Ordo Templi Orientis: Structure, Constitutions and Money

Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon

Structure, Constitutions and Money

P.R. Koenig

Theodor Reuss wrote a number of variant O.T.O. Constitutions — three in 1906 two in English and one in German , several more around 1910 and finally in 1917, he produced a "revised Constitution" which is almost identical to the two English versions of 1906.
In 1919 Crowley added several provisions for cameral amendments which were published in Equinox III,10: these are merely summaries with an added bit of gloss. In addition, Crowley's Libri LII, CI, CLXI, and CXCIV can be considered more descriptive documents rather than binding regulations. These Crowley Libri represent his vision of his O.T.O. Utopia, whereas Reuss had his own "Programme of Construction and Guiding Principles of the Gnostic Neo-Christians called O.T.O." (1920) and a Utopia as described in his "Parsival and the Graal Unveiled" (1914). [see hypertextlink above]

Reuss' and Crowley's Constitutions in reality never worked very well — (Karl Germer mostly ignored Crowley's). To become fully active, the old Constitution required 2000 O.T.O. members in any province, and to date, there has never been that many in any single country. The text contains several flaws, including provisions for consideration of different laws depending on which country the constitution is enacted in.
The new American "Caliphate" (founded in 1977) has not made any fundamental revisions to it and its present active form is its International Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws (which can only be amended tri-camerally — i.e. Areopagus, Supreme Council and "O.H.O." must all concur). [see below]

In regard to the office of X°, the Swiss O.T.O. considered Liber CXCIV to be effective when there are 11 Profess Houses in a country. This was the case in 1963 when Karl Germer died died ("Summarischer Bericht an SorA.·. A.·.Sascha betr. O.T.O. und Abtei Thelema", letter Hermann Joseph Metzger to Sascha Germer, no date, circa spring 1963). The Swiss have celebrated the Gnostic Mass since the early 1950s — each second and fourth Friday of the month they had O° initiations; at the first Friday I°; third Friday II°; and in the months with a fifth Friday they had III°, M.·. and P.·. M.·. initiations. Each Saturday the so-called Gnostic Sanctuary met in the Swiss Abbey of Thelema.

The rites of Crowley's O.T.O. are rooted in the rites of Masonry and other mystical and occult organizations, as listed in Liber LII. The reader will note the similarity of the rituals to simple Masonic rites. Generally the rituals mimic those published in Richard Carlile's "Manual of Freemasonry" (Reeves & Turner, London) but simply puffed up and amended to include Crowley's own passwords, grips and signs. An example of this puffing up by Crowley is perfectly shown in his IV° "pendant" to the III° in Liber CXCIV (which contains the "lost word"): one must ask what does the candidate of the IV° gain from the hail storm of titles that rain down upon him? — quite simply, these titles are meaningless serve no real or practical purpose. This has led to many heated discussions within modern O.T.O. groups, but without any alternatives for the leadership to take any new direction, they continue to use the old masonic based rituals (the Typhonian-O.T.O. is the one exception).

Crowley rewrote his rituals several times and during his sojurn in Detroit, Michigan (c. 1918), he received a number of complaints from Freemasons claiming that his O.T.O. rituals were too much like theirs. Further significant revisions were made to both the rituals and instructions by Crowley,some quite late versions remain in private collections and their content remains unpublished and unavailable to the more modern 'public' Orders.

Another area of consideration, which often causes confusion, is why and how Crowley's Gnostic Mass is incorporated into the O.T.O. In the "Caliphate", standing as a Bishop through O.T.O. membership is appendant to the VII°. Crowley did not complete his own version of the ritual (only an outline and partial draft of the VII° survive). The current "Caliphate" version of the VII°, written by William Breeze (the current "Caliph"), is an elaboration of Crowley's draft version plus a word per word copy of Reuss' VII°-ritual. Initiation rituals Minerval through VI° were completed in Crowley's hand, and those are the ones the "Caliphate" have continually used. The VII°-XI° were not completed in final form by Crowley, although some ancillary rituals exist in those degrees. However, the "Caliphate" did develop their own version of the X°, at the time it was written they were probably unaware of the existence of the Reuss version of the X°.

In respect of the IX° there is a question as to whether IX°s have the right to initiate or just to "recognize" other IX°s. There is an oral tradition that all IX°s have the power to initiate, and that the IX° members also have the duty and power to reconstitute the Order should there be a crisis of leadership. This may have some relation to the IX° "part proprietorship" of the Order specified in Liber LII and Reuss' 1917 Constitution but there is no documented evidence of the IX° powers in either of the Crowley or Reuss O.T.O.s. In 1983 the "Caliphate" decided that the IX° level is non-political, being an autocratic structure and thus making the qualifications of the IX° only significant and of interest to the IX° himself (and other IX°s).


Structure of William Breeze's 'Caliphate'

The following part was not written by Peter-R. Koenig, but by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate'

The 'Caliphate' O.T.O. was originally structured to provide for the voting members of the corporation (Ninth Degree) to elect a Board of Directors ("Supreme Council") which in turn appointed the officers: the corporate president ('Caliph'), the corporate treasurer ("Grand Treasurer General") and corporate secretary ("Grand Secretary General"). From and after March 21, 1979 when the original Articles of Incorporation were filed, the 'Caliphate' has continued to systematically implement the Constitutional provisions of the Crowley literature. Thus, the 'Caliphate' has three internal categories of membership, each constituting a "triad" as follows:
O.T.O. Advancement:        Triad:                       Name of Governing Body:
Beginning                  Man of Earth Triad           Electoral College
Intermediate               Lovers Triad                 Supreme Grand Council
Advanced                   Hermit Triad                 Areopagus (VIII°)
While there are some fine distinctions, this presents the basic internal structure of the 'Caliphate' from a corporate governance aspect.

When it incorporated in 1979, the voting members elected their own number to the Board of Directors, who in turn appointed other Ninth Degrees. As the 'Caliphate' expanded, the Ninth Degrees slowly delegated their power as voting members, always maintaining ultimate authority within the group.

Indeed, when Grady McMurtry died in 1985, his successor, William Breeze, was elected by the voting members pursuant to such a provisio as the voting members authority.

Commencing 1991, six years after his election as the president of the OTO. Inc. Breeze began to alter the Bylaws, slowly installing himself as the absolute ruler. William Heidrick assisted Breeze in this consolidation of power and together with the then corporate secretary Lynn (Helena) Scriven (wife of the 1996-X°, David Scriven), all power within the 'Caliphate' began to transfer to these three people. These changes to the Bylaws installed Breeze as the sole decision making authority within the group, and no attempts have been made to comply with corporate formalities as required by Californian Law. In 1999, Helena Lynne Scriven resigned and was replaced by the German Marcus Jungkurth.

In 1996, Breeze, Heidrick and the Ninths, created a subordinate organization called "Ordo Templi Orientis USA" (hereinafter "OTO-USA"). The stated purpose of this alteration was to create a separate legal entity for the United States of America, with similar separate entities to then exist in various countries throughout the world. It was stated that the 'Caliphate' (OTO Inc.) was to remain the 'parent' corporation of all 'national' corporations. However, unknown to the members of the 'Caliphate' at the time of the formation of this subsidiary corporation, Breeze and Heidrick intended to seize control of the 'Caliphate' (OTO Inc.) by transferring all, or substantially all, of the 'Caliphate's membership and day to day activities to its new subsidiary "OTO-USA" leaving the 'Caliphate' (OTO Inc.) a mere corporation shell, whose assets and income could be converted or spent without the knowledge or consent of the members of the 'Caliphate'.

The major sources of income for the 'Caliphate', prior to 1996, were its income from dues paying members throughout the United States and the world, and from certain copyright royalties claimed by Breeze (and his 'Caliphate').

After the formation of the subsidiary "OTO-USA" in 1996, Breeze, Heidrick, and the Ninths, authorized the 'Caliphate' (OTO Inc.) to retain all copyright income, together with a percentage of all dues paid by the rank and file members of "OTO-USA", all without the knowledge of the rank and file members of "OTO-USA". The 'Caliphate' (OTO Inc.) takes this income based upon an intercompany agreement between 'OTO Inc.' and "OTO-USA", which agreement has been structured and approved only by Breeze, Heidrick and the Ninths.

After the 1996 subsidiary arrangement, the assets of the 'Caliphate' consist primarily of rare books and manuscripts, all of which can easily transported out of the jurisdiction of the United States on the pretext that they belong to the "international" corporation, or copyrights. No accounting or detailed listing of these assets have been made available to the voting members. Said assets are described as the "Archives" and are valued by Heidrick at 299,273 US dollars as shown on February 29, 2000. The Crowley copyrights are valued at 1,250,00 US dollars. [see link below]

Breeze currently collects a "ministerial allowance" of approximately 12,230 US dollars per annum, and while he lived in Austin, Texas, the 'Caliphate' paid his rent of approximately 12,743 US dollars. In addition, a substantial portion of the 'Caliphate's travel expenses of 24,295 US dollars are spent for the benefit of Breeze.

Activites such as self-dealing [see chapter on the Copyrights] are disclosed to the governing group known as the Areopagus. However, the current Bylaws do not give this group any authority within the 'Caliphate' other than in a "consulting" capacity. Further, those members of this Areopagus generally give an open ended proxy to Breeze based on his representations to them, such that at any given Areopagus meeting, Breeze holds sufficient proxies to cast a majority vote.

On or about April 29, 2000, it was disclosed (to the Areopagus) that Breeze with the assistance of Heidrick and Jungkurth had formed numerous corporations in Europe and in the South pacific, all without the knowledge or approval of the voting members and without approval or consent of an independent Board of Directors. Seemingly, the true purpose of forming these additional foreign corporations is to permit Breeze to conceal assets, pretend to legitimacy under the color of Law, and to append additional monies of the 'Caliphate' under such guises.

Some background information

Lawyers and Historians: The 'Caliphate' versus the Truth? — Introduction

the Maine decision 1984   [to the disfavour of the 'Caliphate']      |      the California decision 1985  [to the favour of the 'Caliphate']
Purchase of the copyrights on Aleister Crowley from the Official Receiver (OR)
The 1999 Particulars of Claim ['Caliphate']
Financial Reports 1996-1999 of the 'Caliphate'
Erraneous opinion on the International Copyright Situation. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
What the 'Caliphate' does not want you to know . Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
Crowley's Probate. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
'Caliphate' Capers. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000. Based upon a draft by James Graeb
Structure, Constitutions and Money. Partly written by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
Library of Congress, letter dated September 6, 2000
2000, July: An analysis of the Bylaws of the 'Caliphate' and its Board of Directors. By James Graeb
2000, July: Incorporation of O.T.O., Argentum Astrum and E.G.C.
2000: "Caliphate-O.T.O. Win" and the The Writing on the Wall. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
Court Order of October 2000
James T. Graeb, co-founder and IX° of the 'Caliphate', a lawyer, calls the 'Caliphate' a "Puppet Show Piece" and files suit vs William Breeze, William Heidrick, Marcus Jungkurth et alii in 2001
The 2002 Ruling
The Summary so far

Ordo Templi Orientis - Trade Mark - Starfire Publishing Limited

Kenneth Grant Aossic Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis
Kenneth Grant
John Symonds Aleister Crowley The Great Beast King of the Shadow Realm
John Symonds
Francis King
Francis King

Some Things

Court Case H.J. Metzger vs Walter Englert in the 1970s
1991 Opinion of a German prosecuting attorney's office on the body of the 'Caliphate' Erfahrungsbericht eines O.T.O.-Mitglieds im Zusammenhang mit dem Gerichtsprozess 'Caliphat' gegen Hänssler-Verlag, 1990 Unsuccessfull attempt in Yugoslavia
Censorship in the UK
The "Caliphate" Book Patrol: Fahrenheit 418
Paul Joseph Rovelli versus the 'Caliphate', New York January 2000
1998, July 17 - 2000 October Austrian situation on Copyrights     [German and English]
Trademark O.T.O.. By Leslie Anne Childress
2007 'Caliphat' Kasino in DeutschlandEnglish translation: 2007 'Caliphate' Casino2008: Honesty is the best Policy: 'Caliphate' O.T.O. / William Breeze lost in a legal case Deutsche Version: Ehrlich währt am Längsten: Warum der O.T.O. gegen P.R. Koenig verlor

Items of Historical Interest

In 1930, Karl Germer sent a description of the Aleister Crowley LTD. to Fernando Pessoa
Karl Germer, L. Wilkinson and Lady Harris

Other Background

The 'Caliphate'
Discussion about the  instrument of succession. An introduction to the background, followed by a transcript of such discussion
National Grandmasters and OHOs of the O.T.O.
Minutes of the 11 IX°s 'Caliphate' election in 1985 where it was clearly said that the 'Caliph' is not the juro OHO
Playgame of an O.T.O.-Fatamorgana — Statistics, Censorship, Name Dropping. 2011. Gaps in the Script of Esotericism: Hypocrisy and Hypercrisis – Oscar Wilde: Ambition is the last resort of failure
Fetish, Self-Induction, Stigma and Rôleplay. 2011.

More about all this in: Andreas Huettl and Peter-R. Koenig: Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz

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