Aleister Crowley appointing Kenneth Grant ?

Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis

Aleister Crowley appointing Kenneth Grant
Alleged provenance of the forged document


       [16 July 2001] 

       Dear Mr Koenig,
       I am the individual who sent you the scans of the document signed by
       Crowley appointing Frater Aussik to OHO of the OTO.
       I am now, for reasons I will explain, able to reveal a little more of
       its provenance, and the circumstances by which I came across it.
       (Unfortunately, I am still unable to reveal my own identity, for the
       same reasons I outlined in my previous communications to you. This is
       not because of any sinister reason, but simply because my professional
       reputation is at stake if it becomes known I acted unethically. For
       what it is worth, I have suffered a great deal of remorse over the
       incident, and now regret I acted so rashly; and if I had not acted as I
       did, I may have been able to prove the document's existence and
       authenticity beyond any doubt by more ethical and open means. Alas, I
       have merely added to the confusion surrounding it. Ironically, if I
       were able to reveal my identity and credentials, my professional
       reputation alone would vouch for the document's authenticity! Such
       thoughts however, did not enter my head at the time, and what's done is
       done.)
       I can now reveal the name of the individual who owned the document at
       that time: In my previous communication to you, I indicated that it was
       a gentleman who lived in the North of England. I'm afraid this was a
       blind (for which please excuse me; I was merely trying to cover my
       tracks), and in fact it was a gentleman who lived in the South, in St.
       Leonards-on-Sea, near Hastings. The individual was Mr. Frank Letchford,
       who personally knew the proprietor of Netherwood in Hastings, and from
       whom he obtained the Crowley document.
       Mr. Letchford has since died, and I have been keeping an interested eye
       on various items from his collection that have come onto the market
       since his death (he was a noted friend and collector of Austin Osman
       Spare, and other artists, and a book dealer/collector), although I have
       not been personally involved in the sale of his collection. Indeed, I
       suspect that those persons involved in the matter remain unaware that I
       valued Mr Letchford's collection at his request prior to his death; I
       remember that on the occasions I visited him, Mr Letchford would usher
       me quickly and furtively into his shop at the front of his home,
       although not knowing him well that may just have been his manner...
       On my second visit, Mr Letchford allowed me to take back to my offices
       a battered blue card folder crammed full of miscellaneous loose
       documents and letters, in order to go through them with more time at my
       disposal. The Crowley document was among them. There were no other
       Crowley related items, beyond a book or two, in the collection; as I
       stated previously, Mr Letchford was not a practising occultist and had
       no real interest beyond the literary and philosophical.
       Upon my reading the Crowley document, I showed it to two other
       professional colleagues who were able to vouch for its authenticity.
       Furthermore, we have several copies of Crowley letters and documents in
       our files with which we were able to compare this document. We were
       able to satisfy ourselves that the document is genuine, and had we been
       instructed to put it up for auction, we would have provided such proof
       of authenticity as was deemed necessary.
       I telephoned Mr Letchford and asked him if I may inform any interested
       parties of the document's existence, perhaps with a view to sale. He
       was MOST adamant that I do no such thing. When I attempted to persuade
       him otherwise, he vehemently refused, insisted upon the entire folder's
       immediate return, and slammed the telephone down. I must confess that
       it was at this point I scanned the document, more in momentary anger
       and frustration at his rude treatment of me, than with any clear idea
       of what I would subsequently do with it. Fifteen minutes later, he
       telephoned me back and apologised profusely for his reaction, allowing
       me to retain the folder until my next visit, but still insisted that
       the document was not for sale, and I was not to inform anyone of its
       existence. That same afternoon, still smarting from the sting of Mr
       Letchford's temper, I sent the scans to you. Several days later, I
       returned the original to Mr. Letchford (who by now was his charming
       self again.) As stated above, I almost immediately regretted my rash
       action, but it was too late...
       As to why Mr Letchford did not wish to publicise the existence of the
       document, I cannot say for certain. It may be that he did not know that
       Frater Aussik was Kenneth Grant, although I find this unlikely. Perhaps
       a more likely explanation is that there seems to have been no love lost
       between Mr Letchford and Mr Grant, for reasons obscure (but something
       to do with their both being friends of Spare), and this may perhaps be
       why Mr Letchford refrained from informing Mr Grant about the documents
       existence. Perhaps. I only met Mr Letchford a few times in my
       professional capacity, and he struck me as a nice elderly gentleman who
       hadn't a malicious bone in his body, and yet... appearances can be
       deceptive...
       However, in the subsequent time since Mr Letchford's death, the
       original Crowley document has not come onto the market as I have been
       expecting. The reasons for this are unknown, but I cannot believe,
       seeing as his collection has been scrupulously examined, split apart
       and sold, that the document has escaped the notice of those
       responsible. I must assume therefore, that the document is being
       deliberately withheld from the open market by persons unknown for
       reasons unknown at this time. Perhaps they are in secret negotiations
       with interested parties for a higher price than it would fetch on the
       open market? Who knows? It is this suspicious non-appearance that has
       prompted me to contact you again; my (admittedly somewhat hazy at the
       time) reason for sending you the scans was to see what I perceived to
       be a wrong righted, a justice done. I now fear that perhaps someone has
       a vested interest in seeing that Mr Grant does not officially and
       legally succeed to the position he has adopted for so many years. If
       the document has not already been privately offered to Mr Grant, then
       perhaps it has been offered to those who oppose his position. If such
       is the case, it may never see the light of day, and may indeed already
       have been sold and/or destroyed.
       It is a fact that some of the individuals connected with the
       documentation and sale of Mr Letchford's collection either are or have
       been members of the so-called Caliphate OTO, or are personally
       aquainted with William Breeze.
       Given that Mr Grant is the only person who can benefit from this
       document, its non-appearance after Mr Letchford's death must be
       regarded as suspicious. If the document was now in Mr Grant's
       possession, the so-called Typhonian OTO would surely be crowing about
       it. The fact that they are not perhaps indicates that they do not have
       it. Or perhaps they may wish to keep silent, retaining it, as their
       'trump card' in the eventuality of any legal action against Mr Grant's
       authority?
       On the other hand, if Mr Grant's opposers had obtained it, what would
       they do with it? If examination of the original document could prove
       beyond any doubt that it was indeed a forgery, then they would be the
       ones doing the crowing. But if examination were to prove its
       authenticity after all, wouldn't they then keep silent also? But
       perhaps they do not have it either. Either way, someone somewhere
       believes this document is genuine and possibly fears the consequences
       of public scrutiny.
       Or perhaps Mr Letchford himself destroyed the document prior to his
       death? It is a possibility, but seeing he had kept it all these years,
       why destroy it now? If he didn't want Mr Grant to know of it's
       existence, why not destroy it years ago, when he obtained it?
       Incidentally, I am certain that Mr Letchford remained unaware of the
       documents appearance on your website.
       I am writing to you now, explaining the full truth of my involvement in
       this matter, in the hope that you will publicise these facts on your
       website. I feel the affair of the document's non-appearance to be
       worthy of attention under the peculiar circumstances, and the more
       people know of its existence, the harder it will be for someone to bury
       the facts. Please feel free to quote as much or as little of this
       letter as you wish.
       Incidentally, I have also learned that the 'graphology' study of the
       handwriting was in fact organised and paid for by members of, or
       persons loyal to the so-called Caliphate OTO.
       Best wishes.
 



[Ed. by Koenig: the persons who paid for the graphology study were: Ben Fernee, Clive Harper, Anthony Naylor. Use the below search engine to learn more about these individuals]



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To the document in question

Starfire - Magazine of the Typhonian Order - Apology - Issue 2-3 Michael Staley's Apology


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