Ordo Templi Orientis — English Aleister Crowley, Theodor Reuss
The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon
Question: What are freemasonic degrees and do they have any special
Answer: Freemasonry is a loose league of organisations, consisting
of Lodges, (which are the various local meeting-places for
Masons), and Rites (which are different kinds of initiation
rituals); these are more or less closely associated with what is
called a Grand (or Mother) Lodge. Freemasonry was originally
seen as a sort of self-development society for its members. This
process takes place through a series of Degrees or initiatory
stages, which are given in an individual lodge. There are
several Rites or systems of Degrees, consisting variously of
ten, thirty-three, or sometimes as many as ninety-seven degrees.
But the most common system is called Craft Masonry (or Symbolic
or Blue Masonry in the USA); this consists of three degrees,
called Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master. Beyond this, there
extends a ladder of various 'Higher Degrees' or Rites to which a
Master Mason may proceed if he wishes, such as Royal Arch
Masonry, Mark Masonry, Rose Croix Masonry, etc. The degrees a
Mason possesses will refer to his degree of Masonic knowledge,
or how long he has been a Mason, or else his position in the
hierarchy of his lodge. Some of the degrees are conferred by
means of a ritual; others exist only on paper in the form of
certificates or diplomas.
Q: Can degrees be bought to establish lodges or rites in a
A: Occasionally, yes. Potential Masons naturally want to belong to
an authentic Rite or lodge. This authenticity is called
'regularity' within Freemasonry, and refers to permission to
form a lodge or use a Rite, by means of charters, successions,
constitutions, and the like. To be accepted today as 'regular',
one needs the explicit permission of a 'regular' Grand Lodge,
the highest authority here being the United Grand Lodge in
England, which has associations with other national Grand
Lodges. But things weren't always like this; until the last
quarter of the nineteenth century, there were over seventy
so-called 'High Degree' systems which all claimed to be
continuations or extensions of regular Craft Masonry. Despite
having something like four hundred different names for their
degrees, there was practically no difference between all these
systems. Although most of these 'irregular' Rites soon
disappeared or became regularised, some persisted, and turned to
selling permission to use their degrees to the highest bidder;
they rather resembled the trade in bogus academic
qualifications, or doubtful aristocratic titles.
Q: Do these degrees and rites have a deeper meaning?
A: In regular Masonry, for some of those who proceed to the higher
degrees, the answer is probably yes, however superficial the
degrees can seem to outsiders; but to the ordinary Craft Mason,
it is likely that Masonry is little more than an exclusive
social club. But for the initiates of many irregular or
pseudo-Masonic rites, the matter is anything but superficial,
however much this inner meaning may vary from rite to rite. In
the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) for instance, the line of
succession of the leadership is vitally important, as it is
believed that the leader is the repository of the Order's
magical power, and also has a claim on various copyrights and
royalties. One recently-founded O.T.O. group in the USA (the
so-called 'Caliphate', which started in 1977) receives royalties
from every single pack of the Aleister Crowley 'Thoth' Tarot
that is sold.
Q: Who was John Yarker?
A: Born in Manchester in 1833, Yarker began as a regular Mason, but
after disagreements with the English Grand Lodge, he became one
of the irregular Masonic degree-merchants, eventually selling
permissions to work the 'Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite'
(AASR), and the 'Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and
Misraim' (MM) for as much as he could get; these rites had
originated in 18th-century France, and had been largely defunct
until Yarker started promoting them. Yarker died in 1913.
Q: And who was Theodor Reuss?
A: Reuss (1855-1923) was an Anglo-German irregular Mason who
introduced Yarker's AASR and MM into Germany in 1902, as part of
an ongoing trade in charters and permissions. On the basis of
his new charters, Reuss immediately dreamt up several new
pseudo-Masonic Orders all of his own, none of which were very
successful. But by 1906 he came up with the idea of the O.T.O.,
completing his invention by 1912; it was a mish-mash of Craft
Masonry, AASR, MM and the sexual mysticism of Tantra. Reuss also
devised a modern-day 'Order of Illuminati', and several
Rosicrucian bodies, but he could never seem to keep them
separate, either in his own mind or elsewhere. In fact, his
collection of Orders was in a constant confusing state of flux,
they all seemed to be interwoven and linked; their names changed
from one month to the next, while some of their members belonged
to several Reussian Orders, while others didn't. Regular Masonry
rejects all Reuss's Orders, especially the O.T.O., because Reuss
accepted women as members, which is impossible in traditional
Q: What kind of magazine was Reuss's 'Oriflamme'?
A: The 'Oriflamme' was published between 1902 and 1914, and was
initially intended as the journal of two of his many inventions,
the 'Swedenborg Rite' and an order of Rosicrucians. When these
met with little success, it became the magazine for members of
the AASR and MM, but by 1912 it was mainly devoted to the
O.T.O., though very few editions were published up to 1914. On a
cursory reading, the 'Oriflamme' looks much like any other
club's newsletter: internal business like statutes, nominations,
minutes, history and official announcements, but all expressed
in pompous language — even though it contains coded hints which
only his membership could have understood.
Q: Reuss introduced the AASR and MM into Germany. Were these
regarded as 'regular' rites?
A: Reuss produced several different lists of all the degrees in
these two rites, and therefore they had varying duties and
privileges exercised by him in Germany. In fact, regularity was
largely in the eye of the beholder then, as some Masons accepted
MM as regular, while other most certainly didn't. In Switzerland
there are three Masonic lodges which started life as MM
foundations, but which have long since adapted their rituals to
a regular pattern, and dispensed with all the MM higher degrees;
and there are examples elsewhere in Europe — all highly
respectable bodies, despite their doubtful origins. Of course,
none of these had anything to do with the O.T.O., except by the
tenuous association through Reuss.
To some of his contemporaries, Reuss was nothing more than a
fraudster; he introduced irregular rites to Germany without
telling those that joined them that they were irregular, or
saying what the precise names and aims were of his rag-bag of
Orders. Not surprisingly, a lot of members left — and this may
be one explanation for his founding the O.T.O. — as an
umbrella-organisation for several high-degree systems.
The fact that this Order with his uniform buttons, pathetic and
grandiloquent titles and envy for religious aristocracy was
turned into a fairground tent where a 'Caliph' and his 'Scarlet
Whore'tell fortunes with a set of Tarot cards would certainly
have met Aleister Crowley's mentality of sanctimonious sheepishness.
Today, the O.T.O. is usually equated with Crowley; but this is
historically inaccurate, and a good reason for analysing the
complex history of the O.T.O.'s development.
Ordo Templi Orientis
by Peter-R. Koenig
Q: Who was Carl Kellner?
A: The best thing is to quote from his entry in the
"Österreichische Biographische Lexikon 1815-1950":
"KELLNER, Karl [sic]. Chemist and industrialist, born Vienna
1.9.1851; died Vienna 7.6.1905. Studied in Vienna and Paris.
While working at a private laboratory in Vienna, at the age of
22 he had already made certain crucial observations; after his
entry into Baron Hector von Ritter-Zahony's factory (at Podgora,
near Görz) in 1876, these findings eventuated in the
Ritter-Kellner Sulphite-Cellulose process, which was soon in use
in many paper-mills... (Electro-chemical bleaching processes)...
The Castner-Kellner Alkali Company built in England what was
then the largest plant for chlor-alkaline electrolysis in the
world... Kellner occupied himself with technical inventions...
among which were discoveries in spun fibres, electrical
lighting, photography, synthetic gem-stones, etc." (Volume III,
Graz-Köln 1965, p. 290).
Q: What sort of Masonic activities did he start in Europe?
A: According to both Reuss and Franz Hartmann, Kellner was
initiated into the 'Humanitas' lodge at Neuhäusl (?Neudörfl) in
1873, a lodge which been founded on 9 March 1871 under the
constitution of the Grand Lodge of Hungary. It was the first and
most prestigious of the so-called 'Border Lodges' founded just
over the border in Hungary, to avoid the official Austrian ban
on Freemasonry. After this, Kellner became inactive in regular
Masonry, transferring his energies to the higher degrees as
represented by the AASR and MM. Kellner knew Yarker personally,
because Kellner was part-owner of a factory in Manchester (where
Yarker lived). We can only speculate as to why Kellner was
interested in the AASR and MM; perhaps he was looking for a way
to recruit members for his own private Hatha Yoga group. As
Reuss had the rights to these rites in the German-speaking world
(Kellner once told him: "You could have had a perfect
Bismarckian career as a diplomat") Kellner subsidised him with
cash to organise several Masonic bodies for him. Mention of
several of Kellner's AASR and MM degrees may be found in Reuss's
'Oriflamme'. In December 1902 in London John Yarker appointed
Kellner to the 96° of MM, and "Sovereign Honorary General
Grandmaster... of our Order". On 27 December 1903 Kellner was
made 33°, 90° and 96° for both England and Germany. In 1904 he
became "Special Representative" of the MM for America but by
this time he was already seriously ill. Kellner's name never
appeared in an O.T.O. context while he was alive, nor is there
any extant document or other firm evidence that proves the
existence of a body like the O.T.O. during Kellners lifetime -
only "oral history" among his surviving descendants.
In fact, the O.T.O. only came into being at least six months
after Kellner's death; in the issue of the 'Oriflamme' dated
1905, which contains an obituary of Kellner, all his Masonic
degrees are listed — but there are no O.T.O. ones.
Incidentally, Kellner most certainly had no contact with Rudolf
After 1905: Theodor Reuss
Q: Why did Reuss turn out to be something of an outsider, and why
after Kellner's death did several of Reuss's followers sue him?
A: Like Aleister Crowley, Reuss spent some time in the courts. At a
meeting of the Swedenborg Rite's Grand Lodge held on 2 September
1902, attended by a small number of Reuss's co-founders of the
Rite, it was recorded that Leopold "Engel and Miller refuse to
give their charters back to the lodge. An objection to the
lawsuit has been lodged. However, the withdrawal will be made
public in the 'Oriflamme'." After this, several members left the
Order of Illuminati, that Reuss had founded with Engel; as
mentioned previously, Reuss was always very vague about his
Orders, and most of the membership had the impression of
belonging to several of these groups at once. So there was
uncertainty if resigning from one of the Orders meant that you
had automatically left all the others as well. At all events,
having lost his source of income from membership fees and
subscriptions after the resignations, Reuss was forced to take
out a private loan to pay for printing the 'Oriflamme'. He was
then reduced to paying off his other debts by selling the
highest MM degrees for a suitable price. Reuss confused the
private loan with a loan to the lodge, and therefore had a suit
filed against him two months after Kellner's death.
It came out that Reuss's activities in establishing other
lodges, and publishing the 'Oriflamme' had been done without the
permission of the Swedenborg Rite's "Mother Lodge and Temple of
the Holy Grail" in Berlin; and were thus deemed to be purely
private enterprises on Reuss's part. Finally, the confusion was
resolved: Reuss's MM had nothing to do with Reuss's other
orders, although he was still chief of them all.
Q. After this trial did he continue as the representative for the
MM in Germany?
A: Of course. Only Yarker could have withdrawn Reuss's 'powers'.
Obviously there was a high turnover of members while Reuss was
in charge, but this is no different to many modern O.T.O.
groups. Reuss consistently tried to forge links with other
Orders, or to found new Orders of his own.
Q: How do you interpret Yarker's permission dated 24 June 1905 for
Reuss et alii to work from 1° to 33°, as well as 90° and 95°?
A: Yarker gave Reuss permission to work these degrees ceremonially;
which meant he could initiate new candidates and establish new
German lodges with the right to work these degrees. In other
words, there was a sense of crisis in the air, and Reuss needed
a new public relations tool.
At about this time it probably occurred to Reuss that he could
recruit a number of AASR and MM members as potential candidates
for yet another new Order — what would later become the O.T.O.,
although it didn't have a proper name as yet. He did sometimes
talk of the "Oriental Freemasons" or the "Order of Old Templar
Freemasons" (both expressions also used in an AASR context). The
Rite of Memphis itself had the alternate titles of the "Antient
and Primitive Rite of Masonry", or the "Oriental Order of
Memphis". It could be that Kellner and Reuss had already
discussed a new name for a possible "Academia Masonica". For
myself, I believe that Reuss was simply being an opportunist,
and was trying to find which name would lure the most new
members into his schemes. But when he founded the "Order of
Oriental Templars" (certainly not before 1906, although he said
in 1914 that already in 1905 there was a metal plaque by the
front door of his house showing the name "Ordo Templi Orientis")
there were more confusions leering around the corner.
Q: Who belonged to which of Reuss' orders? Wasn't the Rite of
Memphis already called the "Oriental Templars"? How were they
linked? Was a member of the O.T.O. automatically a member of MM?
A: Between 1906 and 1913 (when Yarker died) the O.T.O. was
undoubtedly quite distinct from all other Reuss Orders,
otherwise Crowley couldn't have been made head of the O.T.O. in
Britain when Yarker was chief of MM for the same country. When
Reuss spoke of "Our Order" it was still utterly uncertain which
Order he meant. But it is nonsense to assume that the O.T.O. was
at this time a sort of pot-pourri of bits taken from the AASR,
MM, the Illuminati Order, regular Masonry, the Gnostic Catholic
Church, the Rosicrucians, the Golden Dawn, and so on and so
forth. The multiple schisms and court-cases show conclusively to
my mind that on occasion there were more different Orders under
Reuss than he had actual members. As Reuss's new baby, the
O.T.O. was something Reuss wanted to promote as his most sublime
Q: What about the rumours of Reuss's indecent behaviour?
A: The worst he seems to have done was Tantra-like exercises,
possibly done without much on. In his scheme for a "Mystic
Anatomy" Reuss said that the W.O.M.B. was a store-house of
Prana, or magical power; as early as 1893 he was promoting this
as a method of healing.
According to his very personal interpretation of Yoga, Kellner
enumerated several traditional schools of practice. A major role
was played by the nerve fibres (Nadis) and ten different kinds
of breathing (Vayus). The ancient Indian names for the ten Vayus
are: Prana (in the heart), Apana (near the anus), Sama (near the
navel), Udana (in the throat), Vyana (the whole body), Napa (in
the genitals), Kurma (opens the eyelids), Krikara (causes
sneezing), Devadatta (causes yawning) and Dhananjay (floats
through the physical body).
Reuss's version of 'sex-magic' was focussed on the sixth Vayu
Napa — which he placed in the "reproductive organs" in an
article published in 1912. During a complicated exercise, he
advised concentrating the thoughts to raise the reproductive
energies from the genitals to the solar plexus, storing them
there by an effort of will for "transmutation purposes"; this
was all done by correct breathing. In the end, the "Great Unity"
would occur, bringing with it clairvoyance, and experiencing
everything seen in the fullest consciousness possible. This was
what Reuss called "white sex magic".
In 1906, Reuss was accused of perpetrating a "homosexual
assault"; one of his followers promptly leapt to his defence,
defending his Hatha Yoga teachings against such deliberately
"indecent" accusations. Reuss had to defend himself in person
after another of his disgruntled ex-members A.P. Eberhardt
recalled certain events that had taken place at Munich in
Bavaria during 1903, in his book "Winkellogen Deutschlands"
("German Irregular Lodges") which appeared at Leipzig in 1914.
It was also Eberhardt's considered opinion that during his long
MM-membership under Reuss he never heard anything about a
supposed O.T.O., which (according Eberhardt) emerged only in 1912.
After Reuss' death in 1923, the "Masonic Journal of Vienna" published
an article in 1926, which claimed that Reuss's indecency had in
fact been a "mutual touching of the phalli" and that Reuss was
eventually expelled by the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
(SRIA). In 1936, the rabidly anti-Semitic Nazi paper the
"Judenkenner" revived the rumours of indecent behaviour.
Possibly the 'genital oath' from Genesis 24:9 played a part in
this: "So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham
his master, and swore to him concerning this matter." It was
also mentioned in Casanova's "Memoirs" as an "oath of the
The founding of the Ordo Templi Orientis
Q: You have written that the first English foundation is dated 22
January 1906, and the first German one took place on 21 June
1906. What are your sources?
A: I can't have expressed myself very clearly. These aren't
founding dates as such, but the dates found in the corresponding
constitutions; the exact founding-dates have yet to be verified.
So the sources are the dates written in these published
constitutions. Of course, we could argue till the cows come home
as to just what's meant by 'founding'. It's quite possible that
in 1906 the O.T.O. only existed on Reuss's stationery; certainly
the expression "Order of Oriental Templars" can be found on the
stationery Reuss used for the edict he sent to Rudolf Steiner in
1907 — which, of course, doesn't make Steiner a member of the
Q: Why did the O.T.O.'s constitution only become generally known in
1912 — or were those two constitutions back-dated?
A: That's a question that nobody can really answer. Maybe Reuss
waited until after Hartmann died in 1912 before starting to
write about the O.T.O. in the autumn of that year. With Hartmann
out of the way, there was no other high-ranking MM member left
in the German-speaking world who could have interfered. Things
could have been like that in 1906; Reuss had had to hold his
fire until after Kellner's death in 1905 before founding his own
Order, the O.T.O. (if it was really the case that there were
genuine 1906 constitutions, and not back-dated ones). On the
other hand, Kellner might have been planning a
cover-organisation from which to recruit wealthy people for his
Hatha Yoga group. And in retrospect Reuss published his claim
that Kellner and Hartmann were founding members of the O.T.O. -
although no proof exists.
Q. How was Reuss's group of Orders structured in 1905-06?
A: Kellner's 'Inner Triangle' (supposedly a European offshoot of
the American 'Hermetic Brotherhood of Light') had already
disintegrated by 1904, when Hartmann was busily distancing
himself from both Reuss and the yogic activities of his friend
Kellner. It should also be borne in mind that Reuss was not "au
fait" with Kellner's ideas about Yoga. The latter's "Occult
Circle" was quite different and distinct from all the other
Orders around Reuss, Kellner and Hartmann, although it was
possible to belong to both; but the "Occult Circle" or "Inner
Triangle" were merely conventional names, and only had a
rhetorical connotation, being linked to something else.
Kellner's death also meant the death of the informal private
group, even though its members were at his funeral.
Anyway, Hartmann had got rid of Reuss by 1904, which meant that
Reuss had to use a rubber-stamp facsimile of Hartmann's
signature for the charters he was issuing. Left to his tender
mercies there were the Swedenborg Rite, the AASR, MM, the SRIA,
Martinism and several completely mysterious knightly Orders; but
it's still almost impossible to say where any of these started
or ended, because Reuss constantly changed their names and
structures as it took his fancy. It's possible to get a
'freeze-frame' picture of the state of play for October 1905:
Kellner's "Inner Triangle" no longer existed; in Germany, Reuss
was leading the "Sovereign Sanctuary" of the AASR (which was an
old Scottish rite of Templar-Masonry), as well as the MM. But
AASR and MM were autonomous bodies, and were kept strictly
separate after August 1905. In January 1906 Reuss is alleged to
have re-constituted the O.T.O. — at least on paper — from the
"Hermetic Brotherhood of Light" (and not from the AASR or MM).
Reuss was obviously referring to a different HBL than the one
Kellner mentioned — several passages in rituals and texts hint
broadly at certain "Asiatic Brothers of the Light" (and not to
the MM). I doubt very much if the O.T.O. of this era consisted
of more than one member — that being Reuss himself. On 24 July
1907 Reuss further separated the Rite of Memphis from that of
Misraim; they too became autonomous bodies. Only in 1908 did
Reuss re-constitute a Sovereign Grand Council of the MM in
Germany, when he'd found enough suitable potential members in
Paris. Reuss's activities in other organisations (Martinism,
Illuminati, etc.) are no longer discernible by this time. In the
various issues of the 'Oriflamme' up to 1912 only MM, the
Swedenborg Rite, and the AASR are mentioned; there's not a trace
of the O.T.O.. His O.T.O. rituals, if they do date from before
1912, are a crude mixture of rituals deriving from the Scottish
Rite, the Rite of Cerneau, the Royal Arch, Rose Croix,
Albert Pike and Laffon de Ladebat, and Memphis-Mizraim.
For once Reuss clearly if clumsily committed himself: "The
mere possession of these various Masonic degrees does not constitute
a Member as an: O.T.O." In fact, he seems to have thought the
reverse true: membership of the O.T.O. meant membership of the AASR,
MM and the like, but membership of the MM was not equal with
membership of the O.T.O..
After Hartmann's death in 1912, the O.T.O.'s structure was
defined thus: the first three degrees were the equivalent
of Craft Masonry; the IV° was a mutated version of the AASR; In
the V° Hartmann's obscure 'Esoteric Rosicrucianism' was combined
with the AASR's eleventh and eighteenth degrees; both the name
and the lection for the VII° were taken from the fourth degree
of the Fratres Lucis ('Knights of the True Light' or 'Order of
the Asiatic Brethren', and therefore Reuss's and maybe Crowley's
'Hermetic Brotherhood of Light') although the VII° seems to have
been only a purely administrative degree; and then real O.T.O.
membership started at the VIII°; the IX° corresponded to the
Illuminati Order, and the X° was Reuss himself. The sex-magic
only entered Order teachings at the IX°.
In 1914, one year after Yarker's death, Crowley linked several
of the AASR's and MM's degrees with some of the O.T.O. degrees.
Take Steiner's degrees; his 30°, 67° and 89° don't fit into the
O.T.O.-AASR-MM scheme, but should have been put between the VI°
and VII° O.T.O.. Apart from that, the 33° AASR, 90° Memphis, 95°
Misraim and X° O.T.O. are purely administrative degrees. In
retrospect, Steiner never led a branch of MM, merely using the
term 'Misraim Service' which came from a Misraim ritual.
'Mystica Aeterna' was a new term for 'Misraim Service' and an
offshoot of neither MM nor O.T.O..
After 1917 the O.T.O. was meant to be an umbrella Order or a
collection of other Orders with the authority to grant charters,
permissions and degrees from these other Orders. (Today it has
become a common delusion among some O.T.O. members that they
automatically become regular Freemasons when joining the
O.T.O.!) In 1917 Reuss changed the order structure again,
redistributing the thirty-three degrees of the AASR among the
first six O.T.O. degrees: so the VII° became identical with
Craft Masonry, and again proper O.T.O. membership did not
commence until the VIII°, which was now dubbed the 'Esoteric
Rosicrucian' degree. Again, sex-magic was only imparted in the
Synopsis of Degrees.
Theodor Reuss to Aleister Crowley, 1917
Q. Did Rudolf Steiner know about all this?
A: Although Steiner quoted in 1904 from a 1903 manifesto called
"About Our Order" Kellner and Reuss, it is extremely unlikely that
he knew either about the O.T.O. or sex-magic. This manifesto was
against evoking spirits, and spiritualism in general, which also
happened to be Steiner's view. Indeed in 1903 neither sex-magic
nor the O.T.O. had been dreamt of; Kellner was still alive, and
he was interested in Yoga rather than magic. Reuss himself only
spoke once in print about "the divine act of procreation", and
that was in the 'Oriflamme' in 1906, in August of which year
Steiner broke with Reuss. "Sex-magic" as an expression appeared
for the first time in the December 1906 'Oriflamme', and then
not again until 1912 when the O.T.O. became Reuss's public
Q: On 27 March 1906, Reuss wrote a letter to Steiner appointing him
as a 33° and a 95°. Did Steiner get these degrees earlier on 24
November 1905, or did Reuss simply appoint him through the post?
A: I assume the latter is true.
Q: In his letter to Sellin, Steiner expressed total disapproval of
Reuss and ignorance of his activities. Is there any evidence or
proof that Steiner — apart from his MM membership — ever had any
contact with Reuss?
Q: Why didn't Steiner try and stop Reuss throwing ridiculous
dignities and titles at him?
A: I would guess that this was part of Steiner's policy of
deliberately ignoring Reuss.
Q: What lies behind the story told by Alice Sprengel, that Steiner
was supposed to have torn up the diploma that made him an O.T.O.
A: This becomes clear in the proper context. Alice Sprengel nursed
hopes that Steiner would marry her; when he jilted her in 1915,
she was disillusioned, and transferred her esoteric loyalties to
Reuss. Frau Sprengel's relationship with Steiner is shown in her
letters to him, which can be found in Volume 253 of Steiner's
Q: What did Frau Sprengel do in the O.T.O.?
A: I refer you to my book "The O.T.O. Phenomenon", where the story
is told in detail. Reuss gave her an authorisation to set up
O.T.O. lodges, and made her a member of the O.T.O.'s "executive
council of three" in 1921. The other two members of the "three"
were also women, which presumably started tongues wagging in the
moral climate of those days. After Reuss died in 1923, almost
everyone in the O.T.O. was jockeying to become his heir, but
nobody knew which of his various Orders could be passed on, or
even if Reuss had named his successor. So far, not one document
has been found which unambiguously states who Reuss's heir was,
although there have been several claimants to the title. This
has meant from that day to this that an endless round of
plotting and scheming is part of every O.T.O.'s stock-in trade,
in an effort to prove that they alone are the 'real' O.T.O.;
something which started in the Swiss O.T.O. lodges Reuss had
left behind. Before World War Two, Frau Sprengel's Swiss branch
of the O.T.O. acted as a sort of 'exiles lodge' for occult
refugees from all over Europe, such as the notorious founder of
the German Fraternitas Saturni, Eugen Grosche.
It is quite conceivable that two dozen years after her
disappointment with Steiner, one sunny afternoon at her
headquarters in the sunny southern Swiss canton of Ticino, Frau
Sprengel (surrounded of course by her favourite followers)
suddenly 'remembered' Steiner's supposed O.T.O.
membership-certificate, which he had promptly torn to bits. She
then took good care to write down the wording of this
certificate from memory all those years later. As an old member
of the O.T.O. with a high degree, it is possible that she confused
Steiner's oath on joining the MM (dated 3 January 1906) with the
longer candidate's oath of Reuss's subsequent MM-O.T.O., which
she now shortened to "Alte und Primit. Ritus von M. u. M.
O.T.O." (Ancient and Primit[ive] Rite of M[emphis] a[nd]
M[israim O.T.O.). The abbreviations used are evidence that she
could have had an O.T.O. certificate to hand when 'remembering'
Steiner's supposed certificate — but also that she was in a
hurry, because such documents never use abbreviations. Nor did
Frau Sprengel's original note of what she recalled survive; only
a copy of it which came into the hands of a certain Gundula
Bader (later mixed up in Metzger's O.T.O.), who passed it on to
one Emil Bock. By way of yet another intermediary called Erich
Gabert, the copy eventually fetched up in the archives of
Steiner's Anthropsophical Society at the 'Goethenæum', and was
duly included in Steiner's immense "Collected Works", in Volume
265 on page 100. Therefore it can hardly be called a mysterious
business at all.
Q. What was behind Reuss's announcement of a forthcoming book about
'Sex in Theosophy and Anthroposophy, with the original pledges
of the leaders'?
A: I have to admit I haven't got the faintest idea.
Q: Was there ever personal or written contact between Aleister
Crowley and Rudolf Steiner?
A: I doubt it. Crowley did dedicate a poem to Steiner in 1944, and
mentioned him in a private letter dating from 1919 as being "in
relation with the O.T.O.," but mocked him for spouting "a lot of
drivel". This seems to mirror Crowley's wishful thinking. Today,
a lot of O.T.O. followers still believe that Steiner was a Grand
Master of the O.T.O.. But in its list of illustrious past Grand
Masters, Crowley's O.T.O. Manifesto of 1912 also mentions
Hermes, Dante, Ulrich von Hutten, Paracelsus, Goethe, Ludwig
II., Richard Wagner, Nietzsche, amongst others — and if Crowley
said it, these latter day O.T.O. members assume it must be true.
Still, if Crowley felt Steiner spouted drivel, it would be safe
to assume that if the two men had ever met that the feeling would
have been mutual...
Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis
Of course, Kellner, Reuss and Crowley all practised their
occultism in different ways, just as several new O.T.O. groups
founded since the occult revival of the 1970's have taken
different directions, with varying structures and customs. Until
1905, the private circle around Kellner used unexceptionable
Yoga exercises, and practised meditation in the search for past
lives; the symbolism used was mainly Theosophical, with Hindu and
Chaldæan overtones. After Kellner's death Reuss used Hindu and
Egyptian symbols and sexualised the broadly Masonic teachings of
his new O.T.O. hierarchy; later Crowley tried to personify this
symbolism in himself. Both Reuss and Crowley had ambitions to
reform society at large: the sexual re-education of the masses
would be the responsibility of "priest-doctors". As Reuss wrote in
1914: "If a youth is to mature, than he should complete his
first coitus under the direction and instruction of the
'Matrona' [High Priestess] in a ritual manner and in the form of
a 'Sacramental act'. In just the same way will the virgin be
introduced by the Matrona to the mysteries of the sex-act in the
Temple. As long as the virgin and youth live outside the
lawfully prescribed state of marriage, they are bound to seek
all gratification of desire within the Temple." Reuss went
further; private property would be eliminated, forced labour and
eugenics were to be introduced, while only physically perfect
parents would be permitted to have children. The religion of the
O.T.O. would become that of the State.
And in 1919, Crowley wrote that every non-member of the O.T.O.
was to be treated like a savage.
Q: What changes did Crowley make in the O.T.O. in 1912?
A: Crowley was always short of money after he had squandered his
inheritance, so he used his branch of the O.T.O. for cash, and
for publishing his writings, which no other publisher would take
on. Furthermore, the O.T.O. was the perfect means for the
advancement of Crowley's own apocalyptic sex-magical
Thelema. He rewrote some of Reuss's O.T.O. rituals in 1914,
liberally sprinkling them with Thelemic words and concepts. But
Reuss never used Crowley's rituals, nor did any of the other
O.T.O. lodges then operating. As far as I know, Crowley never
personally performed any of his own O.T.O. rituals either, apart
from the sexual ones, which involved consuming semen and vaginal
secretions, generally for a magical purpose — which in Crowley's
case was usually to find more money. A candidate for the
Crowleyan O.T.O. had to learn the text of the ritual by heart,
and then on the prescribed night the initiation was supposed to
take place in the candidate's dreams while they were asleep. In
effect, Crowley altered his relatively small O.T.O. group into
what would be called today a 'doctrinal group'; less politely
expressed, he made it into a cult ruled tyrannically by him as a
super-guru, prophet, antichrist, and world saviour, its members
being financially and sexually dependent on him. It's hardly a
matter of wonder that Reuss expelled him from the O.T.O. in
1921; as a direct result Crowley appointed himself Reuss's heir,
on the assumption that he'd had a stroke. To this day, Crowleyan
O.T.O.s repeat the tale of Reuss's stroke in their 'official'
histories — yet there isn't the slightest evidence for it.
Theoretically, Crowley's own original O.T.O. could be called a
proto-fascist group, with its various elements, such as its rôle
as a revolutionary movement (for this is how Thelema was
described), its élitism, its personality cult of the leader in
symbols and rituals, and its romantically irrational ethos.
Totalitarian aspects may be found in the desire for
transcendence in Crowley's Thelemic religion. But modern O.T.O.
groups, scattered as they are and riven by schisms, lack the
necessary solidarity among their members to be truly called
authoritarian, however much they wish to emulate Crowley. It's
simple enough: in today's atmosphere of tough media scrutiny,
totalitarian manipulation is hardly possible, even if some
people try to sneak it past under an æsthetic disguise.
The Templar's Reich — The Slaves Shall Serve. Aleister Crowley —
Ordo Templi Orientis — Fraternitas Saturni — Theodor Reuss —
Hanns Heinz Ewers — Lanz von Liebenfels — Karl Germer, Arnoldo
Krumm-Heller — Martha Kuentzel — Friedrich Lekve — Hermann
Joseph Metzger — Christian Bouchet — Paolo Fogagnolo — James Wasserman.
Strictly for the Birds?
Q: Can you give us some of the essential points about Reuss and
Crowley's Gnostic background?
A: Reuss's Gnosticism tended towards a hedonistic Manichæanism, and
the doctrines of the Ophites, mixed with a small amount of
ill-digested Tantrism. Crowley's Thelema can hardly be counted
as proper Tantrism, because Tantra demands complete openness,
and the ability to let oneself go, while Thelema puts everything
under the control of the Will.
In Manichæanism matter is seen as evil, the world a place of
decay. Although many Manichæan scriptures enjoin asceticism (no
meat, sex, or marriage), there are some that preach the
opposite. It is a firmly held tenet in all Manichæan doctrine,
however, that angels may copulate with spiritual rulers called
Archons to lose their evil restrictions; through the unification
of good with evil, souls are cleansed, and what remains over may
be "given to all the species of the Earth".
Archons are the guardians of the universe, which is made up of
layer upon layer like an onion in Manichæan doctrine. They have
enslaved humanity, and one of their number, called the Demiurge,
created our world. From the ancient Babylonians onwards, the
Mayans, Homer, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Plato, and other
philosophers and schools of thought were able to assert their
own model of the universe without much fear of contradiction, that is
until Copernicus published his "De revolutionibus orbium
cælestium" in 1543 and effectively started modern astronomy and
cosmology. From then on the Gnostic universe retreated inwards,
while its proponents sometimes launched themselves into the
The Ophitic serpent, which swallows its own tail, may be found
emblazoned on the covers a number of Reuss's pamphlets; it is a
symbol of a sexual union between God and Man, while in
sex-magical terms it is the spermatozoon. Not all Gnostics are
'Spermo-Gnostics' but in the O.T.O. context, this is the main
emphasis. Both sex-magic and spermo-Gnosis (be they ascetic or
hedonistic) focus on sperm or semen as the axis of human-divine
destiny. For sex-magicians semen symbolises the sun or the
universe, in the same way that Crowley equated the shape of the
glans penis with that of the brain.
In 1906 Clément de Saint-Marq published his "L'Eucharistie",
which was essentially a sexual interpretation of the Mass. Reuss
said that this text contained the central secret of the O.T.O.,
which was the union of man with God through consumption of semen
— as allegedly taught by Jesus Christ! Sperm-eating as a
specifically magical practice was subsequently attributed to the
VIII° in Crowley's O.T.O.. The actual meaning of semen as the
vehicle of the Gnostic Logos was revealed in the IX°, though
there semen was mixed with vaginal fluids. But Crowley demoted
the IX° to a magical degree, where the commingled sexual fluids
were smeared on talismans and so forth to invoke spirits or
achieve a result.
Reuss and Crowley used the O.T.O. as a fertile breeding-ground,
turning it from a purely ritualistic concern into a hedonistic
Gnostic body — though without mentioning their original sources; they
conveniently forgot the many French researchers into Gnosticism,
who published their researches around the turn of the century.
Reuss and Crowley's O.T.O. Gnostic Mass collaboration of 1917
shows their form of Gnosticism very plainly. They
only took part of the duties of the Manichæan 'Elect' into
consideration — the Elect were meant to concentrate the sparks
of divine light left behind in mankind when the 'Logos
Spermatikos' returned to the 'Pleroma'; these sparks imprisoned
in matter could be absorbed by consuming certain foods. They
also neglected the ascetic aspects of Manichæanism (which
enjoined avoiding physical activities which would tend to
disperse the remaining divine sparks), instead concentrating on
building up a brilliant 'Body of Light' (or Host) fitted for
return to the Blessed Realm, the Pleroma. This Host was made of
blood and semen, and sometimes vaginal fluids. Thus the IX° and
the Gnostic Mass became parodies of the Christian Eucharist,
with further refinements of techniques related to the
consumption of the Elixir or Host, which they also called the
'Elixir of Life' or the 'Universal Medicine'.
Crowley had his own personal variations on this recipe. Between
1920 and 1923 he indulged in cocaine, ether and heroin, in
coprophagy and sadomasochistic daydreams in which he was the
slave. He wrote: "In my Mass the Host is of excrement [from his
'Scarlet Whores' as he called his lovers, male or female] that I
can consume in awe and adoration; while I make my Holy Guardian
Angel the latrine of my imagination" (diary entries dated 5 July
and 13 August 1920). One can find all the outer forms of
religious piety in algolagnia: kneeling, prayer, adoration,
scourging, sermonising, and punishment. Idealised rôle-play was
lived out in discovering the perfect master or mistress and
slave (Crowley), while his feelings of guilt could be
transferred onto his environment, which is thereby tainted.
Those who tried to show tenderness to Crowley, or even loved
him, were usually destroyed, because he could only truly love
what was unattainable: his ideal, impersonal Scarlet Whore (who
is one of the deities in the Thelemic pantheon, as well as a
ritual office), the Scarlet Whore who rides upon him the
self-appointed Beast; an image that may be seen on his 'Thoth'
Tarot card design 'Lust'. Paradoxically, a form of self-denial
is manifest in the Thelemic lifestyle as practised by Crowley: a
numbing of the body by taking drugs and doing certain kinds of
Yoga. The hedonist's secret feelings of inferiority will always
tend to seek its justification on the borders of rationality;
and so Crowley was ultimately forced to recognise the
restrictions imposed by his original personal god, which was
logic — and overcome his self-destructive tendencies, when he
wished to control the ability to destroy rational thinking.
If Crowley expressed his feelings of guilt through coprophagy,
he also sought to bolster his self-esteem and find the refuge of
certainty by passing harsh judgements on those he cold not
influence, and serving out punishments to those people he could -
his own followers. Beside his religious need to cede control to
a higher being (i.e. his Holy Guardian Angel), he felt he was
the emissary of a higher power (thus himself becoming an agent
of manipulation), and yet openly sought the lethal injury of
self-destruction through humiliation and identifying with the
lowest of the low. The turds defecated by his Scarlet Whore
purified Crowley the slave, and became religious trophies that
gained him magical power.
Ultimately Crowley can be said to have failed, due to the
disinclination of his Scarlet Whores to be 'correctly' sadistic.
He tended to choose candidates with a weakness such as potential
alcoholism, whose poor psychic defences could easily be broken
down when higher entities entered them in magical ceremonies.
Crowley soon tired of them, turned against them, and threw them
away like a used tissue. Because of his need to be humiliated,
he never got the unquestioning adoration that alone satisfied
him. His Holy Guardian Angel became increasingly remote, and at
the end of Crowley's life in 1947, vanished completely.
Coprophagy vs Poetry?
Result of an interesting discussion on
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thelema93-l in 2005
Diary entry of 26 July 1920. Crowley boasts to his Swiss Scarlet Whore
Leah Hirsig while on cocaine that he is such a powerful priest and
magician that he could transform excrements into his Eucharist Host.
She calls his bluff (which, later in the entry he admits it was --
"I'm a Coward, and Liar. Leah-Alostrael — my Scarlet Woman — knew
it.") So she tells him to go ahead and prove it by eating her shit. He
finds himself unable to do so. She taunts him saying that he is no
priest if he can't live up to his boast. So he complies. He complains
"my mouth burned; my throat choked; my belly retched; my blood fled
whither who knows, and my skin sweated.... My teeth grew rotten, my
tongue ulcered; raw was my throat, spasm-torn my belly ..."
Read his 'Leah Sublime':
"Sprawl on me! Sit
On my mouth, Leah, shit!
Shit on me, slut
Creamy the curds
That drip from your gut!
Greasy the turds!
Dribble your dung
On the tip of my tongue!"
This small extract does not give the full extent of Crowley's
enjoyment with Coprophagy. Crowley also notes that Leah Hirsig
enjoyed this kink as well ("worn whore that has chewed your own
pile of manure" and "splutter out shit [...] turn to me, chew
it with me, Leah").
There is also a urine fetish and a fetish with getting
venereal diseases — that is, Crowley expresses a kink
for disease, even including what seems to he Hirsig's bad
oral hygiene or gingivitis, stating that her breath stinks
and that he wants her to spit on him.
(Notes on obscure medical terms: "Gleet" is another name
for gonorrhea. "Pox" — here short for "the French pox"
— does not refer to viral pox diseases like smallpox
or chicken pox, but is an old euphemism for any sexually
transmitted disease. "Cheeses" refers to venereal yeast
infection or to Trichomonas infection, or to both. "The
itch" — also called "Cupid's Itch" in times past --
may refer variously to a venereal yeast infection,
Trichomonas infection, ringworm of the pubes, or any
more serious sexually transmitted disease.)
The complete poem "Leah Sublime" is online at
Ra-Hoor-Khuit Network's Magickal Library
As I stated above: Crowley between 1920 and 1923
indulged in cocaine, ether and heroin, in coprophagy and
I didn't say it was a regular practice.
If there was ever a Gnostic inspiration for Reuss's O.T.O., it
undoubtedly disappeared with Crowley's advent, with his "Magick"
and self-idolising. Although there was supposed to be a
"Sanctuary of the Gnosis" in Crowley's O.T.O. (it referred to
the sex-magical degrees) there was very little proper Gnosis to
be found there. The religious significance of semen as the
vessel of the Logos was lost, because it was used in practical,
magical ways that only had a mundane end in view.
'God-like' men like Crowley sought to control earthly beings
through divine powers, but until Godhead was reached, he found
stimulation in a ritual identification with the divine; and this
was also the aim of Reuss's O.T.O.. But Crowley changed Reuss's
copulation with God "under control of the Will" ("a sacramental
act", "a mystical marriage with God", a communication with God)
into becoming God oneself. As a magician, Crowley failed to
immerse himself in the divine light, and only developed on a
mundane level. He failed as a Gnostic to dissolve into the
Reuss had nothing to add in a doctrinal sense to his final
occult 'manifesto' "Parsifal and the Secret of the Graal
Unveiled", which was published in 1914. His sexual reformation
constrained itself within the O.T.O.. Compared to Reuss,
Crowley's inner teachings always seemed cloaked in a welter of
artful 'manly' posturing, sex-magic hurriedly performed in
garrets and Turkish baths, and a restless movement between
Cabbala, Yoga, Tarot and I-Ching as the mood took him. But
occupying the foreground there was always Crowley himself,
looming large and taking every chance that came along to annex
existing ideas and organisations to his schemes. What's more,
Crowley's own life proved to be the O.T.O.'s immense Achilles'
heel; his world consisted of theoretical self-dissolution,
strategies to disjoint personality, identity and action — all of
which resulted in experiments on himself alone, and narcissistic
idolising of himself alone.
The new O.T.O. in the USA.
Q: The tabloid press often repeats the story of Charles Manson's
alleged contact with Jean Brayton's 'Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.'.
The 'Caliphate' (the new American O.T.O. founded in 1977) often
claims that Brayton's group was irregular in O.T.O. terms, but
Phyllis Seckler, a protagonist in the founding of the
'Caliphate', has admitted that it was a genuine O.T.O. lodge. Do
you agree with that?
A: Yes. To exaggerate for a moment, you might say that without
Manson the 'Caliphate' would not even exist.
During Crowley's lifetime there was only one active O.T.O. lodge
in the USA, the so-called 'second' Agapé Lodge in California.
One of its members Grady Louis McMurtry, received some special
instructions from Crowley which stated that in "case of
emergency" McMurtry was to take over this lodge, subject to the
approval of Crowley's heir insofar as the O.T.O. went, a German
called Karl Germer. Germer did not think much of McMurtry
(calling him a "Minus" and saying that the US was a "spiritual
desert"), and he closed Agapé Lodge on 7 September 1953; Germer now
favoured H.J. Metzger from Switzerland as his own O.T.O.
successor. With that, McMurtry completely lost interest in the
In the 1960's, a former member of Agapé Lodge called Mildred
Burlingame "initiated" Jean Brayton with some of Crowley's
O.T.O. rituals; Brayton's resultant group was something like a
motherless satellite of a defunct lodge. Neither Burlingame nor
McMurtry (who later decided he was interested in the
O.T.O. after all) had permission either to initiate or found a
new lodge of the O.T.O.; indeed it was (and presumably still is)
explicitly forbidden in the O.T.O.'s statutes to initiate
candidates or establish new lodges without a superior officer's
When Charles Manson [possibly?] became involved with Jean Brayton's Solar
Lodge, McMurtry informed on Brayton to the FBI to avoid the FBI
investigating McMurtry himself. He also provided the journalist Ed
Sanders with material about the affair — and in return Sanders made no
mention of McMurtry in his book "The Family" about the Manson
murders. Now McMurtry, together with his wife Phyllis Seckler
founded a group called 'The Continuum', and started publishing
Crowley material. The Continuum was the nucleus of the
'Caliphate' a new O.T.O. founded in 1977 for the purpose of
receiving tax-free status as a religious body, and to benefit
from the royalties generated by supposed Crowley copyrights
worldwide. Unfortunately for the 'Caliphate', Crowley's Last
Will and Testament did not mention McMurtry at all, but named
the Englishman John Symonds as his "Literary Executor".
Brayton's Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. existed before the
'Caliphate' did; now McMurtry somehow had to get rid of this
unwanted competition, and fly in the face of the facts to
proclaim himself as a self-appointed Head of the O.T.O., with
worldwide supremacy. He founded a new Agapé Lodge, called it a
Grand Lodge and embarked on a campaign of either silencing or
activating other O.T.O. lodges or members — which of the two he
did was dependant on their willingness to accept his authority.
This was why he called Brayton's lodge "irregular", asserting
that Mildred Burlingame's power to initiate had been invalid,
but at the same time accepting as valid other ex-Agapé Lodge
members who supported his claims — like his own wife. McMurtry
not only ignored the claims of Mrs. Burlingame, but also those
of Kenneth Grant, Marcelo Ramos Motta, and H.J. Metzger. A
carefully-mounted propaganda campaign did the rest in upholding
Either both Brayton's Solar Lodge and the 'Caliphate' are regular
branches of the O.T.O. (that is, independent satellites of a
defunct O.T.O. lodge dissolved in 1953), or neither are. Later,
some of the powers-that-be inside the 'Caliphate' noticed that
McMurtry had based his claims on a contradiction, and conceded
belatedly that Mrs. Burlingame "performed limited O.T.O.
activities" — though without specifying what these were.
Q: Do you get the impression that people mainly mean Crowley when
they talk about the O.T.O.?
A: Indeed yes. All too often, "the" O.T.O. is meant when Crowley is
mentioned, and vice-versa. After Reuss died in 1923, Crowley
turned the O.T.O. into a company-like enterprise; one of his
schemes was to sell the O.T.O.'s sex-magical 'Elixir of Life' -
the mixture of semen and vaginal fluid — as a mass-market patent
medicine called 'Amrita'. Crowley had high hopes for it, writing
"It means shifting the Centre of Gravity of the Human Race!" in
his diary on 6 August 1923.
Because they are a Crowleyan O.T.O., such stuff is
bad news for the 'Caliphate's public image. Nevertheless, this
group — which has recently started calling itself "O.T.O.
International" — still tries to sell the 'Crowley product' to
Q: You have been highly critical of what you see as the
'Caliphate's philistinism and narrow-mindedness being in direct
contradiction to their claims to expand people's
consciousness. Do you think that their ambitions to become an
organisation to be reckoned with are doomed to failure?
A: According to some unofficial statements made by the leaders of
this group, its work consists mainly of publishing Crowley's
writings: "[The] O.T.O. is just a club. A simple club. A wholly
mundane thing. Its fate is in no sense tied into that of the
Aeon itself..." — or so said James Eshelman on 8 April 1997.
Eshelman was formerly the representative for the 'Caliph' (or
chief) of the 'Caliphate', William Breeze, who succeeded McMurtry
after the latter's death. And four days later on 12 April 1997,
Mr. Eshelman had this to say on the 'Caliph's behalf: "...he is
willing to sacrifice the spiritual development of the present
generation [of members] (since it's impossible to reform the
post-Grady [McMurtry] version of the Order anyway [Crowley's or
Reuss's version of the O.T.O.?]) in order to lay the best
foundation for the spiritual growth of humanity for the next
couple of thousand years." And how will Mr. Breeze accomplish
this miracle? Why, by selling exclusive (and pricy) 'Caliphate'
editions of Crowley's books...
Regarding Crowley's antidemocratic, racist and misanthropic writings,
followers point out:
"The reason [...] aspects of Thelema are omitted [in public
discussion] indicates the actual problem with presenting Thelema as a
religion and attempting to get Thelema sanctioned by the government
or approved by the public: Thelema is ultimately in contrast to and
transgressive of normative society. Thelema rejects the morals and
values of normative society and acts to transgress and violate these
norms. From the inclusion of intoxicants in ritual, to the positive
view of sexuality, which frequently is seen as promoting promiscuity,
to the pro–authoritarian and Nietzschian aspects of Thelema,
normative society has much to reject in Thelema and conversely,
Thelema encourages its adherents to reject most aspects of normative
society.". See The Templar's Reich.
Meanwhile, Kenneth Grant's 'Typhonian' O.T.O. is one of the rare
groups without a noticeable hierarchical power structure (apart
from the way KG expels people), and is supposedly devoted to the
creative aspects of Crowley's Thelema alone.
Copyright: December 1998, translation adapted by
Questions: Wolfgang Weirauch (Flensburger Hefte, fax (0461) 2 69 12
Thomas Lueckewerth (Sigill, Postfach 160 142, D 01307
Deutsche Version: Zur Geschichte des Ordo Templi Orientis.
traduccion castellano: Ordo Templi Orientis Original Y Su Desarrollo
Online facsimile documents regarding Reuss and Steiner
Rudolf Steiner: Never A Member Of Any O.T.O.
Material by Theodor Reuss
Early documents with the expression "Ordo Templi Orientis" or "Order of Oriental Templars"...
Material by Carl Kellner
More about all this in: Andreas Huettl and Peter-R. Koenig: Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz
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