Monday, 1 November 2010
CASE 138 - Ordo Templi Orientis
Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the East, or the Order of Oriental Templars) was founded 1906. by Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss in Germany. The OTO is a pseudo masonic organization. The Order is dedicated to the Liberty of the Individual and his or her advancement in Light, Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Power through Beauty, Courage, and Wit, on the Foundation of Universal Brotherhood. The immediate precursor organization was the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, a mystical society founded in the mid 19th century, with branches in Europe and North America. It draws from the traditions of the Freemasonic, Rosicrucian and Illuminist movements, the Knights Templars of the middle ages and early Christian Gnosticism and the Pagan Mystery Schools. Aleister Crowley served as outer head of the Order of the Ordo Templi Orientis, until his death in 1947, when he was succeeded by Karl Germer. Similar to many secret societies, O.T.O. membership is based on an initiatory system with a series of degree ceremonies that use ritual drama to establish fraternal bonds and impart spiritual and philosophical teachings. Several Christian churches consider O.T.O. to be Satanic. O.T.O. currently operates in 18 countries around the world with over 3,000 active members.
There are those, including occultists and Thelemites of other organizations,[who?] who disagree that O.T.O. as revived by McMurtry is the sole legitimate continuation of the Order headed by Aleister Crowley as found by U.S. courts. Those who hold such views sometimes refer to the Order as the "Caliphate" O.T.O. (based on a Crowley letter to McMurtry referring to his possible succession as "The Caliphate" and also using the word "Caliphornia"), so as to distinguish it from other organizations that use the name "Ordo Templi Orientis". Other organizations that use the O.T.O. name and consider themselves to be legitimate continuations of O.T.O. include the O.T.O. Foundation and the Parzival XI° O.T.O. Foundation.
In February 2006, a long-time high-ranking member and occult author, T. Allen Greenfield, called for the resignation of upper management and stepped down from all managerial duties in protest. He went on to write a detailed analysis of "the failure of the O.T.O." and the "culture of fear" which he says currently exists within O.T.O. which is included as the last chapter and Epilogue of his book The Roots of Modern Magick. Although he is no longer a member of O.T.O. he continues to be a critic of the current Frater Superior of the Order, Hymenaeus Beta
The governing bodies of O.T.O. include:
Presided over by the Outer Head of the Order XII° (O.H.O.—also known as Frater Superior)
The Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis of the IX°
The Secret Areopagus of the Illuminati of the VIII°
The Grand Tribunal of the VI°
The National Grand Lodge
Presided over by the National Grand Master X°
The Supreme Grand Council
The Electoral College