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KWard: OTO's

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.magick.order
From: (mordred)
Subject: KWard: OTO's (Reflection)
Date: 25 Jun 1995 12:42:07 -0700

[from Thelema93-L: KEN WARD ]

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

I hestitated about making this posting because of the recent activity
on this list over the Grant/O.T.O. controversy sparked by the "Starfire"
article but I did feel that it (this posting) is the next logical step
in my proposed series of postings.  However, I fully understand if you
choose to ignore it as being an over-worked topic on this list.

As I mentioned in my previous posting on the A.'.A.'., my main focus
has never been the O.T.O. but nevertheless I have made numerous contacts
over the years with people from various "O.T.O.'s".  I never felt a need
to be intitiated into any of these groups since my goal was simply
Knowledge & Conversation with my Holy Guardian Angel as directed by the
A.'.A.'. curriculum and practice.  The O.T.O. has always seem to me to
be basically a fraternal organization (in the social sense) with a
religious bent and its main goal being the propogation of the Law of
Thelema rather than teaching its initiates how to connect with one's
H.G.A.  True, the O.T.O. degree system does teach important magical
and tantric techniques and awakens the chakras (aka kundalini yoga)
which interested me since I was an aspiring yogi when I discovered Thelema!
However, after reading Francis King's _The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O_
(which I understand is fairly accurate) shortly after it was published
in 1973 the "mystique" about the O.T.O. was gone.  Besides, the O.T.O.
charges all those fees (I did under A.C. as well!) and at
times appear to put man-made laws above the Law of Thelema with law
suits and the like!  Anyway, here are my experiences with the O.T.O.

My first contact with anyone claiming to be O.T.O. was with Kenneth
Grant in 1973 (c/o Jonathan Cape Ltd at first then c/o Frederick Muller
Ltd, London NW2 6LE, England later)  Mr. Grant and I exchanged letters
on a regular basis until 1981.  This was before his O.T.O. was called
"Typhonian" as it apparently is now.  His letters were very friendly
and gracious but he told me very little, apparently he was more interested
in getting information from me about Michael Bertiaux's work (more about
that in a later posting!) which I was involved with at the time.  He even
gave me a plug for my assistance in the bibliography (section B) of
_Outside the Circles of Time_ (1980)!  However, after reading all of
Grant's books (except the latest, _Hecate's Garden_) I can't say that I
gained anything from them.  They are much too abtruse and confusing!

I also was in contact with Grant's O.T.O. representative in the U.S.A.
around this time, Bill Siebert (Boleskine House, 210 Stewart Ave., Ithaca,
New York 14850) and received _Mezla_, their newsletter, until 1978.  It
had some interesting articles and I believe a Janice Ayers was the editor.
I no longer have any copies so I can't say for sure.

In 1975 (around the time I found Motta's A.'.A.'.) I made contact with
Martin P. Starr (P.O. Box 8028, Chicago, IL 60680) of the Society Ordo
Templi Orientis in America, Motta's version of the O.T.O..  I never had
much to do with them despite my sojourn with his A.'.A.'. until I began
communicating with Brian E. Ferguson (aka Harlequin) of the Gnostic
Catholic Church (Box 4625, South Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 5G5) in
1978.  Brian was a very odd but interesting chap who claimed to be an
ordained Anglican priest who had accepted the Law of Thelema!  He
eventually published a magazine called _Sunspots_ and ended up being
Motta's Canadian director of S.O.T.O. in 1980!  Mr. Ferguson then went
on to suggest (unsolicited by me of course!) to Motta that I be considered
a candidate for Motta's replacement as O.H.O. of S.O.T.O simply because
I was involvement with Bertiaux's O.T.O.A. at the time!!  I can well
imagine Motta's response! It was probably toned down a lot for the
editorial in his _Equinox Vol.V No.4: Sex and Religion"_ (1981).  I never
heard from any of them after that.  Surprise, surprise!

Fairly recently however (1993) I noticed an ad for the S.O.T.O. in a
magazine (P.O. Box 3511, Laguna Hills, CA 92654) and decided to write to
see what they were up to (considering the O.T.O. legal battle) and 
received my letter back with "Rejected", "Barred for life!" scrawled on
it!  Sheesh!  Don't these guys ever forget!  The return address was Mr.
David Bersson, P.O.Box 1131, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103.

A final note on the S.O.T.O.  Awhile back I read an interview in _Mezlim_
(Samhain '91) with a Fra. Sphinx (Bersson?).  It was rather trite and
silly to say the least!

Sometime in the late 70's or early 80's (they never dated their letters
and I didn't have the foresight to note the dates) I heard from a supposed
O.T.O. group called "The Forsythe Lodge", 47 Talbot Road, Luton.
Bedfordshire, England run by a D. Marriott XI, "Supreme Grand Master...
Baphomet...Fra. Pan"??  There appeared to be no connection to anyone else
whatsoever!  Most likely someone who just thought he'd like to start an
O.T.O. lodge.

I first contacted the "Caliphate" O.T.O. in 1978 when I subscribed to
_The O.T.O. Newsletter_ and began correspondng with Bill Heidrick.  I 
eventually became an Associate member of the O.T.O. and receive _The
Magical Link_ even to this day.  Bill, I must say with all honesty, has
always been very helpful and accomodating over the years and I value his 
opinions even though I may not always agree.  I have had other contacts with
the "Caliphate" O.T.O. as well, including "Victorious City Lodge" in Victoria,
B.C. and very recently "Isis Nuit Camp" right here in Prince George.  All
contacts have been very pleasant and helpful despite the fact that I am not
after initiation into the O.T.O.  I hope I'm not dissapointing some of you
by not saying anything "bad" about the Caliphate O.T.O. but I am simply
reporting my personal experience.  However, I do know a lot of people that
do have "bad" things to say about the Caliphate O.T.O. and you may hear
about them in future postings.

Finally, the one O.T.O. "faction" that I have never been able to contact
is the Swiss O.T.O. (Metzger) although I have been given many addresses
over the years (including the recent posted one by Bill H.).  None of
my letters have been answered yet they don't get returned either.  Any
suggestions?  Is Peter Koenig involved?

Also, I avoided discussing "Fraternitas Saturni" deliberately simply because 
it does not use the name Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) but I'm sure it does
have O.T.O. connections.

Love is the law, love under will.


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