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History of Ordo Templi Orientis

[ from ]

   [Ordo Tempi Orientis] 
Subject: History of Ordo Templi Orientis
   by Sabazius X° and AMT IX°
     * Carl Kellner
          + Academia Masonica
          + Masonic Foundations
     * O.T.O. under Reuss
          + O.T.O. under Reuss and Crowley
          + Crowley's Succession
     * O.T.O. under Crowley
          + Agapé Lodge
          + Karl Germer
          + Grady McMurtry
     * O.T.O. under Germer
     * Interregnum
     * O.T.O. under McMurtry
          + Challenge in Court
     * O.T.O. Today
     * Acknowledgements
     * Notes
   Although officially founded at the beginning of the 20th century e.v.,
   O.T.O. represents a surfacing and confluence of the divergent streams of
   esoteric wisdom and knowledge which were originally divided and driven
   underground by political and religious intolerance during the dark ages. It
   draws from the traditions of the Freemasonic, Rosicrucian and Illuminist
   movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, the crusading Knights Templars of
   the middle ages and early Christian Gnosticism and the Pagan Mystery
   Schools. Its symbolism contains a reunification of the hidden traditions of
   the East and the West, and its resolution of these traditions has enabled
   it to recognize the true value of Aleister Crowley's revelation of The Book
   of the Law.
Carl Kellner

   The Spiritual Father of Ordo Templi Orientis was Carl Kellner (Renatus,
   Sept. 1, 1851 - June 7, 1905), a wealthy Austrian paper chemist. Kellner
   was a student of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and Eastern mysticism, and
   traveled extensively in Europe, America and Asia Minor. During his travels,
   he claims to have come into contact with three Adepts (a Sufi, Soliman ben
   Aifa, and two Hindu Tantrics, Bhima Sena Pratapa of Lahore and Sri Mahatma
   Agamya Paramahamsa), and an organization called the Hermetic Brotherhood of
   In 1885, Kellner met the Theosophical and Rosicrucian scholar, Dr. Franz
   Hartmann (1838 - 1912). He and Hartmann later collaborated on the
   development of the "ligno-sulphite" inhalation therapy for tuberculosis,
   which formed the basis of treatment at Hartmann's sanitarium near
   Saltzburg. During the course of his studies, Kellner believed that he had
   discovered a "Key" which offered a clear explanation of all the complex
   symbolism of Freemasonry, and, Kellner believed, opened the mysteries of
   Nature. Kellner developed a desire to form an Academia Masonica which would
   enable all Freemasons to become familiar with all existing Masonic degrees
   and systems.
  Academia Masonica
   In 1895, Kellner began to discuss his idea for founding an Academia
   Masonica with his associate Theodor Reuss (Merlin or Peregrinus, June 28,
   1855 - Oct. 28, 1923). During these discussions, Kellner decided that the
   Academia Masonica should be called the "Oriental Templar Order." The
   occult inner circle of this Order (O.T.O. proper) would be organized
   parallel to the highest degrees of the Memphis and Mizraim Rites of
   Masonry, and would teach the esoteric Rosicrucian doctrines of the Hermetic
   Brotherhood of Light, and Kellner's "Key" to Masonic symbolism. Both men
   and women would be admitted at all levels to this Order, but possession of
   the various degrees of Craft and High-Grade Freemasonry would be a
   prerequisite for admission to the Inner Circle of O.T.O.
   Unfortunately, due to the regulations of the established Grand Lodges which
   governed Regular Masonry, women could not be made Masons and would
   therefore be excluded by default from membership in the Oriental Templar
   Order. This may have been one of the reasons that Kellner and his
   associates resolved to obtain control over one of the many rites, or
   systems, of Masonry; to reform the system for the admission of women.
   The discussions between Reuss and Kellner did not lead to any positive
   results at the time, because Reuss was very busy with a revival of the
   Order of Illuminati along with his associate Leopold Engel (1858-1931) of
   Dresden. Kellner did not approve of the revived Illuminati Order or of
   Engel. According to Reuss, upon his final separation with Engel in June of
   1902, Kellner contacted him and the two agreed to proceed with the
   establishment of the Oriental Templar Order by seeking authorizations to
   work the various rites of high-grade Masonry.
  Masonic Foundations
   Theodor Reuss, in addition to being the head of his revival of the Bavarian
   Order of Illuminati, was also the Grand Master of the Swedenborgian Rite of
   Freemasonry in Germany (charter dated July 26, 1901 from W. Wynn Wescott),
   Special Inspector for the Martinist Order in Germany (charter dated June
   24, 1901 from Gérard Encausse), and Magus of the High Council in Germania
   of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (letter of authorization dated Feb.
   24, 1902 from W. Wynn Wescott). With Kellner's assistance, Reuss applied to
   English Masonic scholar, John Yarker (1833-1913), to purchase charters to
   operate three systems of high-grade Freemasonry known as the Antient and
   Primitive Rite of Memphis of 97°, the Ancient Oriental Rite of Mizraim of
   90°, and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of 33° (Cernau Council of
   New York, 1807).
   Reuss received letters-patent as a Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33° of
   the Cernau Scottish Rite from Yarker dated September 24, 1902. According to
   a published transcript, Yarker issued on the same date a warrant to Reuss,
   Franz Hartmann and Henry Klein to operate a Sovereign Sanctuary 33°-95° of
   the Scottish, Memphis and Mizraim rites. Yarker issued a second charter
   confirming Reuss's authority to operate said rites on July 1, 1904; and
   Reuss published a transcript of an additional confirming charter dated June
   24, 1905. Reuss commenced publication of a masonic journal, The Oriflamme,
   in 1902.
   These rites, along with the Swedenborgian Rite, were adopted as integral
   elements within the overall scheme of the Order. The Swedenborgian Rite
   included a version of the Craft degrees, and the Cernau Scottish Rite and
   the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim provided a selection of the workable "high
   grades" as nearly complete as had ever existed. Together, they provided a
   complete system of Masonic initiation at the disposal of the Order. With
   the incorporation of these rites, the Order was enabled to operate as a
   completely independent Masonic system. Reuss and Kellner together prepared
   a brief manifesto for their Order in 1903, which was published the next
   year in The Oriflamme. Kellner died on June 7, 1905, and Reuss assumed full
   control of the Order. With the assistance of co-founders Franz Hartmann and
   Heinrich Klein, Reuss prepared a Constitution for the Order in 1906.
O.T.O. Under Reuss

   Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), who was at the time the Secretary General of
   the German branch of the Theosophical Society, was chartered in 1906 as
   Deputy Grand Master of a subordinate O.T.O./Memphis/Mizraim Chapter and
   Grand Council called "Mystica Aeterna" in Berlin. Steiner went on to found
   the Anthroposophical Society in 1912, and ended his association with Reuss
   in 1914.
   On June 24, 1908, Dr. Gérard Encausse (Papus, 1865-1916) organized an
   "International Masonic and Spiritualist Conference" in Paris, which Reuss
   attended. At this conference, Encausse received, for no money, a patent
   from Reuss to establish a "Supreme Grand Council General of the Unified
   Rites of Antient and Primitive Masonry for the Grand Orient of France and
   its Dependencies at Paris." The year before, Encausse, along with Jean
   Bricaud (1881-1934) and Louis-Sophrone Fugairon (b. 1846), had organized
   l'Église Catholique Gnostique, the Gnostic Catholic Church, as a schism of
   l'Église Gnostique, a neo-Albigensian church founded in Paris in 1890 by
   Jules Doinel (1842-1903). It is believed that Reuss received episcopal
   consecration and primatial authority in l'Église Catholique Gnostique from
   Encausse and Bricaud at this conference. Encausse's involvement in O.T.O.,
   per se, is unclear.
   Also at this conference, Dr. Arnold Krumm-Heller (Huiracocha, 1879-1949)
   was chartered as Reuss's official representative for Latin America.
   Krumm-Heller developed his own order called Fraternitas Rosicruciana
   Antiqua (F.R.A.). According to his son, Parsival, he never founded any
   O.T.O. Lodges, initiated any members into O.T.O., or appointed any O.T.O.
  O.T.O. Under Reuss and Crowley
   As a journalist, Reuss travelled frequently to England. On one such trip,
   he met Aleister Crowley (Baphomet, Oct. 12, 1875 - Dec. 1, 1947), whom he
   admitted to the three degrees of O.T.O. in 1910. On April 21, 1912, Reuss
   issued a charter to Crowley, for no money, appointing him National Grand
   Master General X° of O.T.O. for Great Britain and Ireland. Crowley's
   appointment included authority over an English language rite of the lower
   (Masonic) degrees of O.T.O. which was given the name "Mysteria Mystica
   Maxima," or M :. M :. M :. .
   On June 1, 1912, a National Grand Lodge for the Slavonic Countries was
   established under Czeslaw Czynski. Franz Hartmann died on August 7, 1912.
   In September of 1912, Reuss published the "Jubilee Edition" of the
   Oriflamme, which was the first issue of the Oriflamme to discuss O.T.O. in
   any detail, and it was almost entirely devoted to O.T.O. matters. Kellner,
   Reuss and Crowley were listed as X° members of O.T.O. Also in 1912, Crowley
   published the Manifesto of the M :. M :. M :. , in which M :. M :. M :. was
   identified as the British Section of the O.T.O., which "includes all
   countries where English is generally spoken." O.T.O. was described in this
   document as
     ...a body of initiates in whose hands are concentrated the wisdom and
     knowledge of the following bodies:
    1. The Gnostic Catholic Church.
    2. The Order of the Knights of the Holy Ghost.
    3. The Order of the Illuminati.
    4. The Order of the Temple.
    5. The Order of the Knights of St. John.
    6. The Order of the Knights of Malta.
    7. The Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
    8. The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail.
    9. The Rosicrucian Order.
   10. The Holy Order of Rose Croix of Heredom.
   11. The Order of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch.
   12. The Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry (33 degrees).
   13. The Rite of Memphis (97 degrees).
   14. The Rite of Mizraim (90 degrees).
   15. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry (33 degrees).
   16. The Swedenborgian Rite of Masonry.
   17. The Order of the Martinists.
   18. The Order of the Sat Bhai.
   19. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.
   20. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,
     and many other orders of equal merit, if of less fame. It does not
     include the A :. A :. with which august Body it is, however, in close

   The Manifesto of the M :. M :. M :. also gave the following scheme of
   organization for the Order:
   O Minerval
   I M.
   II M..
   III M :.
   P :. M :.
   IV Companion of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch.
   Prince of Jerusalem.
   Knight of the East and of the West.
   V Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix. (Knight of the Pelican and Eagle.)
   Member of the Senate of Knight Hermetic Philosophers Knights of the Red
   VI Illustrious Knight (Templar) of the Order of Kadosch, and Companion of
   the Holy Graal.
   Grand Inquisitor Commander, Member of the Grand Tribunal.
   Prince of the Royal Secret.
   VII Very Illustrious Sovereign Grand Inspector General.
   Member of the Supreme Grand Council.
   VIII Perfect Pontiff of the Illuminati.
   IX Initiate of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis.
   X Rex Summus Sanctissimus (Supreme and Most Holy King).
   The September, 1912 issue of the Oriflamme included a similar listing of a
   ten-degree system:
   I Prüfling [Probationer]
   II Minerval
   III Johannis-(Craft-) Freimauer [Craft Freemason]
   IV Schottischer-(Andreas-) Mauer [Scottish Mason]
   V Rose Croix-Mauer
   VI Templer-Rosenkreuzer
   VII Mystischer Templer
   VIII Orientalisher Templer
   IX Vollkommener Illuminat [Perfected Illuminatus]
   X Supremus Rex
   Thus, by 1912, Crowley and Reuss had condensed the system of Craft and
   high-grade Freemasonry into a workable system of ten numbered degrees which
   incorporated the teachings and symbolism of a number of additional occult
   and mystical societies. Kellner's three degree Academia Masonica formed the
   VII°, VIII° and IX° of this system. The tenth degree (X°), "Rex Summus
   Sanctissimus," or "Supremus Rex," designated the National Grand Master
   General of O.T.O. for a particular country, region, or linguistic group.
   The ultimate authority in the Order worldwide was vested in the Frater
   Superior or Outer Head of the Order (O.H.O.).
   The National Grand Masters General had the authority to appoint their own
   representatives, called "Viceroys," in other countries with the same
   dominant language. Viceroys could also be accorded the X° by the O.H.O. The
   National Grand Masters General were expected to conduct the business of
   O.T.O. in accordance with the O.T.O. Constitution, but largely without
   day-to-day supervision by the international headquarters or "Central
   The Manifesto of the M :. M :. M :. included photographs of Crowley's
   manor-house in Scotland, called Boleskine, which served as a
   "Profess-House" of the Order. It also included a list of dues and fees for
   each degree, as well as a list of "affiliation fees," whereby Freemasons
   could affiliate directly at the level corresponding to their own degree in
   Masonry. These lists were reprinted in the 1914 issue of the Oriflamme,
   along with the degree titles from Crowley's Manifesto translated into
   In 1912, the system of O.T.O., despite its various influences, remained
   principally Masonic. In the Jubilee Edition of the Oriflamme, Reuss stated
   that O.T.O. "is not a masonic order, pure and simple, but every member of
   our Order, man or woman...must proceed through the craft degrees of
   Freemasonry, also those of high-grade Freemasonry, before they can be
   illuminated and initiated members of our Order." However, the United Grand
   Lodge of England, to whom Crowley technically owed Masonic allegiance,
   objected to the performance of the Craft Degrees in England outside of its
   jurisdiction, and objected to the admission of women into Freemasonry.
   Therefore, Crowley included the following statement in his Manifesto of the
   M :. M :. M :. :
     The O.T.O., although an Academia Masonica, is not a Masonic Body so far
     as the craft degrees are concerned in the sense in which that expression
     is usually understood in England; and therefore in no way conflicts
     with, or infringes the just privileges of, the United Grand Lodge of
   On February 15, 1913, Crowley adopted a constitution for the M :. M :. M :.
   , subject to the General Constitution of O.T.O. On March 19, 1913, Crowley
   and Reuss jointly chartered James Thomas Windram (Mercurius, 1877-1939) as
   the O.T.O.'s official representative in South Africa. Later in 1913, while
   visiting Moscow, Crowley composed the Gnostic Mass, which he "prepared for
   the use of the O.T.O., the central ceremony of its public and private
   celebration, corresponding to the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church."
   World War I broke out on July 28, 1914. Crowley moved to New York in
   October of 1914; the following year finding employment as a writer for
   George Sylvester Viereck's periodicals The Fatherland and The
   International, and as managing editor for the latter. In December of 1914,
   Crowley appointed Charles Stansfeld Jones (Parzival, 1886-1950) as
   Sovereign Grand Inspector General VII° and Crowley's personal
   representative in the City of Vancouver. In March of 1915, Windram
   appointed Ernest W. T. Dunn VII° (Maximus) as Acting Viceroy for
   Despite his earlier disclaimer about the Craft Degrees in the Manifesto of
   the M :. M :. M :. , Crowley remained uncomfortable with the Masonic
   character of the O.T.O., for a number of additional reasons:
     * In contrast with Reuss, Crowley believed that women could not be
       initiated as Freemasons; though he thought that they ought to be able
       to be initiated into O.T.O.
     * He was frustrated with the elaborate preparations required to stage
       Masonic initiations, and with the length of the Masonic rituals and
       their excessive wordiness. Crowley perceived these factors to be
       impediments to successful implementation among modern working people.
     * He believed that the symbolic content of the Masonic rituals had become
       garbled nearly to the point of uselessness.
     * He wished to use the system of O.T.O. to help spread the teachings of
   For these reasons, Crowley undertook to prepare revised rituals which would
   convey the significance of the Craft and high degrees concisely and
   dramatically, which would be suitable for the initiation of both men and
   women, which not infringe on the just privileges of the United Grand Lodge
   of England, and which would convey the basic teachings of Thelema. Crowley
   did so around 1915, and adopted the revised rituals for use in his own
   section of O.T.O., the M :. M :. M :. .
   Crowley wrote about his revised rituals to Arnold Krumm-Heller on June 22,
     Reuss was in the habit of initiating people with the merest skeleton
     rituals boiled down from those of Continental Masonry. There was, to put
     it plainly, no order or decency in the proceeding. He realized that
     perfectly well, and it was one of the reasons for his asking me to
     reconstruct the whole system of initiation.
     I made a comparative study of numerous rituals to which I had access,
     and produced a series which were perfected up to and including the 6th
     degree (equivalent to the Kadosh) and these were worked in London with
     the greatest success.
     I must here pause to point out that the fundamental and essential change
     which is necessary in any rituals with which I have anything to do is
     the complete renunciation of the cult of the slave-gods. It is
     impossible for free men to acknowledge any system which is bound up with
     the fetishes of savages whose only motive for action is the fear born of
     their ignorance.
   In 1915 or 1916, Aleister Crowley wrote "An Intimation with Respect to the
   Constitution of the Order" (Liber CXCIV), which developed the ideas set
   forth in Reuss's 1906 O.T.O. Constitution, Crowley's 1913 M :. M :. M :.
   Constitution, and in Crowley's Manifesto. Gérard Encausse died on October
   25, 1916. Charles Détré (Téder, 1855-1918) succeeded Encausse, and also
   appears to have received the X° of O.T.O. for France, but he died only two
   years later.
   In 1916, Reuss moved to Basle, Switzerland. While there, he established an
   "Anational Grand Lodge and Mystic Temple" of O.T.O. and the Hermetic
   Brotherhood of Light at Monte Veritŕ. Monte Veritŕ was a utopian commune
   near Ascona founded in 1900 by Henri Oedenkoven and Ida Hofmann, which

   functioned as a center for what the historian James Webb would later call
   the "Progressive Underground."
   On January 22, 1917, Reuss published a manifesto for this Anational Grand
   Lodge, which was called Veritŕ Mystica. On the same date, he published a
   revised version of his 1906 O.T.O. Constitution, with a "Synopsis of
   Degrees" and an abridgment of The Message of the Master Therion appended.
   In his revised constitution, Reuss included many of the provisions of
   Crowley's M :. M :. M :. Constitution of 1913. However, in this document,
   as in many of Reuss's documents about O.T.O., he emphasized the Masonic
   character of the Order.
   In May of 1917, Crowley's Lodge in England was raided and closed down by
   the police, allegedly over charges of "fortune telling" against one of the
   members. However, Crowley's work for Viereck's anti-British publication The
   Fatherland may have caused the authorities to suspect Crowley's Lodge of
   unpatriotic activities. All Lodge records were seized. Crowley was forced
   to temporarily resign the Grand Mastership in favor of C.S. Jones to ease
   the situation for the remaining members. The Lodge was never completely
   In Ascona, Reuss held an "Anational Congress for Organising the
   Reconstruction of Society on Practical Cooperative Lines" at Monte Veritŕ
   from August 15-25, 1917. This Congress included readings of Crowley's
   poetry (on August 22) and a recitation of Crowley's Gnostic Mass (on August
   24 -- for O.T.O. members only). The announcement for this congress stated:
   "There are two centres of the O.T.O., both in neutral countries, where
   enquiries can be lodged by those interested in the aim of this congress.
   One is at New York (U.S. of America), the other at Ascona (Italian
   Switzerland)." Crowley was living in New York at the time; so, evidently,
   he and Reuss were the only active National Heads of O.T.O. in 1917.
   Reuss had his secretary, "J. Adderley" (Isabel Adderley Oedenkoven), send a
   copy of the announcement, along with a copy of Crowley's Manifesto of the M
   :. M :. M :. , to the United Grand Lodge of England, hoping that the Grand
   Lodge would send a representative. It did not; but William Hammond, the
   Grand Lodge Librarian, wrote to Reuss after the congress and asked for
   additional information. During Reuss's correspondence with Hammond, Reuss
   reminded Hammond that they had met in 1913/14, and Reuss had provided him
   with copies of the Oriflamme and Crowley's Equinox, which, he said, "give
   details about O.T.O."
   Reuss was clearly impressed with Thelema. Crowley's Gnostic Mass, which
   Reuss translated into German and had recited at his Anational Congress at
   Monte Veritŕ, is an explicitly Thelemic ritual. In an undated letter to
   Crowley (received in 1917), Reuss reported excitedly that he had read The
   Message of the Master Therion to his group at Monte Veritŕ, and that he was
   translating The Book of the Law into German. He added, "Let this new
   encourage you! We live in your Work!!!"
   On October 24, 1917, Reuss issued a charter to Rudolf Laban de
   Laban-Varalya (1879-1958) and Hans Rudolf Hilfiker-Dunn (1882-1955) to
   operate a III° O.T.O. Lodge in Zurich, called Libertas et Fraternitas. On
   November 3, 1917, de Laban became the Grand Master of the Anational Grand
   Lodge Veritŕ Mystica. Later that month he closed Veritŕ Mystica and moved
   his center of operations to Zürich. In March of 1918, Crowley published the
   Gnostic Mass in The International. Reuss published his German translation
   of the Gnostic Mass the same year.
   In a note at the end of his translation of the Gnostic Mass, Reuss referred
   to himself as, simultaneously, the Sovereign Patriarch and Primate of the
   Gnostic Catholic Church, and Gnostic Legate to Switzerland of the Église
   Gnostique Universelle, acknowledging Jean Bricaud (1881-1934) as Sovereign
   Patriarch of that church. The issuance of this document can be viewed as
   the birth of the Thelemic E.G.C. as an independent organization under the
   umbrella of O.T.O., with Reuss as its first Patriarch.
   World War I ended on November 11, 1918. De Laban left Switzerland in
   November. In February of 1919, the Libertas et Fraternitas Lodge dropped
   its O.T.O. connections and became strictly a Masonic Lodge. It later became
   regularized under the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina. Although no O.T.O. bodies
   remained in Switzerland, Reuss continued to confer O.T.O. degrees upon
   individuals. While Reuss persisted in asserting the Masonic authority of
   O.T.O., Crowley continued to move M :. M :. M :. further from Freemasonry.
   In October of 1918, Crowley prepared another substantial revision to the
   Order's initial rituals, this time altogether abandoning the term "Masonry"
   and the characteristic emblems, signs, grips, etc. of the Craft degrees. He
   presented his revised rituals to Reuss for order-wide adoption. In March of
   1919, Crowley issued The Equinox, Volume III, No. 1 (the "Blue Equinox"),
   which contained a number of important O.T.O. documents, including:
     * Liber LII: The Manifesto of the O.T.O.
     * Liber CXCIV: An Intimation With Respect to the Constitution of the
     * Liber CI: An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order
     * Liber CLXI: Concerning the Law of Thelema
     * a revised version of Liber XV: The Gnostic Mass.
   Crowley's Liber LII: The Manifesto of the O.T.O. was based nearly
   word-for-word on Crowley's 1912 Manifesto of the M :. M :. M :. . Thelemic
   salutations were added, references to officers were updated, references to
   "guineas" were changed to their equivalents in dollars, two names of
   contributing organizations were deleted (The Rosicrucian Order and the
   Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn); the table of fees and the photographs
   of Boleskine were deleted, the statement "It [O.T.O.] does not in any way
   infringe the just privileges of duly authorized Masonic Bodies" was added
   after the list of contributing organizations, and the Masonic disclaimer
   quoted previously was changed to:
     The O.T.O., although an Academia Masonica, is not a Masonic Body so far
     as the `secrets' are concerned in the sense in which that expression is
     usually understood; and therefore in no way conflicts with, or infringes
     the just privileges of, the United Grand Lodge of England, or any Grand
     Lodge in America or elsewhere which is recognized by it.
   On May 10, 1919, Reuss issued a Warrant to Hans Rudolph Hilfiker, Dr. E.
   Pargaetzi, R. Merlitschek, and M. Bergmaier to form a Supreme Council of
   the Cernau Scottish Rite for Switzerland in Zürich. On the same date, Reuss
   issued a "Gauge of Amity" document to Matthew McBlain Thomson, founder of
   the ill-fated "American Masonic Federation." The document recognized
   Thomson as a IX° member of O.T.O. On September 18, 1919, Reuss was
   reconsecrated by Bricaud, thus receiving the "Antioch Succession," and
   re-appointed as "Gnostic Legate" to Switzerland for Bricaud's Église
   Gnostique Universelle.
   Crowley returned to England in December of 1919. In 1920, Reuss published
   his Program of Construction and Guiding Principles of the Gnostic
   Neo-Christians: O.T.O. In this document, Reuss set forth his ideas for a
   (highly regimented) utopian society. The principles of this society were to
   be based on ideas from Thelema (The Book of the Law and aphorisms of the
   Master Therion are quoted and explained); along with more traditional ideas
   from Rosicrucianism, Gnosticism, and Yoga; and the "progressive"
   socio-political ideas prevalent at Monte Veritŕ.
   On July 17, 1920, Reuss attended the Congress of the "World Federation of
   Universal Freemasonry," held at the Libertas et Fraternitas Lodge in
   Zürich. This conference was intended to take up the work of Papus's
   "International Masonic and Spiritualist Conference" held in Paris in 1908.
   Reuss, with Bricaud's authorization, advocated the adoption of the religion
   of Crowley's Gnostic Mass as the "official religion for all members of the
   World Federation of Universal Freemasonry in possession of the 18° of the
   Scottish Rite." Reuss's efforts in this regard were a failure, and he
   quarreled with Matthew McBlain Thomson (who was elected Honorary President
   of the International Masonic Federation) over jurisdictional issues. Reuss
   left the congress after the first day.
   C.S. Jones had resigned from O.T.O. in 1919, but had continued to
   correspond with Reuss; and on May 10, 1921, Reuss chartered Jones as X° for
   the "United States of North America." On the same date, he chartered
   Heinrich Tränker (Recnartus, 1880-1956), who headed several esoteric
   organizations within a movement termed "Pansophia," as X° for Germany.
   On July 30, 1921, Reuss issued another "Gauge of Amity" document, this time
   to H. Spencer Lewis, the founder of A.M.O.R.C., the San Jose, California
   based Rosicrucian organization. This document also recognized Lewis as a
   VII° member of O.T.O. Crowley had met Lewis previously in 1918 in New York,
   and was not impressed with him. Reuss returned to Germany in September of
   1921, settling in Munich. On September 3, 1921, Reuss chartered Carl
   William Hansen (Kadosh, 1872-1936) as X° for Denmark. In October of 1921,
   upon Dunn's resignation, Crowley appointed Frank Bennett (Dionysus,
   1868-1930) as his Viceroy to Australia.
  Crowley's Succession
   There is some reason to believe that Reuss suffered a stroke in the Spring
   of 1920, but this is not entirely certain. Crowley wrote to W.T. Smith in
   March of 1943:
     the late O.H.O., after his first stroke of paralysis, got into a panic
     about the work being carried on...He hastily issued honorary diplomas of
     the Seventh Degree to various people, some of whom had no right to
     anything at all and some of whom were only cheap crooks.
   Shortly after appointing him his Viceroy for Australia, Crowley appears to
   have corresponded with Frank Bennett and discussed with him his doubts
   about Reuss's continuing ability to effectively govern the Order. It would
   appear that Reuss discovered the correspondence; he wrote Crowley an angry,
   defensive response on November 9, 1921, in which he appeared to distance
   himself and O.T.O. from Thelema, which, as shown above, he had previously
   embraced. Crowley replied to Reuss's letter on November 23, 1921, and
   stated in his letter, "It is my will to be O.H.O. and Frater Superior of
   the Order and avail myself of your abdication -- to proclaim myself as
   such." He signed the letter "Baphomet O.H.O." In a diary entry for November
   27, 1921, Crowley wrote: "I have proclaimed myself O.H.O. Frater Superior
   of the Order of Oriental Templars." Reuss died on October 28, 1923 e.v.
   In his Confessions, Crowley recounts that Reuss "resigned the office [of
   O.H.O.] in 1922 in my favour." In a letter to Heinrich Tränker dated
   February 14, 1925, Crowley stated the following:
     Reuss was very uncertain in temper, and in many ways unreliable. In his
     last years he seems to have completely lost his grip, even accusing The
     Book of the Law of communistic tendencies, than which no statement could
     be more absurd. Yet it seems that he must have been to some extent
     correctly led, on account of his having made the appointments of
     yourself and Frater Achad, and designating me in his last letter as his
   In a letter to Charles Stansfeld Jones dated Sun in Capricorn, Anno XX
   (Dec. 1924 - Jan. 1925), Crowley said, "in the O.H.O.'s last letter to me
   he invited me to become his successor as O.H.O. and Frater Superior."
   Reuss's letter designating Crowley his successor as O.H.O. has not been
   found, but no credible documentation has surfaced which would indicate that
   Reuss ever designated any alternative successor.
O.T.O. Under Crowley

   Aleister Crowley served as the Outer Head of the Order from 1922 until his
   death in December of 1947. Crowley's first act as O.H.O. was to reconfirm
   the charters of Jones and Tränker as Grand Masters for North America and
   Germany, respectively. Tränker, on Jones's recommendation, invited Crowley
   to formally assume leadership of O.T.O. as well as of the various
   organizations included in the Pansophical movement, at a conference to be
   held at Hohenleuben, near Weida, in the summer of 1925. The other attendees
   of the conference were: Heinrich and Helene Tränker; Karl Germer (Saturnus,
   Jan. 22, 1885 - Oct. 25, 1962), at the time Tränker's secretary and
   publisher); Albin Grau; Eugen Grosche; Martha Künzel; Henri Birven; a
   gentleman named Hopfer; Crowley; Crowley's associates Dorothy Olsen, Leah
   Hirsig, Norman Mudd; and others.
   The results of the conference were mixed. The attendees were divided over
   Crowley's teachings and The Book of the Law, of which they had previously
   been largely unaware (it had only recently been translated into German).
   There were personality conflicts as well. Fraulein Künzel and Herr Germer
   went with Crowley. Herrn Tränker, Grau, Hopfer and Birven decided to keep
   the Pansophical Lodge independent from the Master Therion. Herr Grosche
   originally sided with Crowley, but he and Germer quarreled, and Grosche
   decided to remain independent. After the closure of the Pansophical Lodge
   in 1926, Grosche regrouped a number of the ex-Pansophists to found the
   Fraternitas Saturni. Fraternitas Saturni recognized Crowley's status as a
   prophet, and accepted the Law of Thelema in a modified form; but Grosche
   insisted on keeping it independent from O.T.O. and under his own, rather
   than Crowley's, authority. Fraternitas Saturni continues to the present day
   in Germany, Canada and elsewhere, and does not represent itself as being
   Tränker apparently attempted to lay claim to the title of O.H.O. of O.T.O.
   for himself in 1925, but it appears that he was not widely recognized as
   such and that he ceased his efforts in this direction by 1930, when he and
   H. Spencer Lewis began to work together directly (but unsuccessfully) to
   establish a German branch of A.M.O.R.C.
  Agapé Lodge
   Agapé Lodge No. 1 had been established in 1915 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada
   under the authority of Jones and Crowley. In the 1930s, Wilfred Talbot
   Smith (1885-1957), a charter member of Agapé Lodge No. 1, moved from
   Vancouver on instructions from Crowley to work with Jane Wolfe (1875-1958),
   who had been a student of Crowley's at Cefalu, to establish Agapé Lodge No.
   2 in Los Angeles, California. Smith and Wolfe gathered a group together in
   Hollywood, California, and along with Regina Kahl (1891-1945), began to
   celebrate the Gnostic Mass on a weekly basis on Sunday, March 19, 1933.
   Agapé Lodge No. 2 held its first meeting in 1935. Agapé Lodge contributed
   greatly to Crowley's publishing efforts, and Crowley appointed Smith
   (Ramaka) as X° for the U.S.A. Later, Agapé Lodge No. 2 moved to Pasadena,
   California, and was headed by John W. "Jack" Parsons (Belarion, 1914-1952),
   a respected chemical engineer and aerospace pioneer. Parsons was
   instrumental in the founding of both the California Institute of
   Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and of Aerojet General.
  Karl Germer
   When World War II broke out in 1939, international communications became
   increasingly disrupted and civilian travel was limited. Crowley became very
   dependent on foreign representatives, being unable to travel himself. Karl
   Germer, Crowley's German representative, was arrested by the Gestapo and
   confined in a Nazi concentration camp for "seeking students for the foreign
   resident, high-grade Freemason, Crowley." Released early in the War through
   the efforts of the American Consul, Germer traveled ultimately to the
   United States, where, as Grand Treasurer General and Crowley's second in
   command, he conducted much of the business of O.T.O. On March 14, 1942,
   Crowley wrote to Germer: "I shall appoint you my successor as O.H.O. ... A
   complete change in the structure of the Order, and in its methods is
   necessary. The secret is the basis, and you must select the proper people."
   The other European branches of O.T.O. were largely destroyed or driven
   underground during the War. The Latin American branches of Krumm-Heller's
   F.R.A. maintained a light contact with Germer until the early 1960s.
   By the end of the Second World War in 1945, only Agapé Lodge in Pasadena,
   California was still functioning. There were isolated O.T.O. initiates in
   various parts of the world. Although Crowley received visits from O.T.O.
   members in England, no Lodge work had been conducted there since the police
   raid of 1917. Initiations were very rare outside of California.
   Krumm-Heller in Mexico performed no O.T.O. initiations, but sent a
   candidate, Dr. Gabriel Montenegro (Frater Zopiron or Theophilos), to
   California for initiation.
  Grady McMurtry
   During the Second World War, two Californian O.T.O. members, Grady Louis
   McMurtry (Oct. 18, 1918 - July 12, 1985) and Frederick Mellinger (Merlinus,
   1890-1970) (Mellinger was originally a refugee from Nazi Germany), traveled
   to Europe on military assignments. McMurtry went earlier and visited
   Crowley on several occasions while on leave. Mellinger visited Crowley
   after McMurtry was rotated back to the United States.
   There was a good rapport between Crowley and McMurtry, and Crowley
   respected McMurtry's military experience. In 1943, Crowley personally
   conferred the IX° of O.T.O. upon McMurtry and made him a Sovereign Grand
   Inspector General of the Order, and gave him the Magical Name he was to use
   from then on, Hymenaeus Alpha, 777.
   In 1944, Crowley began discussing with McMurtry the possibility of assuming
   the "Caliphate." Crowley wrote to McMurtry on Sept. 28, 1944: "I hope you
   will prefer my plan for your career as my Fides Achates, alter ego, Caliph,
   & so on." On November 21, 1944, he wrote to McMurtry again:
     `The Caliphate.' You must realize that no matter how closely we see
     eye-to-eye on any objective subject, I have to think on totally
     different premises where the Order is concerned. One of the (startling
     few) commands given to me was this: `Trust not a stranger: fail not of
     an heir.' This has been the very devil for me. Fr :. [Saturnus] is, of
     course, the natural Caliph; but there are many details concerning the
     actual policy or working which hit his blind spots. In any case, he can
     only be a stopgap, because of his age; I have to look for _his_
     successor. It has been Hell; so many have come up with amazing promise,
     only to go on the rocks. ... But -- now here is where you have missed my
     point altogether -- I do not think of you as lying on a grassy hillside
     with a lot of dear sweet lovely woolly lambs, capering to your flute! On
     the contrary. Your actual life, or `blooding,' is the sort of initiation
     which I regard as the first essential for a Caliph. For -- say 20 years
     hence the Outer Head of the Order must, among other things, have had the
     experience of war as it is in actual fact to-day.
   The title "Caliph," while perhaps appealing somewhat to the sense of humor
   of both men as a pun on the abbreviation for California (the State of
   McMurtry's residence and the location of Agapé Lodge), is from the Arabic
   word Khalifa, meaning "deputy." It was historically used in early Islam to
   designate the successor to the Prophet, the worldwide Commander of the
   Islamic Faithful. Crowley's use of the term as applied to Germer and
   McMurtry was parallel for O.T.O.
   In 1946, Crowley entrusted McMurtry with documents of emergency
   authorization to take charge of the entire work of the Order in California,
   which included the only functional O.T.O. Body at the time. Crowley
   additionally appointed McMurtry his personal representative in the U.S.A.,
   whose authority was to be considered as Crowley's own. These two charters,
   dated respectively March 22, 1946 and April 11, 1946, were subject only to
   Karl Germer's approval, veto or revision. Germer was well informed of
   McMurtry's charters from Crowley, as he had attended the Agapé Lodge
   meeting at which McMurtry had presented them. In addition, in a letter to
   Germer dated June 19, 1946, Crowley informed Germer that "The only
   limitation on his [McMurtry's] power in California is that any decision
   which he takes is subject to revision or veto by yourself," thus removing
   the requirement for prior approval by Germer.
   On June 6, 1947, Crowley wrote to Germer:
     You seem in doubt too about the succession. There has never been any
     question about this. Since your re-appearance you are the only successor
     of whom I have ever thought since that moment. I have, however, had the
     idea that in view of the dispersion of so many members, you might find
     it useful to appoint a triumvirate to work under you. My idea was
     Mellinger, McMurtry, and, I suppose, Roy [Leffingwell], though I have
     always been a little doubtful about the trustworthiness of the last.
   On June 17, 1947, six months before his death, Crowley wrote to McMurtry
   and informed him that while Germer was to be Crowley's successor as Head of
   O.T.O., McMurtry should hold himself prepared to succeed Germer.
   Crowley, while trusting in Karl Germer's ability to govern the Order as his
   successor, evidently did not trust in Germer's ability to find and
   designate an appropriate successor for himself. In what appears to have
   been an additional contingency measure in the event that McMurtry died or
   became incapacitated, Crowley also advised Mellinger to hold himself ready
   as a possible successor to Germer, in a letter dated July 15, 1947.
   However, Mellinger did not receive any assignments of the kind given to
   McMurtry, and Crowley never used the term "Caliph" in reference to
O.T.O. Under Germer

   Crowley died on December 1, 1947; and in accord with his wishes Karl Germer
   became O.H.O. of O.T.O., serving from late 1947 until his death in 1962.
   Agapé Lodge continued in Southern California until 1949, after which the
   Lodge ceased to hold regular meetings. The records of Agapé Lodge,
   consisting of minutes of meetings, annotated copies of rituals, lists of
   members initiated to various degrees in O.T.O., correspondence, and
   financial records, were conserved by Jane Wolfe and various members of the
   Following Crowley's death, his will was probated and the executors began
   receiving his property for shipment to Germer. Germer received most of the
   materials from Crowley's estate and eventually took them with him to his
   final home at Westpoint in Calaveras County, California.
   Germer was a quiet and reclusive man, and primarily interested in
   publishing Crowley's writings. Several O.T.O. members helped him with this,
   but, aside from promotion of those already initiated, no new initiations
   were given. 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 an O.T.O. Camp in England under Kenneth Grant, a III°
   member; but closed the Camp and expelled Grant from O.T.O. membership on
   July 20, 1955 when he learned that Grant had become associated with
   Grosche's Fraternitas Saturni, had circulated a manifesto for the a new
   Lodge of O.T.O. under the joint authority of Germer and Grosche, and had
   begun to modify the O.T.O. rituals, all without notice to Germer.
   Germer also took an interest in the efforts of Hermann Metzger (Paragranus,
   1919-1990) in Switzerland. Metzger was a student of a surviving member of
   Reuss's Swiss section of the O.T.O. named Felix Lazerus Pinkus (1881-1947),
   but had no original connection with Crowley's O.T.O. Germer appointed
   Mellinger to supervise Metzger's regularization into Crowley's O.T.O., but
   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. According to one source, Metzger claimed to have
   chartered Gabriel Montenegro as X° for the United States. However,
   Montenegro never claimed any such authority, and never even mentioned any
   O.T.O. appointment from Metzger to his O.T.O. colleagues in the U.S.
   O.T.O. members in California actively sought to influence Germer to reopen
   public access to O.T.O. Concern was expressed in correspondence that a
   failure to initiate new O.T.O. members would result in the ultimate demise
   of O.T.O. In 1959, McMurtry had called a meeting in Los Angeles, to which
   members of Agapé Lodge and others were invited, with the purpose of
   attempting to create a unified front to pressure Karl Germer into resuming
   OTO initiations. McMurtry was ready to invoke his authorizations from
   Crowley in support of this idea. Dr. Montenegro opposed the idea, and the
   others failed to lend any support; the idea was abandoned. Montenegro wrote
   to McMurtry on Nov. 21, 1960 to memorialize his opposition to the idea.
   Germer authorized McMurtry to form a nucleus of new O.T.O. public access,
   but Germer and McMurtry had a falling out over a personal loan and other
   matters. Whatever differences they may have had, there is not the slightest
   suggestion that Germer even considered vetoing or revising McMurtry's
   charters from Crowley. McMurtry lost his job in California due to health
   problems and moved to Washington, D.C. in March of 1961. Here he taught
   Political Science at George Washington University while working as a
   Management Analyst for the U.S. Government. He also directed the Washington
   Shakespeare Society.

   Germer died on October 25, 1962 without having designated a successor.
   Germer's last will and testament named his wife Sascha and Frederick
   Mellinger the executors of his estate in the matter of property held for
   O.T.O. Sascha was an elderly lady of less than sound mind, and cut herself
   off from the surviving members of O.T.O. in California. Germer's estate was
   never probated. Some ranking members, including Grady McMurtry, were not
   notified of Germer's death for several years, causing a long delay before
   the question of succession to leadership of O.T.O. was properly addressed.
   Metzger in Switzerland published a claim to being the Outer Head of the
   Order, based on a private election represented to have been held in
   Switzerland on January 6, 1963. Ranking members of O.T.O. outside of
   Switzerland, including Frederick Mellinger, whom Germer had appointed as
   Metzger's mentor, were not informed of Metzger's purported election until
   after the alleged fact. A copy of Metzger's manifesto was sent to Wilfred
   Smith, who had been dead since 1957. Metzger was not generally accepted as
   head of the Order outside his own group. Sascha made a half-hearted attempt
   to send Germer's O.T.O. property material to Metzger, but this was blocked
   by Mellinger in a letter dated Sept. 25, 1963 which denounced Metzger as a
   fraud. Metzger later incorporated his system of O.T.O. as part of a new
   organization of his own formulation, the "Ordo Illuminatorum," which
   purported to be a revival of the order of the Illuminati. Metzger died in
   Kenneth Grant (b. 1924) also asserted a claim to being Outer Head of the
   Order; but he had previously been expelled from membership by Germer. Mr.
   Grant disputes his expulsion, claiming that he never recognized Karl Germer
   as head of O.T.O. However, Grant's own writings from the 1950's, in
   particular the manifesto of New Isis Lodge, refer to Frater S (Saturnus,
   i.e. Karl Germer) as the international head of O.T.O. Grant's organization
   asserts that O.T.O. had ceased to be a membership organization in its
   traditional sense of having Lodges and conferring degrees ceremonially.
   Grant's organization also ignores the Gnostic Mass, which is, according to
   Crowley, "the central ceremony of [O.T.O.'s] public and private
O.T.O. Under McMurtry

   When McMurtry became aware of the critical condition into which the Order
   had fallen after Germer's death, he was impelled to invoke his documents of
   emergency authorization from Crowley, and assume the title "Caliph of
   O.T.O.," as specified in Crowley's letters to McMurtry from the 1940s. For
   the two witnesses he believed were necessary for this act, he chose Dr.
   Israel Regardie (1907-1985) and Gerald Yorke (1901-1983). McMurtry referred
   to these two as the "Eyes of Horus," as the two most prominent surviving
   personal students of Crowley. He advised them of his plans to reconstitute
   the O.T.O. using his letters of charter from Crowley, and requested their
   support, which was offered. McMurtry completed the activation of his
   Caliphate by June of 1969, with a letter to Hermann Metzger of Switzerland.
   Upon activation of the Caliphate, surviving O.T.O. members from the Germer
   and Crowley years were invited to join with McMurtry to resume regular
   operations of O.T.O. At that time there were less than a dozen surviving
   older O.T.O. members in the United States. Soror Meral, Soror Grimaud,
   Mildred Burlingame and Gabriel Montenegro indicated willingness to see the
   O.T.O. accessible to the general public. Ray Burlingame had died some years
   before, and Dr. Montenegro died on July 14, 1969, before an organizational
   meeting could be held. Frederick Mellinger had re-established his contacts
   with the Theosophical Society and had been essentially inactive in O.T.O.
   since approximately 1956, except to write his letter blocking the probate
   of Germer's will in favor of Metzger in 1963. Mellinger died on August 29,
   1970. In 1969 and 1970, McMurtry, Burlingame and Sorores Meral and Grimaud
   began to perform initiations. On December 28, 1971, the Ordo Templi
   Orientis Association was registered with the State of California to form a
   legal entity for O.T.O.
   Sascha Germer died in April of 1975, and in 1976 when her death became
   known, the O.T.O. Association under McMurtry obtained a court order for
   delivery of the remnant of the O.T.O. archives that had been in her
   custodianship. This order was issued, recognizing Grady McMurtry as the
   authorized representative of O.T.O., by the Superior Court in Calaveras
   County, California, and filed July 27th, 1976.
   Under McMurtry, as Caliph or acting Head of O.T.O., several attempts were
   made to attract new members to O.T.O. and to make the Order known to the
   public. In 1970, O.T.O. published Crowley's Thoth Tarot Cards, illustrated
   by Lady Frieda Harris, from the Dublin address. Response was slow, but a
   few new members were initiated through efforts centered in Dublin,
   California at The College of Thelema and in San Francisco at the Kaaba
   Clerk House. The San Francisco activity collapsed, and one new member
   resigned. Activity continued for two years in Dublin, and then was
   transferred to Berkeley, California.
   In 1977, McMurtry held O.T.O. initiations at his home in Berkeley,
   California, and began a group there. O.T.O. was incorporated under the laws
   of the State of California on March 26th, 1979 e.v. Those 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 this 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 Federal Tax
   exemption as a religious entity under IRS Code 501(c)3 in 1982.
  Challenge in Court
   A substantial effort was made to assume control of O.T.O. by Marcelo Ramos
   Motta (1931-1987) under the name "Society Ordo Templi Orientis." Mr. Motta
   had been a personal A :. A :. student of Karl Germer for a number of years,
   but had never formally obtained a charter to Initiate or operate a Lodge.
   In fact, he had never even been formally initiated into O.T.O. After
   Germer's death, Motta asserted a claim to being Germer's successor, and
   formed an O.T.O. group in his native country of Brazil. Motta at first
   recognized Kenneth Grant as head of O.T.O., but rescinded this recognition
   on learning that Grant had been expelled by Germer. Motta ultimately came
   to the United States to claim the Crowley copyrights. He first sued Samuel
   Weiser, Inc., a publisher of many of Crowley's works, for copyright and
   trademark infringement; maintaining that he was the sole representative of
   Crowley's O.T.O. This case was decided in Weiser's favor by the U.S.
   District Court in Maine. The Judge found that Motta's representations
   regarding O.T.O. did not meet the test of legal existence. O.T.O. under
   McMurtry was not a party to this case, and did not factor in the judgment.
   During the proceedings in Maine, O.T.O. under McMurtry served Motta with a
   suit to be heard in the 9th Federal District Court in San Francisco. The
   San Francisco case was concluded in 1985, with Motta again losing. 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 legitimate head of O.T.O. within the United States. The 9th District
   decision also recognized O.T.O. under McMurtry as a legal membership
   entity. This decision was appealed and upheld. Grady McMurtry died on July
   12, 1985, following the original decision of the 9th District Court, but
   the process of appeal established that O.T.O. continued as a corporation.
O.T.O. Today

   Rather than designate his own successor, McMurtry desired that his
   successor be chosen by vote of the Sovereign Sanctuary of O.T.O. after his
   death. The election was held on September 21, 1985, with the two surviving
   members of Agapé Lodge participating, and Frater Hymenaeus Beta was elected
   to succeed Frater Hymenaeus Alpha as Caliph and acting O.H.O. of O.T.O.
   Hymenaeus Beta continues in office to this day.
   In early 1996, a new corporation was founded to carry on the work of the
   U.S. Grand Lodge of O.T.O, while the existing corporation reorganized
   itself as the International Headquarters of O.T.O. On March 30, 1996,
   Sabazius X° was appointed as National Grand Master General for the U.S.
   Grand Lodge.

   In addition to materials in the O.T.O. archives, the published writings of
   the following protagonists and historical researchers were consulted in
   preparing this essay: Calvin C. Burt, W.B. Crow, Isaac Blair Evans, Antoine
   Faivre, S.E. Flowers, René Le Forestier, Joscelyn Godwin, Dr. J.A.
   Gottlieb, Ellic Howe, Francis King, Peter-Robert König, Helmut Möller,
   William G. Peacher, M.D., Martin P. Starr, John Symonds, M. McBlain
   Thomson, A.E. Waite, James Webb, and John Yarker.
   The following individuals provided substantial assistance in the form of
   historical information and/or criticism: William Breeze, Martin P. Starr,
   Parsival Krumm-Heller, Soror Meral, Soror Grimaud, Lon Milo DuQuette, James
   T. Graeb, Bjarne Salling Pedersen, and P.-R. König.

    1. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light was a mystical society which claimed
       descent from the late 18th century Austrian Masonic/Rosicrucian body
       known as the Fratres Lucis. The Fratres Lucis, also known as the
       Asiatic Brethren or Initiated Brethren of the Seven Cities in Asia,
       was derived from the earlier German Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross.
       The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light also appears to have had connections
       with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, which was a mystical society
       which surfaced publicly in England in 1884 under the auspices of Max
       Theon (AKA Louis-Maximilian Bimstein, 1850-1927). The origins of the
       H.B. of L. are unclear, but there is some evidence linking it with the
       Brotherhood of Luxor, which was involved in the founding of the
       Theosophical Society as well as with the aforementioned Fratres Lucis;
       and with the latter's 19th century English spiritualist namesake.
          Born in Poland, Theon travelled widely in his youth. In Cairo, he
       became a student of a Coptic magician named Paulos Metamon. Theon came
       to England in 1870, where he recruited the violin-maker Peter Davidson
       (1842-1916) to establish an "Outer Circle" of the H.B. of L. They were
       joined in 1883 by Thomas H. Burgoyne (AKA Thomas Dalton, 1855-1895),
       who later wrote a book summarizing the basic teachings of the H.B. of
       L., titled The Light of Egypt. The function of this "Outer Circle" of
       the H.B. of L. was to offer a correspondence course on practical
       occultism; which set it apart from the Theosophical Society. Its
       curriculum included a number of selections from the writings of
       Hargrave Jennings and Paschal Beverly Randolph.
    2. P.B. Randolph (Oct. 8, 1825 - July 29, 1875) was a noted medium,
       healer, occultist and author of his day, and counted among his personal
       friends Abraham Lincoln, Hargrave Jennings, Kenneth McKenzie, Eliphas
       Levi, Napoleon III, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and General Ethan Allen
       Hitchcock. Randolph's Order claimed descent from the Rosicrucian Order
       (by charter of the "Supreme Grand Lodge of France"), and taught
       spiritual healing, western occultism and principals of race
       regeneration through the spirtualization of sex.
    3. Yarker was elected Absolute Sovereign Grand Master of the Oriental Rite
       of Mizraim in 1871. He was installed as Grand Master 96° of the
       Sovereign Sanctuary of the Antient and Primitive Rite of Memphis for
       England by Harold J. Seymour on Oct. 8, 1872. Seymour had in turn
       received his letters-patent from Jacques Etienne Marconis de Negre on
       June 21, 1862. Yarker received letters-patent for the Cerneau Ancient
       and Accepted Scottish Rite from Theo. H. Tebbs of the Combined Canadian
       S.G.C. of that Rite on January 12, 1884. Yarker was elected Imperial
       Grand Hierophant 97° of the Rite of Memphis on November 11, 1902.
    4. Those attending the congress were: Reuss (representing the Sov.
       Sanctuary of Memphis and Mizraim Rites for Germany, Grand Orient of the
       Scottish Rite in Germany, and the National Grand Lodge of the United
       Scottish, Memphis and Mizraim Rites for Great Britain and Ireland);
       H.R. Hilfiker, R. Merlitschek, and M. Bergmaier (representing the Grand
       Orient of the Scottish Rite in Switzerland [based on a Reuss Charter
       dated May 10, 1919]), Dr. E. Pargaetzi (representing the Sov. Sanctuary
       of the Scottish, Memphis and Mizraim Rites for France); A. Spilmer
       (representing the Grand Lodge of Colombia), H. Schütz (representing
       Prince Alexander of Greece, Grand Protector of Greek Freemasonry); John
       Anderson (representing the National Grand Lodge of Scotland); and
       Matthew McBlain Thomson (representing the American Masonic Federation,
       the Grand Lodge of Washington, D.C., and the Grand Orient of Cuba).
   Last modified: Friday, 25-Feb-00 21:17:23
   All material copyright © 1996-2000 by Ordo Templi Orientis.
    Craig Berry (

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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