membership.
Germer also took an interest in the efforts of Herman Metzger in Switzerland,
and took steps to regularize Metzger into Crowley's O.T.O.  Metzger was thought
to have come from a post war survival of the earlier Reuss period, but had no
original connection with Crowley's O.T.O.  Germer and Metzger fell into
disagreement toward the end of Germer's life.  Frederic Mellinger wrote after
Germer's death that Metzger had failed to satisfy the program of instruction set
forth for Metzger by Germer under Mellinger's tutelage.
   Following Karl Germer's death in 1962 e.v., several years passed before the
question of succession to Head of the O.T.O. was properly addressed. Metzger in
Switzerland published a claim to being the Head of the Order, but this claim was
based on an unnoticed election represented to have been held in Switzerland.
Ranking members of O.T.O. were not informed of Metzger's purported election
until after the alleged fact.  Metzger was not generally accepted as Head of the
Order outside his own group.  Kenneth Grant also asserted a claim to being Head
of the O.T.O., but this was done after Germer had expelled Grant from
membership.  In later years, Marcello Motta, a former student of Karl Germer,
also asserted that he was Head of O.T.O.  Germer had died without designating a
successor; and some ranking members, including Grady McMurtry, were not notified
of his death for several years.
   In 1969 e.v., surviving O.T.O. members from the Germer and Crowley years were
invited to join with McMurtry resuming regular operations of O.T.O. Members Sr.
Meral, Sr. Grimaud, M. Burlingame and Montenegro indicated willingness to see
the O.T.O. accessible to the general public.  At that time there were less than
a dozen surviving O.T.O. members in the United States.  Ray Burlingame had died
some years before, and Dr. Montenegro died before an organizational meeting
could be held.  On 12/28/71, the Ordo Templi Orientis Association was registered
with the State of California to form a legal entity for O.T.O.  This Association
included members of Agape Lodge #2, from the Crowley and Germer period.  Grady
McMurtry produced his letters of charter, and assumed the title "Caliph of
O.T.O.", as specified in Crowley's letters to McMurtry from the 1940s e.v.
   In 1977 e.v., McMurtry held O.T.O. initiations at his home in Berkeley,
California.  A group formed at that new location, a newsletter was published and
ultimately the O.T.O. Association was converted into a corporation. O.T.O. was
incorporated under the laws of the State of California on March 26th, 1979 e.v.
Persons who had claimed in print to be O.T.O. members or who were known to be
former members were notified of the formation of the corporation, and given a
period of time to file a claim to continued membership, according to a precedent
established earlier by Karl Germer.  The corporation attained 501(c)3 Federal
Tax exemption as a religious entity in 1982 e.v., and presently includes over
2,000 active members, world wide.
    During the period from 1962 e.v. (death of Karl Germer) to the present, a
number of occult membership societies have arisen.  Because of wide interest in
the writings of Aleister Crowley since those writings had been reprinted in the
late 1960s e.v. and early 1970s e.v., many of these new societies styled
themselves to a greater or lesser extent after Crowley's ideas and the model of
O.T.O.  Some individuals and some of these societies have confused the Thelemic
religion with the name Ordo Templi Orientis, possibly because many of Crowley's
writings on Thelema have been published under the auspices and with the marks of
O.T.O.  One common practice has been the formulation of names for new occult
societies with acronyms similar to O.T.O, e.g. O.T.A. for Ordo Templi Astarte,
O.T.B. for Ordo Templi Baphe-metis.  The titles of Crowley and O.T.O. works and
periodicals have also been used by some of these individuals and groups, e.g.
O.T.B. has published The Aurea Flamma where O.T.O. had used the name Oriflamme
for a publication.  Authors speculated about the "Real Head of O.T.O.", notably
Francis King of England, who wrote several books supporting different claimants
over an extended period.  A few authors published under fictitious titles and
honors copied from O.T.O. history, e.g. Geoff Smith, of England, in his Knights
of the Solar Cross and several authors in The Oriflamme out of New York in 1975
e.v. and 1976 e.v.  These strange representations have greatly diminished as
knowledge of the survival of O.T.O. has spread, but new instances continue to
occur a fewtimes a year.
   Aside from individuals and groups representing themselves as O.T.O. based
only on the reading of published books, a number of instances occurred of a
different character.  A former member of O.T.O., Kenneth Grant of England,
attracted adherents in the United States.  The "Grant O.T.O." people alleged
that O.T.O. had ceased to be a membership organization in its traditional sense
of having Lodges.  Grant's adherents occasionally publish newsletters in the
name of O.T.O. and in support of Grant's claim to being the Head of O.T.O.
Grant's people also assert that O.T.O. should not have legal existence in the
sense of incorporation or legal association.  Grant asserts that Karl Germer was
acting improperly when Germer expelled Grant from O.T.O. in the 1950s e.v., and
that Grant never recognized Germer as paramount in O.T.O. This assertion is
flatly contradicted by Grant's own Manifesto of New Isis Lodge: "New Isis Lodge
is in accord with the Master Therion (a Past Grand Master of O.T.O.); with the
present Master S.'., who is World-Head of O.T.O. in the Outer, and who operates
in the United States of America; and with the aforementioned Lodge in Germany
controlled by the Master G.'.", p. 6, (S.'. = Frater Saturnus, Karl Germer).
Some former adherents of Grant have become estranged from him and have asserted
that they are independent O.T.O. leaders on their own, often attaching a
Lovecraftian word to the initials O.T.O.
   More substantial efforts were made to assume control of O.T.O. by Marcello
Motta under the name "Society Ordo Templi Orientis".  Mr. Motta was a personal
student of Karl Germer for a number of years.  After Germer's death, Motta
formed a group in his native country of Brazil. Motta at first recognized
Kenneth Grant as Head of O.T.O., but resinded this recognition on learning of
the Germer expulsion of Grant.  Motta published various claims to O.T.O. rank
and membership in works titled Equinox Volume V and Oriflamme, periodical names
associated with O.T.O. from the Crowley period.  Motta caused several people to
file S.O.T.O. corporation papers in the United States.  He was represented by
individuals in England, Brazil and Australia.  Motta came to the United States;
and matters were brought to a head with his suit against Samuel Weiser, Inc., a
publisher of Crowley's works.  This case was decided in the US District Court in
Maine.  Motta lost the case, and the Judge found that Motta's representations
regarding O.T.O. did not meet the test of legal existence.  During the
proceedings in Maine, the O.T.O. under McMurtry served Motta with a suit
ultimately heard in the 9th Federal District Court in San Francisco.  The San
Francisco case was concluded in 1985 e.v., with Motta again losing. The O.T.O.
under McMurtry was recognized by the Court to be the continuation of the O.T.O.
of Aleister Crowley and the exclusive owner of the names, trademarks, copyrights
and other assets of O.T.O.  McMurtry was found to be the Outer Head of O.T.O.
within the United States.  The 9th District decision also recognized the
McMurtry O.T.O. as a legal membership entity. This decision was appealed and
upheld.  Grady McMurtry died following the original decision of the 9th District
Court, but the process of appeal established that O.T.O. continued as a

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick, GTG OTO

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