Why they became member of the O.T.O. 1 Grady Louis McMurtry urinated on the baby
To: koenig @ cyberlink.ch
Date: February 1997
I just wanted to say thank you for your excellent articles on the
caliphate OTO. I should tell you that I was initiated Minerval by K.D.
in 1978 and (essentially) told to "get out" by Mr. Heidrick in 1979.
It's a long story but suffice it to say I don't think they were
terribly happy with me when I said that I "wouldn't trust J**
with a burnt match" (he was, and for all I know, still is Grand
something or other in the order). In any event, some thoughts to be
considered or ignored as you see fit:
1.I recently aquired a copy of Mr. Duquettes book an Thelemic majick in
which he takes the attitude that initiatory "legitimacy" is not that
important as long as if feels right. In my experience, all of the OTOs
have been very insistant on the legitimacy of their clames and of the
importance of that legitimacy. That their tune has changed in this
particular says to me that they are not as confident in their own
"legitimacy" as they would have the world think.
2.Legitimate or not, they are not going to go away and I don't think
that that is a bad thing. They do teach the basics of cerimonial majick
to just about anyone who asks, and they do try to advance Thelema. I'm
not sure that I see a problem with there being McOTOs all over the
place (in fact, I find the idea rather intriguing).
The very first time that I heard of Grady McMurtry was when my best
friend at the time (circa October 1977) had Mr. McMurtry as an
overnight house guest in the apartment that he shared with his wife and
her daughter from another relationship. The next day, just before the
weekly Gnostic Mass, my friend came up to me and said something to the
effect that "last night a drunken old man came stumbling out of the
temple and urinated on" the baby. I am deliberately leaving out the
names as this (at least at the time innocent) child is in all
probability still around the order. I mention this not to drag a dead
man through the mud (my understanding is the McMurtry did yeoman work
taking care of Crowley in his later years), but because it set the tone
for the relationship between Mobius chapter (later LaShTal lodge) and
the "Grand" lodge in Berkley.
In the face of this kind of behavior at the top, K.D. (aka G.B.) strove
mightily to regain the orders dignity, but his common sense ultimately
forced him to take a position something to the effect that it doesn't
matter who is at the top, they can't give orders and act strictly as
conduits of energy. For almost a year and a half, this appeared to be
In any event, Mobius chapter continued performing the Gnostic Mass on a
weekly basis, and after attending several, I became the usual Deacon
for roughly the next year. I did this without taking OTO initiation
until the autumn of 1978. It was just about this time that Mr. W** and
his protege Ms. L** started showing up (I understand that you've met
A**), LaShTal lodge was formed, and all of the scheming and infighting
began. Up until that time, Mobius chapter had a distinctly irreverent,
almost goofy, air about it that was what allowed us to pay the required
lip service to Mr. McMurtry (ie. how can you take yourself seriously
when your following a drunk?). As soon as an element that took itself
seriously entered the lodge, the lodge started to deteriorate.
The following April, I was initiated 1st degree by Mr. McMurtry (who
was reading the ritual directly out of Mr. Kings book, only the
password and grip were changed). In the following months, some of us
behaved badly (myself included possibly first on the list), some of us
behaved well, some of us kept our honor through the worst of it, some
us had no honor to lose, most of us continued to muddle through as best
The following summer, we had the dubious thrill of having Mr. G** as
a guest at a lodge meeting/Gnostic mass. The odd thing about this visit
is that to my knowledge, nothing significant happened. About a week
later we heard that we had "locked" G** out of the Gnostic mass. I
have to tell you that I don't know where he was, (I was at the mass)
but after talking to some of the other lodge members, my understanding
is that he was off putting white powder up his nose. When K.D.
apparently made our position clear to Mr. Heidrick, he recieved a
letter calling one of our lodge brothers (and my personal friend from
long before we were in the "OTO") a liar (it's interesting to note that
Mr. Heidrick later offered him his own encampment), and stating "J**
G** is not to be dismissed as a fool or an enemy, he is your superior
in the order". Mr. Heidrick then went on to tell us about how lousy our
attitude was and how poorly we had treated Mr. McMurtry (I still don't
know what he meant by this). After reading this, K.D. and the person
who had been called a liar asked me and several other lodge members to
write to Mr. McMurtry and express our opinions, I distincly recall him
saying that "silence is consent". I wrote in anger (if you attack my
lodge and my friend, you get my anger) and made damn sure that everyone
mentioned in the letter got a copy (I wanted to see what would happen
if everything was brought out in the open). About a week later, I got a
letter from Heidrick dubbing me a "sniveling intruder" (for doing what
his representatives - both my superiors in the order - asked me to do)
and politely suggesting that if I didn't like it, I should get out.
Oddly enough, I actually had more respect for the "OTO" at that moment
than I'd had for the better part of a year (ie. somebody finally said
what he meant and meant what he said).
Several people tried to convince me not to quit (K.D. in particular),
some (ie. W**) made some dire predictions about what would happen to me
without the protection of the order. Theres (much) more to the story of
course. I've barely touched on most of the wierder occurances but that
would would take up an entire book.
About a month after I quit, I got a letter from someone named D** (or
something like that). Brother D** began by telling me to "stick it up
your ass", and went on to tell me that I didn't know anything about
child rearing(?). Brother D** then went on to inform me that "Choronzon
will eat your soul". I sent a letter to McMurtry asking for an
explanation (the letter was on OTO stationary, the envelope had the
grand lodges return address on it). About a week later I got a letter
from Heidrick denying any responsibility (despite the admitted fact
that the letter was in response to my resignation letter, and was
printed on "OTO" stationary)
Just as a matter of my own curiosity, have other people had anything
like this happen to them?
>Question: Hadn't McMurtry a home of his own at that time? I heard he lived
>together with several people, e.g. Steve Grochochenski/Cosmos/Leonard
I didn't make clear that I lived in the New York City area at the time
(and do so now). McMurtry was visiting in order to conduct initiations,
plug the order, and sample the local "Thelemic nuns". I don't know what
his living arrangements in the San Narcisco (please forgive the enlish
pun) area were .
The whole incident was, in retrospect, clearly a warning that we should
have heeded. I wonder if this incident is where the term "Ordo Templi
Disorientis" (I have got to stop making these awful puns!) came from.
>McMurtry did care nothing about Crowley. That's why
>Crowley died isolated in England. Karl Germer was refused entry to England,
>McMurtry would have been the only one with a passport to help Crowley. In
>vain. McMurtry said "I am busy with my wife".
You'll get no argument from me. I had heard differently from a member
of Grants OTO, but I did not verify the information.
>Today, Heidrick says that this is
>untrue and they "used" King's book only for rehearsals.
I believe the German term for this is "Dreck". If this were true, the
order would be guilty of intentional fraud, and enough people would
know about it that keeping it secret would be almost impossible.
>I admire your ability of impressive descriptions
You are too kind to my clumsy attempt at prose. I have attempted to the
best of my ability tell it the way I remember it and keep the
"disgruntled ex member" stuff to a minimum. If what I'm reading at your
URL is true, disgruntled ex members of the caliphate must be becoming
almost as much of a cliche as some of the current members.
>I often meet Mr Heidrick's fantasies. You should hear what he
>says about me.
I was very honored when Heidrick considered me enough of a pain in
derrier to take the time to insult a mere first degee.
The interested observer will notice a certain modus operandi here
regarding their reaction to any criticism. Rather than address the
criticism, they attack the critic. These attacks usually consist mostly
of the spreading of nasty and usually unverifiable rumors. Of course,
they do it to each other as much if not more than they do it to
outsiders. If I really am guilty of half of what I've been accused of,
I'm a pretty awful excuse for a human being (this may be true, but my
wife, friends, and co-workers don't seem to think so).
>it is to assume that Gr** maybe
>furnished some of that white powder to some of the "Caliphate" authorities
>and therefore was "needed".
I wonder if that was the "laudable means" Heidrick wrote of regarding
the way in which Mr. G** attained his office.
I personally have no objection to drugs per se, as long as the user,
not the drug is in control. I have had occasion to meet two members of
the "Grand Council", one was a drunk and the other a cocain addict.
Having had experience with both alchohol and cocain (as well as many
other substances), and having been able to put them down, I am not
> K.D. did not agree with the special "treatment" that William
>Breeze (the current "Caliph") received by McMurtry.
And a great many other things. K.D. was the main reason I had anything
to do with this in the first place. Clearly, his vision of the OTO did
not jive with Heidricks, but there was no way we could have known that
at the time (we had very little communication and just about no help
from Berkely). With all that failed, and all that succeeded, I hold my
brother and superior to be blameless. My only regret is that I did not
keep in touch with him.
>>(ie. Wasserman) made some dire predictions about what
>>would happen to me without the protection of the order.
Nothing specific (that would have been entirely out of character), just
a general warning about how dangerous it can be if you are a low level
initiate without an order (he did not use these words, but that was the
>I am very very much interested in to hear your comments on above mentioned
>correspondence with David Scriven --
I just started reading them this afternoon. I'll be happy to send you
any comments that I have after I've finished reading all of the
>and of course would like to hear some
>of the "weirder occurances" that you hinted at.
Well, there was the time that A.C. (not Alister Crowly) had entirely
too much Jack Daniels and spent the evening walking up to strangers and
yelling " WEREWOLF" in their faces. He showed up for initiation the
next night, badly beaten. This person is still in the order and from
what I understand, is a person of some influence. He actually is an
extremely interesting person to be with, but a little bit on the wierd
Then there's the time my friends wife dissapeared for two weeks and was
found wandering around New York City in a daze. She was then
professionally diagnosed as psychotic and institutionalized.
Then there's the time that one of the peripherally interested people
was senselessly shot to death by a maniac with a gun while he was
walking down the street minding his own business. I do not know, but I
am told that they found the "Necronomicon" on his alter.
On the lighter side, there is the time I hit A.C. with a pie (pineapple
I believe) for rubbing my nose in my own failures.
There's quite a bit more, but it gets into the minutiae of too many
other peoples personal lives.
You'll be sorry you said that.
>McMurtry not helping Crowley.
>> You'll get no argument from me. I had heard differently from a
>>member of Grants OTO, but I did not verify the information.
>What did they say?
Only that McMurtry had helped out with the monetary end of things.
I don't really have that much to tell. Remember, I was in New York, not
California, so I don't know what McMurtry, Heidrick et. al. were doing.
Much of what I do know, I can't tell anyone because I learned it in
confidence, and a promise to a scoundrel is still a promise. I will not
sink to their level.
I apologise, I didn't mean to hint at anything, but I see why it came
across that way. All of the documents that I had seen until I visited
your site had supported their claim. Your site is like a gold mine for
OTO information that is not easily available elsewhere (at least not in
the U.S. and not in enlgish). I just couldn't believe that I'd found
such a gem.
I was just reading through your conversation with Heidrick and I came
across the following paragraph of some personal interest.
># Heidrick learnt that my researches were going to be published and that it
># would not(!) turn out to his favour. I had a guest for one week at my
># home by the name of A*** . She was sent over to Europe
># to install an independent Grand Lodge. She saw some of my archive and
># yelled at me: "You have to whitewash your study" to the favour of
># Heidrick's version of history. I even have Heidrick's letter where he
># wanted to prevent a publication of the above event ('whitewashing story').
># Of course I don't whitewash anything, and no one in the world can prevent
># me from publishing what I know.
If you had A*** yelling at you (with that concrete borer voice of
hers), you have my sympathy. A*** and I used to know each other
entirely too well. She is an excellent example of everything that's
wrong with the caliphate. If I understand correctly, when you didn't do
what she wanted, she started slandering you. I'm shocked, shocked and
appalled (NOT). She did a pretty good slander job on me too (as a
matter of fact, most of the awful things that I've been accused of came
from her). She is in fact one of those "Thelmic nuns" that McMurtry was
sampling on his visits (that's how she became a IXth). It was my own
stupidity that she was (for lack of a better term) my girlfriend at the
time (I know, but I was young and as I say, stupid). I wonder if she
still lives in the personal hell that she confessed to me all those
years ago. Bless you for not whitewashing the story.
>>she told me that she was glad that McMurtry did not die from the act.
I believe she said something similar to me a few days later, however, I
was busy wrecking my chromasomes at the time, so it's hard to be sure
of anything that was said or what happened that day (lysergic acid
tends to make things even more cartoonish than usual).
Actually, Mr. Scriven sounds more reasonable than I had expected. Of
course, he also admits that he doesn't know what's going on. Of course
that brings up the problem of supporting something without knowing what
>I understood it in the way that "Caliphate"members also are AA members and
>vice versa. This guarantees control.
If this is so, then my status is a relatively interesting question. I
never resigned from the AA, and have never been informed that I was
expelled. My understanding when I became a probationer (which was
stongly reinforced when I became a 1=10) was that the two organizations
were entirely separate (despite signifcant overlap in the membership).
I think that what Heidrick must have meant was that the same
considerations should be taken into account before initiation into
either order is performed. I don't entirely disagree with this, but I
would expect more initiative and less moronic parrotting of the "party
line" from an initate of the AA (I am apparently alone in this).
>> mentioned B****** also somehwere in my correspondence with Scriven
>>(.../sabaz.htm). Haven't we already spoken about that? ...
Since it is not my place to "expose" anyones membership, unless this
has already happened without my intervention (Heidrick et. al.), I can
only discuss people you already know about. I knew only a few of the
people you mention by name in your various postings (ie. K.D., Mr.
Wasserman, Ms. L**), so most of what I can tell you would have to do
them. Exactly what I can say about them is a grey area, my personal
judgement being the sole arbitrator here. I realize that this is
probably not what you, as a journalist, want to hear, but that's the
way it has to be. I admire your work, and would be willing to provide
any help that I can, as long as it doesn't compromise my (clearly
warped) ethics, but that doesn't mean that I have anything useful to
They never tried to limit my avenues of investigation, or restrict what
I could talk about regarding those investigations. K.D. once told me
that I could only be held responsible for what I learned during
initiation rituals and their associated lectures (if any). One of the
things that I don't think they liked about me was that I had a nasty
habit of insisting on knowing what would be involved in any ritual in
which I would participate (call me old fashioned, believe me I've been
called worse). Since I had (re) read Mr. Kings book prior to both "OTO"
initiations, and had reliable knowledge that the rituals presented in
the book were mostly accurate, all I can be held responsible for is
where the actual rituals differed from the published rituals.
When Heidrick first started hounding K.D. out of the order, he made a
repeated point of stressing the importance of the "beaurocracy of the
order". K.D. once said that the caliphate "is a political order that
I don't remember much about it (it was, after all over 17 years ago).
As I said before, I shall try to locate K.D., he could expound on that
subjet more authoritativly than I. I think he would be very interested
in your work, but I could be wrong (he may well want to forget his
"OTO" involvment). Our lodge had a reputation for not taking the people
running the order (or, for that matter, ourselves) very seriously, this
was generally frowned upon by the order brass. I believe that the
"G** incedent" was a deliberate setup so as to get K.D. out of the
way (they wanted Wasserman to be in charge in New York). I shall rat
through my vast pile of effluvia and see if I can dig up some
supporting documents (this will constitute a major excavation and may
take some time).
A few final thoughts:
K** called me to make all sorts of totally un-necessary aplogies when
he (and the rest of the lodge) quit the caliphate. In fact, they
emptied the lodge treasury to throw a "founders day" party (my roomate
and I being the guests of honor). This had to have been some time
before the old drunk finally did the decent thing, so I doubt that K**
would have been allowed vote or would have wanted to. K** was even more
disgusted with the whole thing when he left than I was when I left.
I'm tempted to say that you shouldn't put much stock in anything Ms.
B** says since she is (as you may have noticed) a loud **. Accuracy
never was her stong point, and it probably is taking unfair advantage
to beat the caliphate over the head with her verbiage (this does not
mean that she doesn't perform her actual function very well). On the
other hand, they did promote her to "high office" and therefore
endorsed her as a spokesperson for the order.
So much for the caliphate. I would like very much to discuss some of
the larger issues raised in your discussion with Mr. Scriven,
particularly the difference between a "Crowlyite" and a "Thelemite".
But that will have to wait for another email.
My oldest friend in the world always ends his emails with the below
stated quote. I can do no better than to follow so excellent an
example. Bye for now.
"The word is not the thing." — Alfred Korzybski