Fetish, Self-Induction, Stigma and Rôleplayby
Peter-R. KoenigThis is a shortened and translated outline of a sub-chapter of Der O.T.O.-Phänomen RELOAD. 
[Picture at the right: Robert Deumié owned the Café Thélème in Montréal and was being appointed president of the firm O.T.O., Inc., and the "Caliph's personal representative" in Canada after William Breeze was elected Caliph. Deumié was expelled from the Caliphate for supposedly revealing some of their secret signs and rituals in a French-language film which was shown on television in Québec.]
Also Aleister Crowley, founder of
a religion, and the O.T.O. mutated into a fetish for many.
Crowley's devotee Grady Louis McMurtry adapted himself visually to the "Orientis" aspect of the Ordo Templis Orientis. He became member of a Sikh-Group, founded by Siri Singh Sahib Harb Hajan Khalsa aka Yogi Bhajan. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion retaining some Hindu ingredients such as reincarnation and karma. The caste system has been rejected as well as the worship of idols. Sikhs can be recognised by their turbans and their hair which they – including facial hair – never cut. The reputation of the Sikhs as especially courageous warriors dates back to the 17th century. The British Army favoured the Sikhs for recruitment as soldiers, and during India's fight for independence, the Sikhs were on both sides of the conflict. To this date Sikhs are regarded as the backbone of the Indian Army. 1984 Indira Ghandi was murdered by her Sikh bodyguards in revenge for the assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar which had been occupied by Sikh fundamentalists demanding a separate Sikh nation-state.
Also in this instance the martial aspect of McMurtry's personality shows: He had volunteered for the army and participated in the Second World War in North-Corea as well as in Europe. Moreover, in a later allusion to a letter of Crowley's sent to him to Belgium where he was stationed in 1944 McMurtry claims: "I am Caliph because I am a soldier."
Crowley for his part revels in Arabic and Muslim themes: His rituals written for the O.T.O seem to be peopled by figures straight out of the Arabian Nights.
Grand ceremonial events are staged, suffused by a secretive atmosphere generated by a jumble of ingredients – all means freemasonry has provided since time immemorial are employed to appeal to the senses. Strange insignia, long ribbons and black frocks flutter in solemn acts of initiation, weird knocking sounds are heard, assignments and missions are pronounced whose purpose remains hidden.
Sometimes initiates into the O.T.O. are blindfolded. Diffuse acts of consecration, sickly sweet vapours, partial nudity, and pathetical music create a sultriness calling the thought that the O.T.O. might be about sexual magic to the participant's mind. Turbans, tents, pillars are part of the repertoire; there is an orientalisation of the west, though reducing the orient to a backward cultural identity. During other rituals whips and weapons are boasted, leather, sexware, uniforms are worn. I own a movie of a Crowley ritual, celebrated by the Caliphate in New York. One notices additional accessories. A woman in a bikini dances profligately on a coffin. It opens. And none other than a fully made-up Jesus Christ emerges.
However O.T.O. rituals of initiation don't go any step further than this. The same applies to the Fraternitas Saturni-rituals. In order to maintain de-sexualised emotions, the libido is focussed on the set, on the rituals, that is. Hence the particular attention given to the rituals of initiation. Again the classical stereotype comes into play: the O.T.O. is the mother, Crowley is the father. The members love the set (i.e. the rituals) the way they desire an idealised mother-child relationship. Hence the conspicuously strong feelings of insult coming from the father who is perceived as aggressive (Crowley or critics, depending on the perspective): The threat of castration looms.
|You need magical circles in order to manifest Angels or Demons. The magician stands in one circle and the Angel has to appear in the other.|
The Devil Rides Out — Hammer Film Productions 1967. Aleister Crowley was technical advisor to Dennis Wheatley's "The Devil Rides Out" in 1934. Christopher Lee suggested to Hammer executives that his friend Wheatley's book would be the ideal material for them. Richard Matheson provided the script and Terence Fisher's film was a vast improvement on the book.
More blood and sperm
flow in further Crowley-rituals which also have hardly anything to do with
O.T.O. Liber LXVI Stella Rubeae for example.
In addition to this, fetishes visually associated with sexuality attract attention. Doesn't sperm look a little like ectoplasm – something inexplicable oozing from body orifices as visible on very old photographs?
Contact or body relics figure prominently, too. Body relics are particles of a saint's body, contact relics are objects having been in contact with a saint. So once even the idea came up to plunder the grave of O.T.O founder Theodor Reuss in order to take possession of his skull as a powerful magical relic. In Switzerland, Hermann Joseph Metzger's teddy bear, shoes he wore, plates he used as a child, his fez and the magic wand from his long past days on stage can be admired behind glass in the museum of the Swiss O.T.O.
Friedrich Mellinger: "Zeichen und Wunder", Berlin 1933, photo-page 46.