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OTO Minerval Program

From: Bill Heidrick 
Subject: RE: OTO Minerval Program
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 14:41:19 -0400


Xiwangmu  wrote:

>I think that the latest
>version was created by Bill Heidrick and Frater Grabe under the
>supervision of Hymenaeus Alpha (under whose supervision it pertained).
>Since then it has ceased being an absolute requirement of the Order.

I wrote about 90% of it, and Fr. Grabe contributed the remainder.
This was done in stages from late 1977 e.v. into the early '80s e.v.
The Minerval curriculum was based on Grady McMurtry's recollections of
Crowley's instructions regarding rituals "every Thelemite should do daily"
and some rounding out with details for other practices.  Under Grady's
review, I added progressive practices to make up the Ist and IInd degree
curricula, with Jim Grabe offering suggestions on the latter.  The IIIrd
degree program was mainly to be a self-guided and selected special study.
Other than writing down a bit of the oral tradition, the main goals were:
1. Prepare a minimum curriculum to improve appreciation of the
   initiation rituals and their symbolism.
2. Insure that OTO members would be able to communicate their ideas
   with one another and be able to read Crowley -- through drawing attention
   to the rudiments of the symbol set.
3. Lay out minimal ritual to insure that OTO members would be able to
   work together in temple and follow lectures.
4. Provide a progressive self-development program, with a minimum of
   dictation of details.
5. Insure that members would acquire enough OTO specific detail to be able
   to experience the later initiations without excessive coaching.
6. Prepare all members so that by IIIrd degree they would be able to
   be chartered to perform the OTO initiations up to that point inclusively,
   in the event they happened to be selected to initiate or wished to
   participate as a supporting officer in initiations.

I picked "LIBER MCLI" as the number-name on gematria grounds, since one
meaning of that number verged on "Man of Earth" and there were several
other meanings that had potential for insight and/or humor.  If pronounced
as a word, "MCLI" tended to come out as "Mickley" -- which implied that
the curriculum was a tad "Mickey Mouse", as indeed it was, being minimal.

This curriculum originally was intended to be an optional guide, but we
made it mandatory on discovery that one of the biggest mouth-offs in the
Order at that time couldn't even do a Lesser Pentagram Banishment.  MCLI
continued mandatory until the later 1980's, at which time it was again
returned to optional.  Other study materials have been made available
since that time, for degrees Minerval through IVth, but those are only
available to the local OTO groups through the Quartermaster's office.

Some OTO groups still consider MCLI mandatory, mainly overseas.  That is
being straightened out, gradually.  If you plan to get initiated in Slovenia,
you better familiarize yourself with the liber after Minerval.  The tests
still exist, but haven't been required by international Grand Lodge for
quite a few years -- until IVth, there is a test on some of this material
at IVth.

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

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