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OTO, regular Masonry & Memphis-Misraim

From: Bill Heidrick 
Subject: Re: OTO, regular Masonry & Memphis-Misraim
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 05:47:52 -0800


Without prejudice:

In response to Ben's post, I'll limit quoting to the cited correspondence,
since all I intend is POV:

>Germer to Grant 24th Sept. 1948
>"... You should study all the that is published about the Constitution
>etc. of the OTO and digest it. You would have known that I am not the
>OHO. I do not know whether I would accept the job if it were pressed on

Less than a year after Crowley's death, Germer is not writing in the role
of OHO in this letter, but apparently he is calling attention to the
Constitution -- which incidentally includes a notice limiting formal member
contact with OHO.  Germer states that the job (of OHO) may be pressed on
him, although he says he is unsure of willingness to accept.

>Germer to Grant 25th May 1951
>"... In the first place, do not refer to me as your superior in the
>Order. That is true in an extremely limited sense.

Germer says he is Grant's superior in OTO, albeit in a limited way.  Grant
did acknowledge Germer (as Master S.'.) to be the international outer head
of OTO in Grant's "New Isis Manifesto". In that manifesto, Grant makes free
with "OHO" as a title of several individuals, in contradiction to the OTO
Constitutions.  Here is a cite that bears on the point:

>From the "Manifesto of New Isis Lodge O.T.O.", by Kenneth Grant

"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 the 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.'.."

"S.'." is of course "Saturnus", Karl Germer.

(for more, see the article in the Thelema Lodge Calendar of September 1992

>What I appear to be
>in the OTO has been thrust upon me, against my will. I will do what I
>can; but I shall refuse to make claims that go against the grain.

Given the previous letter, this appears to be an oblique statement by
Germer that Germer is in fact the acting OHO.

>I am
>strictly speaking the Grand Treasurer of the OTO. No more, no less!

Merely confirms that Germer is the chief fiscal officer of OTO.  Compatible
with the previous sentence.  Does not negate a position that Germer
unwillingly is acting as OHO.

>whole situation shouts for somebody who has the will and the guts and
>the capacity to grow into supreme leadership. If he comes along he will
>have my full support.

Germer, at time of writing, says he feels that, should a more qualified
person develop in OTO in Germer's opinion, that person would have Germer
support for that role.

>But I, personally, am not going to sail under
>false pretences. I have told everybody that I never learnt Rituals,
>never saw them performed, nor the Mass: in short, I have no feeling for

Germer states he feels inadequate, but note that this is expressed in terms
of the ritual side and not the administrative side.

>Germer to Grant 3rd May 1952
>"...Nor am I against the OTO system, or the system of degrees. Only
>paradoxically, I have very little interest in it. I wish someone could
>take the whole work, and the responsibility for the burden which A.C.
>laid on my shoulders, off me!

Germer clearly states that he doesn't want the job but has the job until or
unless somebody better comes along.  Note that there is a progression of
grudging but increasing acceptance of the duty.

>What I hate more than anything is to sail
>under false pretences. I repeat what I have said before: I have never
>gone through an OTO initiation or graduation; I've never been present at
>a Gnostic Mass performance... I do not know the password, grips etc of
>even the lowest degrees of the OTO. Briefly AC appointed me to the
>highest grade and responsibility without coaching me for the job.

Germer affirms that Crowley did make him OHO by appointment.  Germer does
not deny that he possess OTO degrees, just that he has not had ritual
initiation (read through is not distinguished one way or the other in these
remarks), or attended the Mass.  Germer expresses disinterest and
inadequacy for the ritual side of the work, which is after all not news and
not a requirement of the OHO -- although this difficiency does shed light
on Crowley's notice to McMurtry and to Mellinger that either may be called
to follow Germer to highest rank in OTO.

>If you
>want to get the OTO properly going again, we need a competent leader,
>not only for England but for the world. It must be someone who knows the
>thing inside out; who has a goal, not only for a period of his own life
>span, but beyond that. I have often thought you might well be chosen for
>the job....

Note the elipsus in the quote.  What was omitted?   Also, since Grant never
had experience of OTO lodge ritual work, what light does this shed on
Grant's qualifications as being even as good as Germer's?

>...You ask me; what is going on elsewhere concerning the OTO. There is
>no active Lodge, as such, in the USA of the OTO. What is done is by old
>members individually"

This affirms that Agape Lodge did not constitute the entire OTO in
California, thus underscoring Grady's credentials as superior to local OTO
Lodge work.

93 93/93
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