Why they became member of the O.T.O.  25  Thank the gods. I'm not alone
    From: XXX To: koenig @ cyberlink.ch Subject: Greetings! Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 Dear Peter-Robert Koenig, Thank the gods. I'm not alone. I was shocked to see how similar our thoughts are. I'm a FORMER thelemite with previous connections to Motta's A.·. A.·. and mostly to the caliphate O.T.O. After some years of fooling around, I came to what appear to be the identical realizations and criticisms of the O.T.O. I probably have a few to add to yours and you to mine. I have been a serious student of Crowley since 1978. I began working with the OTO in 1987. I took my Second degree in 1992 at which event I purposely refused a demand they made upon me in order to protest several issues I had with the ritual and the OTO (I had read the ritual before hand, and carefully planned my protest). I have been a gadfly and tormentor of OTOists here in M*** ever since. At this point, I am relatively inactive in group magick, though I ran my own ultra-secret, para-thelemic, anti-hierachical, non-sexual, art-based occult group that consisted of no more than 8 working members at a time. We functioned as a secret inner order to a local OTO branch from 1989 to 1994. From 1994 to 1996 we functioned completely independent of the OTO. In 1997 the group disbanded because one of our members became a fanatic OTOist, and strove to undermine our group. I got sick of dealing with the hassles, though I have not lost my desire to promote ideas very like yours. ... From: XXX To: "Peter Koenig" Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 Thank you for the incredibly prompt response. I spent another hour reading your documents last night. I like very much what I see. Probably the largest difference we might have is that I am unconvinced of the value of any organization based on Liber AL. I am not willing to accept it any more. I still consider myself basically thelemic in a very broad sense, but I am an anarchist, or better yet, panarchist. The whole debate over who is the legitimate grand poobah is simply banging one's head against a wall until it bleeds. I am also thoroughly unconvinced of the reality and functionality of the Ninth Degree. Do you have any thoughts on these themes? I didn't have time to see anything specific on it, though I get the sense that you are supporting K. Grant. Incidentally, my impression of Grant's writings is that he was deeply misogynist inasmuch as female priestesses frequently fall prey to those ridiculous cthuloid demons, and other occult misfortunes. I understand that his proposed reversal of the Ninth Degree (female fluids) implies something less oppressive to women, but I find his dubious narratives of past rituals to be profoundly influenced by the standard Hollywood horror movie misogyny. (the girl turns while running away from the monster, falls and gets eaten up.) Grant has been a wonderful supporter of female magicians. I respect that, and what I perceive as a desire to create a more chaotic and informal OTO. I just want to make it clear that I'm not interested in joining anybody's Thelemic Cult. I have a contact in Ecuador and another in Spain. Neither of them knew anything of the OTO. There is a strong presence of Satanism in the Spanish-speaking world (logical among catholics, no?) They seem to have a few interesting and intellectual types, but no Thelema. Nowhere. In fact, I found you by going from a Spanish occult site to a Canadian occult site. Where are you located? Is cz in your server Czechoslovakia? Anyway, in spite of the efforts you describe, they seem to be making little progress there. So, I suppose you get a lot of hate mail from Califarts. I struck up a conversation with Bill Breeze's secretary/friend/germ-sharer (M***). I had a lot of fun tormenting him. He is very bright, and articulate, but he didn't like to hear my critiques. I have gotten myself in a lot of trouble in here in my town too. Members from my group try to get me to do it all over again, but I'm just not interested. Rather than trying to "save" Minnesotans, I'd rather try to help the Spanish speakers. My anarchist nature was spawned around 1989 after working with Motta's A.·. A.·. through *** David Bersson. (Do you know ****? He makes Motta seem kind hearted and even-tempered.) Anyway, I have access to newsgroups, but I am not aware of what ones might be best. I'm unsure that much of the debate will interest me. Do you think it will? Is it helpful, or is it just banging one's head against the wall? I mean, why argue with Califarts? I am hoping to provide a forum for them to question their own practices, but I will not support arguments over which OTO is the true OTO. Boring. Please send me any useful news groups or useful resource URL's. Thank you again. From: XXX To: "Peter Koenig" Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 the Ninth Degree. Do you have any thoughts on these themes? > No. Good answer. What exactly is motivating you to do all this tormenting and research? I mean, what is your reward? I know what mine is... I think that I would like to see a profound transformation or elimination of OTOism. More importantly, I want to warn people who aren't in it about its faults before they ever get involved. My reward received consists primarily of something I can only describe as very personal. It wouldn't be appropriate to say much about this, except that the OTO fanatic that caused problems in my magical group was conquered by my "magick" of Wu Wei. My history with the OTO has a very personal and emotional aspect. Things got pretty deep and crazy. I can tell you a bit about who was involved. The former campmaster of the L*** of the Caliphate OTO in M*** and his wife, who is currently divorcing him over these issues. She is one of our closest friends. This jerk had a former roommate and best friend (M***) who moved to Austin TX and became the personal secretary of Bill Breeze. I understand he has moved up in the ranks to the Lovers Triad, probably to Fifth Degree. One of the *** of Bill Breeze, who also happens to maintain a tacky **** website, became the lover of the jerk mentioned above. This was an important part leading to his divorce. She was *** with the jerk, the secretary and the grand poobah. The jerk's wife was being neglected. We took good care of her, and helped her to see the light. It's a typical story, you've probably heard before. The behavior of all these individuals, with the possible exception of the secretary, is in my mind absurd. To make a long story short, we were instrumental in running the jerk out of town, and convincing his wife to divorce him. As can be expected, the power vacuum was filled by a pair of new weirdos who have even more ridiculous ideas of self aggrandizement. I have some good stories about them too. The L*** Camp is the last OTO body in which I participated, until Feb. 1996. I was one of the founding members of the I***Camp, which is now defunct. camps are the standard unit of Caliphate OTOist enclaves. They are local bodies, usually not holding charters to initiate. An Oasis is larger, and contains 3 officers capable of initiating to the Third Deg., at least one of whom has sufficient experience to qualify him to function as the main initiator. Generally, this is a person with about 4 yrs experience at a number of initiations. A Lodge is a larger and more important unit. They represent the highest authority in the public M.M.M. Chapter houses and other such units are secret even from members up to the Fourth Degree. I could have details incorrect, but this should be enough to clarify what I am talking about. The I** camp was unusual in that it did have a charter to initiate, although only one member was Third Degree. He too lost interest in participation because of the jerk. I assume that the two leaders of the L.L. camp are finally holding an initiation charter of their own. ... M***s remarks revolved primarily around responding to some critiques of OTOist hierarchism, and the ironic persistence of old aeon paradigms within an order claiming to be new aeon. We discussed a number of polemic theoretical issues, and his responses were well-argued, and very well-written, but parochial. He is an interesting fellow. There wasn't much in his writings that would fill in any aporia in your knowledge of OTOism, though he was considerably more articulate, coherent and intelligent than Heidrick, whose gift for obfuscation and confusion is prodigious. Further, some of the content of those letters involves personal issues with the jerk (they were friends), and I really don't want such personal issues to be spread publicly. The jerk is a dangerous person, and I don't want to invoke any problems with him, especially until the divorce is final. He has plenty of bad karma swirling around him now, I can just sit back and wait for his world to crash around him. Also, I have a soft spot in my heart for M***. Although we will probably never communicate again on good terms, I want to leave him in peace. I'll dig around for the letters, and see if there is anything you might enjoy or find useful. David Bersson: He used to make veiled threats on my wife's safety (because she was interfering in my Probationer's work). He also sent me an unsolicited charter that would make me "Supreme Hierophant in the World of the Secret Cult of the Yacht of Ra." I responded by immediately resigning and cutting off all communication with him. I have a real collection of juicy letters from that quasi-literate ****. I imagine he has a computer with spell check by now, so you probably don't see the sorts of things I saw. According to what he wrote on the sealed envelope, he undoubtedly assumes that I have gone insane. I don't mind that he thinks that, since it means I don't have to deal with him. What a freak! I did learn a great deal about the A.·. A.·. from him. It was an interesting experience, and I played along pretty seriously for six months. That's all it took for him to make me Supreme Hierophant in the World. In six months, I received about 60 letters by mail, often sent air mail. From: XXX To: "Peter Koenig" Subject: a Borgesian letter about letters... Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 There is a lot of unpleasant debate on the history of the OTO. I got a bit bored. The history of the OTO is not of much interest to me. I understand and appreciate your interest. The history of the Roman Catholic Church is much more interesting to me (even though I've never been Catholic) Any more specific directions as to where in that enormous set of documents one might gain a glimpse of what motivates you to do this, beyond simply unmasking fraud and silliness, and humilliating silly people. I can tell you a little more about my interest. I became totally drawn into the idea of a truly secret society of practicing magician/artists with a radical deemphasis on metaphysical doctrine and debate, replaced by a commitment to collaborative RITUAL ACTION in which participants are encouraged to explore their own abilities, problems, psychic/spiritual issues, and the group exists to provide assistance, feedback, and audience. In other words, a strong family-like bond provides a comfort zone for the production of what outsiders would probably describe as improvisational art (we employed ritual, music, dance, visual arts, "channelling", and a plethora of card games based on the Tarot.) The emphasis, as you can see, was on creativity and sharing. I was moving farther and farther away from everything that the OTO represented. I led the group in devising an initiatory system in which the ceremonies involved dialectic interaction with the candidate, and customization for each specific candidate so that no two initiations were the same. This required the recording of each initiation for posterity. I as the leader took the role of guitar player at most rituals, though I was forced to play central roles in initiations simply because the others tended to be lazier than me. In other words, I did a lot of the writing and theorizing, but I played a completely passive role when it came down to regular ritual activities--I let them choose what they wanted to do, and I supported and accepted whatever they contributed. My wife, the jerk's wife and I provided trance music to support the ritual creations of each member. Typically, everyone (including the musicians) contributed some sort of ritual or productive or receptive role during each night's working. We met every Saturday night with few exceptions from 1989 to 1996. I think that you can probably imagine why this formula was so successful. You can probably imagine why the jerk found it so distasteful. He became more and more resistant, until at the peak of the crisis, I involved his friend M*** in order to encourage him to quit. It's a complex story with a lot of psychological, emotional and power issues. Suffice it to say, the jerk is a very power-hungry and selfish person who had little talent for the sort of magick we were performing. He wanted to be an OTO campmaster. He wanted to be chief, and since he had no creative skills of his own, the +++ was a humiliating experience for him. Once he left, and his OTO camp began to progress, we all lost interest in magick, except for one other member. Currently, the +++ is inactive, and only one former +++ member (besides the jerk) is active in OTO. Everybody from the +++ has expressed dislike for the jerk. ... It is my feeling that XIth degree does not so much imply superiority as it does emulation of Crowley's perversity. Recall that Crowley states that the XI is outside of the other Ten degrees. I'm sure you know more about all this than I do. There is a cute story about A*** becoming petulantly jealous because B*** had taken a new lover. The jerk told his wife about it, because he enjoyed telling her about his lover, and she said, "that's not very Thelemic, is it?" The jerk got mad and defended A****. I have a sense that the recent installation of D*** has something to do with what I would describe as an unverbalized, generalized loss of power and respect for Bill Breeze in the order. My connections all seem to behave with a sense of relief for Scriven's new role. I may be imagining things, because one of my points of contention had to do with extreme irresponsibility on the part of Breeze in regards to me, but I have heard many carefully worded remarks that imply to me that the rank and file were not terribly happy with Breeze's leadership. All of this is based upon reading between the lines of the words and actions of the members I know. Nothing explicit has come to my attention, however, there seems to be a new surge of optimism among the black-robed army of Thelemic "jesuits." I still maintain a few local "spies" in the OTO, but I am losing interest in maintaining even that connection, simply because it is all so predicatable and dull. One other thing I know, the OTO is increasing its efforts toward McOcculture. They want to "normalize" the OTO. My feeling at first was one of horror, being that I value the role of SECRET societies, but then I realized that there would be no better way to destroy the OTO. Long ago, a new OTO member decided that he hated me. He was a scurvy misogynist punk rocker who took Kenneth Grant and Bertiaux seriously. He began a slander campaign aimed at undermining the +++, which wouldn't accept him unless he learned and performed some basic rituals and qabalistic knowledge. He found sympathetic ears in R** and R***, an anorexic couple of parathelemites who fancied themselves to be part of some mysterious great white brotherhood known as the SSF, Servants of the Secret Flame as I recall. They are very pompous and ridiculous. They decided, without ever knowing me, that I was evil. They sent one of their neophytes to the +++ as a spy. As it turned out, their spy decided to defect. They were upset, so R*** called me and demanded a meeting. I invited him over to talk. Another +++ member was present as a witness. R*** proceeded to say that he had been sent by a secret group of magicians to check on me and the +++. They had heard via the astral plane that I was doing bad things. I knew the true source of the slander, so I said, "What has B** been telling you?" He was flabbergasted, and denied the source. He proceded to list my alleged offenses. Not a single one of them was true, and it was apparent that his spy had already informed him of that. All of the charges revolved around the notion that I was manipulative and reckless. In fact, I was straightforward, anti-authoritarian, and at worst, demanding of independent and creative thought and action of the +++ members. He was double checking. My friend and witness was becoming very angry at these charges, but I was patient and polite. We eventually explained to him our approach and activities. He seemed really confused, but relieved. It turned out that his partner, R***, had been instrumental in sending him. He is a spineless dweeb and she is a manipulative alcoholic lunatic with even greater delusions of grandeur than his. They were, at that moment, having relationship troubles, so it would seem that what was occurring was that R** was actually trying to make friends with me, in a clumsy way. We did become friends, and had some interesting discussions on what it means to run a magical group. THEN, he and R** got back together again. Suddenly, their former spy was called over to their house and informed: "We do not want to work with you anymore. D** is dangerous because he teaches the Qabalah, and we don't want to have to clean up the mess. You should be dropping acid instead. It's much safer." (this is second hand quoting) Consequently, their "spy" the witness, and I informed a number of people in town about this ridiculous event. In spite of this, and probably due to R**'s expertise with the internet, they eventually came to be the leaders of the L*** camp after the jerk left town. In their defense, the LL camp is growing and functioning better than it did under the manipulative and malevolent guidance of the jerk. Yet, the irony is that everyone who was connected to these events actually hates them, and participates only because they want to play OTO. R*** is seriously deranged, and has never held a job in her life. R*** supports her and her drinking. They have one of those disgustingly open marriages--they molest anyone and everyone when they go to their drunken OTO parties. I went to one around Christmas and watched the whole pitiful thing. I watched R*** attempt to seduce three men, and R*** actually began to hump a floor lamp. The former spy and +++ member made numerous nasty remarks to me about them. So did the witness, who was also an +++ member. Yet, now they are both relatively active in the L*** camp. This hypocrisy disturbed me greatly, hence, I have been moved to distance myself even further from all of them. It just isn't worth the trouble to be around these types. Don't you agree? From: XXX To: "Peter Koenig" Subject: RE: a Borgesian letter about letters... Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 I still am puzzled as to why you would want to collect that kind of information except for building a gossip column. One thing I can tell you is that I have yet to meet an individual in the OTO who wasn't somehow dysfunctional. I have seen very few OTOists who do not consume various chemicals, alcohol, etc. Members tend to fall into a few categories: 1) itinerant oddball parasites. 2) sex-starved sci-fi geeks 3) chemically dependent/codependent/religion-dependent 4) power-mad club leaders. 5) lazy tag-alongs who like to see what strange things happen this week. 6) ignorant people who had no idea what they were coming to. 7) sexually aggressive perverts 8) gossips, hypocrites and backstabbers (and those who like to read gossip) I think that every single person I have met has been one of these (or more.) You can publish that on your website! I think we have all fallen into one or more of these, but it really seems that magick has a way of bringing these out of people. The correlation between OTOism and these traits made me step back and reexamine what I was doing. I realized that by and large I felt ashamed of the OTO, and in particular, of its members. I realized that I did not want to bring any of my non-OTO friends to the meetings. The +++ solved that problem, but for most activities, we were very closed and private. We did perform a few semi-public events, mostly for artistic/musical value. We actually performed a wedding with a large crowd of non-pagans. Nobody had any idea of who we were, or what was happening, but we freaked them out, especially since we weren't dressed like wizards should be. My shame and deep dissatisfaction with a number of things about the OTO led me to decide to abort my Second Degree initiation. I had read it in King's "Secret Rituals..." I decided to pay the fee, drive a total of 16 hours alone, prepare a feast for my initiators, and take the initiation, but when asked to sign Liber OZ with my real name and address, and post them in places that represent civic and religious authority, I would refuse saying: " I will use my magical name and our camp PO box #, just as the head of our order does." They stopped right then and there. In a letter to Heidrick, I explained that I was disillusioned with the OTO, felt I had been unfairly neglected (as were all of us in Minnesota). I had sent a 300 pp. manuscript to Beta (because Heidrick told me to) which contained a book written by myself which contained a systematic explanation of Crowley's Initiatory system, Qabalah and philosophy in a sequential series of essays and quotes drawn from all of Crowley's Qabalistically organized works. Beta never responded with even a post card saying "I got your book. Go to hell." I'll be the first to admit that my pride was at work, but I wasn't out of line, I don't think. In my letter to Heidrick, I explained my philosophical refusal to perform the OZ postings: 1) It is ironic and silly. If I am the superman that the text proclaims, why do I HAVE TO do anything? 2) Why should I risk even a hang nail for the OTO? I had a long series of gripes, including the stupidity of pretending their rituals were secret when I obtained them via interlibrary loan from the University of Wisconsin. Many of these gripes hinged upon hierarchical issues and other sorts of critiques that I have seen on your site. 3) OZ is too ambiguously written. It would more than likely be interpreted to be the work of a reactionary anti-government terrorist, which I am not at all. In short, I think that there are passages in OZ which may have a positive interpretation, but will undoubtedly create dangerous misunderstandings. I prefer to write my own. By mail I took care of sending my own proclamation of freedom and enmity to an evangelistic religious cult and to the OTO. I sent my note of defiance to the OTO, via Bill Heidrick. I also enclosed the letter I sent to the evangelical Christians. It is a very bombastic piece. It contains all my anger at fundamentalist Christians, the OTO and homophobia. Their letter to me was profoundly homophobic and fascist (not even protofascistoid). From: XXX To: "Peter Koenig" Subject: RE: IIIrd answer Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 You're probably right. I just lost interest in writing because Heidrick and B*** were the only ones who were responding to me. The former we all know about, the latter was an odd case. Somebody connected us up because we were both in academia (he's a *** at B***) He wrote that worthless book on Liber 671 Pyramidos published by the OTO in the early 1990s. He was kind of a father figure for me in the OTO via mail and telephone. I liked him until I met him. There were a number of things that turned me off about him, none of which were terribly important, except that he spent a lot of time telling gossip to a throng of us novices. He was annoying, and he drove a woman to tears for reasons I never quite figured out. I saw a lot of unpleasant politics going on below the surface that gave me my first warning sign that something was wrong with the OTO (this was August 1989). Eventually, I came to the conclusion that OTOists were either longwinded technocrats harboring silly secrets or they were unlikely to pay any attention to me, especially in Minnesota. We ventured out on our own--the three core members of the I** camp formed the +++. I stopped writing letters, except for a couple more to Heidrick, and a series of debates with M***s. I looked at my letters. They would not be as useful as my formal writing. I also have his letters, which might be of interest in a few parts. My lack of letters is equally due to my dismissal of the OTO.
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