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[t93] A.'.A.'., C.O.T. issues

From: David Shoemaker 
Subject: [t93] A.'.A.'., C.O.T. issues
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:31:51 -0700

Dear friends,

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

There has been a great deal of discussion about the A.'.A.'. and 
College/Temple of Thelema on this list of late.   Unfortunately, much 
misinformation has been floating around, and I'd like to try to address 
a few points.  It is not my intention to argue points of opinion or 
perspective.  For example, we've all seen 1,000 flame wars on the "real 
A.'.A.'.", and so on.  When I say "The A.'.A.'." I am speaking of the 
curriculum established by Crowley and Jones, transmitted through 
teacher-student relationships down to the present time.  If this is not 
what you believe the A.'.A.'. to be, that's fine--I'm using this term 
as  a means of discussion, not asserting its absolute truth in any 
sense.   I just want to present a few basic facts about these 
organizations, as I have come to know them, to correct some 
oft-repeated errors.  I am responding specifically to a few things in a 
recent post by "Bythor".

Fallacy #1:  The C.O.T. and Jane Wolfe  A.'.A.'. lineage "charge for 

Within this lineage of A.'.A.'. , money is not and has never been 
charged for initiation.  The lineage honors the traditional  Student 
curriculum established by A.C. as one means of approach.  It also 
honors completion of Course One of the College of Thelema as an 
alternate way of fulfilling the Student requirement.  I think this is 
where some confusion has arisen regarding money.  The College assesses 
a single modest fee for each Course (each course lasts for 1-2 years), 
just as any College would, to cover its own expenses (mostly printing 
and related supplies).  The Temple of Thelema also charges very modest 
fees, to cover its expenses (again, mostly printing, rental space, 
etc.) just as any working Order tends to do.  One does not join the 
A.'.A.'. by joining the T.O.T. or C.O.T., but this *can* be an 
effective way of preparing for one's admission as a Probationer, as an 
alternative to the traditional Student curriculum.  This alternate 
method of approach to Probationer is the only such deviation from 
A.C.'s curriculum in any Grade.

Fallacy #2:  The Temple of Thelema is a "rip off" of the O.T.O.

   As a member of both organizations, I find this myth to be a bit 
humorous.   These two Orders are completely different in ritual style, 
aims, administration, and every other dimension of organization I can 
think of.  The underlying philosophy of Thelema is the primary area of 
overlap.  The T.O.T. is based on the basic pattern of the Golden Dawn 
degrees, with Thelemic philosophy, modern psychology, and a century of 
input from other Western mystery schools interwoven into its 
curriculum.   It is absolutely *not* the case, as "Bythor" asserts, 
that the T.O.T./C.O.T. practices "OTO ritual".  Again, anyone familiar 
with both Orders would never confuse them.

There were a number of personal attacks in Bythor's post.  Since these 
relate mostly to the personalities, motivations and behaviors of 
others, including living persons, I'm not going to go into it here.  I 
*would* like to say, for the record, that my participation in O.T.O., 
C.O.T., T.'.O.'.T.'.  and A.'.A.'. has been a beautiful and fulfilling 
experience.  I have met many people through this work who have gone on 
to be my dearest friends and colleagues.  All of these groups have a 
great deal to offer, in my opinion, for those who are seeking what they 
teach, and find a spiritual home with them.

  It is wise to approach *any* Order with caution and care, and I 
appreciate the importance of critical thinking and discussion, as has 
occurred on this list lately.

I invite further discussion on these matters if there is interest, or 
if I have been unclear in my responses to the above issues.

Love is the law, love under will.

David Shoemaker
Provost, College of Thelema
Grand Imperator, Temple of Thelema

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