Jerry Cornelius - RED FLAME — Issue No.7 — Introduction


by Jerry Cornelius All rights reserved. No part of these lessons may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright proprietor. Published in the United States by A.·. A.·. New and Revised Edition Copyright C 1998 ev Please do not send letters regarding A.·. A.·. or these Lessons to the address for Red Flame. All correspondence should be sent to: The Throne of the Double-Wanded One Clerk House Frater ZLA 282 7=4 P.O. Box 20035, Oakland, CA 94620-0035 RED FLAME No.7 Limited to 156 copies. Issued October 12th 1999 e.v. Copyright C 1999 e.v. J. Edward & Marlene Cornelius P.O. Box 11693, Berkeley, CA 94712-2693 INTRODUCTION Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. - AL I:40 "Contrary to anything which you might expect or have been told, the A.·. A.·. is a controversial battleground in that few bloodlines agree on all the historical facts as dictated by other branches. We are not an exception to this rule ..." Frater Iahwhs 7=4 Many know the early history of our noble fraternity which is rarely debatable, but few know what occurred after the death of its founder, our beloved prophet Aleister Edward Crowley (1875-1947). It is no secret that Crowley left absolutely no provisions in his Last Will and Testament regarding what should happen to the A.·. A.·. after his death. This has been the root of the problems plaguing the fraternity today. We do know that the leading figure in the Order, Frater Saturnus (Karl Germer), emphatically believed it was Crowley's last wish that in the event of his "death or disability a General Council of the Order shall be summoned within a year and a day of that event by Frater (Saturnus) ... The Council shall discuss the existing conditions of the Order freely for 11 days; after hearing the same the members of the A.·. A.·. highest in rank (and in seniority) shall assume our present functions and govern the Order in our place." Unfortunately, after Aleister Crowley's death on December 1st 1947, Frater Saturnus never organized a General Council to convene and discuss the future of our noble Order. The closest he came was to send out an 'official' abridged note, quoted above, to other A.·. A.·. members. Grady McMurtry received this attached to a letter dated March 1st 1948 in which Germer writes that the following paragraph is from a Crowley document "of interest." However, as Grady often disgustedly said, nothing more ever came of this and no meeting was held despite his numerous pleas to Germer to fulfill Crowley's last wishes. The difficulty with what Germer quotes is that he admits in his letter that it "is only a preliminary notice" and "will take months before the complete document will be available in New York." The document he mentions is known as The Constitution of The Order of Thelemites. It seemed simple enough, but proved problematic. According to Germer, when a ranking A.·. A.·. member in England, named Gerald Yorke (Frater Volo Intelligere), found the original document amongst Crowley's papers he "thought it was important enough that I should have it." Yorke copied the above note and quickly mailed it off to Karl, who then mails it out to other A.·. A.·. members. The problem with what Yorke quotes is that it could be construed as being misleading if not taken out of context. Some believe it is flawed and confuses apples with oranges. I'm not going into all the details of what I'm implying because, in fact it is irrelevant to the point being made. We don't dispute the possibility of a problem with interpretation on Yorke's behalf which, if correctly understood, could possibly show that no election may have been required for someone to assume Head of A.·. A.·.. However, Germer never received a copy of The Constitution of The Order of Thelemites to find this out for himself. The document only recently resurfaced. The realization of what this document actually states and as to whom it really implies, has some claiming that it proves beyond a shred of a doubt that Karl Germer automatically assumed Head of the Order whether or not he knew it, or accepted it during his lifetime. Yet this belief is childishly laughable, unjustifiable and a distortion of what actually occurred. It is merely an attempt to justify 'present day myth-making' while ignoring historical facts regarding leadership's responsibility as such was then perceived. In other words, the over-all question which must be pondered is whether or not Germer's belief at the time weighs heavier than what some document discovered years later implies. Let's look at it further from a legal standpoint. Obviously, if Germer never received the information he could only act in relation to the knowledge he possessed. Whether such is proved right or wrong long after his death is actually immaterial. You can not rewrite history. In fact no leader of either OTO or A.·. A.·. is exempt from this folly. Everyone, from Germer and Grady to Frater Hymenaeus Beta on down, have made errors during the course of their tenure. We're constantly finding new Crowley documents which suggests this to be the case. Or is it? In truth they all acted 'as if' and in good faith with what they and others honestly believed to be correct at the time. This could be construed as 'legal justification for their actions' in a Court of Law because they were or are, technically, in charge of running the affairs of the Order and every leader has the right to change old policies and set new ones. It's common sense. This is how organizations grow. The time to have debated a Germer policy was back then, not now. At this point in time the best that we can do is reflect upon his actions as historical folly and then change such so that future generations don't have to go through the confusion all over again. So, regardless of all this modern day haggling, it is an undisputed fact that Germer honestly believed a meeting was mandatory but he never held one. He wallowed on this issue and kept putting it off until his own death on October 25th 1962. Therefore, contrary to what anyone would have you believe, Germer never was, nor officially assumed, Head of A.·. A.·.. The best we can say is he remained the Order's senior member to whom others looked for guidance. Now, as fate would have it, when Germer died, just as he never held a meeting on Crowley's behalf, he left no provisions for an assembly to convene on his own. Some believe that since he never assumed the position of leadership there may have been, at least in his own mind, no reason to hold such. Of course, there will always be those who'll quickly harp, to anyone who's ear they can bend, that no meeting was ever required. That the senior ranking initiate automatically assumes the responsibility as the Head of the A.·. A.·. upon the death of the previous leader. They 'need' you to believe this. If history can be changed, and I stress changed, to reflect that Germer was automatically Head, regardless if he accepted such while alive, then this promotes the idea, at least in their mind, that their teacher Marcelo Motta assumed the responsibility of leadership upon Germer's death. After all, Motta was an Adeptus Major or 6=5, supposedly the highest ranking initiate worldwide. However, their assumptions are absurd and myth making. It is no secret that Motta's claim to being head of the Ordo Templi Orientis were, needless-to-say, proven 100% false in a US Court of Law as the delusions of an afflicted mind. Even his own students acknowledge that he had been going at tad bit bonkers since the early seventies. So why should we believe anything Motta claims? Especially a view which states that he 'automatically' became Head of anything. In fact, in March of 1978 I had the opportunity to question Grady McMurtry about Motta's claims in regards to both O.T.O. and A.·. A.·.. My diaries record a sarcastic comment he made, saying, "Ya, he's head of the A.·. A.·. like he's head of the O.T.O.!" I tend to agree with my teacher's assessment on both accounts and do not accept Motta's claims or those of his students. I can not comprehend how we're all expected to believe that every A.·. A.·. Initiate world wide, regardless of which branch they originally joined or when, are now members in their Order, under their leadership, myself included. You can imagine my surprise when I woke one morning in the late nineteen-eighties, after years of being in Grady's A.·. A.·. lineage, only to find out that I had new superiors! Had I known they were coming I would have baked them a cake. Still, let's give Motta's students the benefit of a doubt and play the Devil's Advocate. Let's say that we accept Karl Germer as being the 'technical' Head of the A.·. A.·., having assumed such without an election as he did with the OTO. Shouldn't the policies he strongly believed in, which he took to the grave, be continued by his successors? It's common sense. There was no reason for anyone to assume that Germer's view, regarding a meeting being required to elect the next Head of the A.·. A.·., was wrong or in error. In fact, many A.·. A.·. members worldwide continued to believe that this was the official policy for years. Even if we were to state that Crowley's original intent was restored shortly after Germer's death in October of 1962 we'd be wrong. The only A.·. A.·. generation to know the whole truth is the present but unfortunately by this time our noble Order has already splintered worldwide into numerous independent bloodlines. Of course Motta"s students will be quick to claim that this is not true but the mere fact that only Motta students run their A.·. A.·. should tell anyone with half a brain that they're a lineage and not the Order as a whole. Still, continuing to play the Devil's Advocate, let's say that what they claim is true. That Motta, like Germer, automatically assumed Head of the A.·. A.·. simply because he was the highest ranking initiate worldwide. Now I won't get into what Motta's Last Will & Testament states but this newly fostered belief implies that after his death in late 1988 then the highest ranking initiate should have taken over, right? In other words, myself, Soror Meral, Kenneth Grant and a few others, from other lineages, should have assumed some responsibility of worldwide leadership since we were some of the highest ranking initiates in the world who were still active, had not resigned or been expelled, but we did not. Instead, we simply remained the Heads of our own lineage which is, as it should be. Other Motta students, some in fact lower in degree than ourselves, took over Motta's lineage upon his death. However, these same people, like their teacher before them, boisterously proclaim sovereignty over all of us and the Gods forbid if we dare to disagree with being 'assimilated' or doubt their authority. Since the terms 'independent bloodline' and 'lineage' have been mentioned, we need to extrapolate upon this topic further for clarity. Both terms dictate the present state of affairs of the A.·. A.·.. It's no secret that due to his own self-imposed isolation, Germer's death was not discovered or openly acknowledged for many years. By this time both the OTO and A.·. A.·. had entered into a Dark Night. This is an historical fact. No one had been officially appointed Head of either fraternity and few initiations were occurring anywhere in the world. Both fraternities nearly vanished into the obscurity of history thanks to the infectious Saturnian actions of Karl Germer against his children which scattered them worldwide. With the rebirth of western magickal traditions in the mid nineteen-sixties and early seventies, a new thirst for Crowley's teachings was slowly beginning to emerge. Somehow Crowley knew this period was going to be unique. He wrote Grady in 1944 predicting that, "1965 e.v. should be a critical period in the development of the Child Horus." Grady explained that Crowley spoke not of an adult Horus but of a 'child' as if to imply the New Aeon, slowly crawling along, would now be learning to walk. However, unbeknownst to Crowley, this period signifies when all the 'children' from Grady McMurtry, Phyllis Seckler, Kenneth Grant, Louis Culling to Motta himself and many others, who had been working the A.·. A.·. system privately for years, would slowly be coming into their own rights. One reason for the present state of affairs of the A.·. A.·. is that not one of these emerging initiates would ever try to unite the rest. In fact, many had no knowledge of other initiates and had little, if any, contact with the rest depending upon where they resided in the world or with whom they were still on speaking terms. Many simply assumed the responsibility of leadership in their area and their area only by virtue of being the senior ranking member. This is an important fact to realize because it created the structure of A.·. A.·. as it presently stands: splintered and often historically confused. Still, contrary to what some would have you to believe, it is during this period and not during Crowley's lifetime that the A.·. A.·. really started functioning and growing. Prior to this period the number of active members were only a small handful scattered worldwide, disorganized and mostly on their own. The next critical stage in the developmental cycle of the A.·. A.·. would occur when many of the students of the above mentioned individuals began coming into their own rights in the nineteen eighties. Unfortunately, Hadit warns us, "the Eighties cower before me, & are abased."(AL III:46) Since we are not allowed to comment publicly on verses found in Liber AL vel Legis, according to some people's interpretation of The 'Tunis' Comment, I'll let the reader ponder the thought as to what they feel is being lowered, degraded and abased. All in all, in Truth, we should not fret over the actions of our Secret Chiefs. We mortals can not second guess their motives. For all practical purposes the A.·. A.·. did not splinter into little pieces, it simply mutated into a more Thelemic organization by offering diversity of thought rather than the rigidity of only one way. My own superior, the late Grady Louis McMurtry, was living in Washington D.C. at the time of Germer's death. He often used the analogy of a Tree for the A.·. A.·., the roots of which are well founded in Crowley but whose branches began growing in different directions, the fruits of which are very distinct if you know the leadership of each branch or lineage. This was his way of explaining how others could be in the same Order but not be connected to himself or his lineage. To me this is the beauty of our Order, never cornering the market on Truth while being so eclectic in its labors that it aids the diversity of humanity rather than the Egotistical Wills of a select few. This is true Thelema and, whether or not this was Crowley's intent when he set up the Order, it evolved to such over a period of ninety years, of which the last thirty or more has had no single leader residing over the whole. In other words, the A.·. A.·., guided by the Secret Chiefs, is a beautifully growing tree whose branches reach toward the heavens with each designed to fulfill the varied needs of Thelemites worldwide. It was Grady's belief, as it is mine, Soror Meral's and other lineages, that a student is drawn toward the branch which best suits his or her needs. The question which needs to be addressed is what happened to Grady McMurtry's lineage of the A.·. A.·. after he died? Like Motta's, Grady's also splintered into two or three distinct branches. Now I can not speak for the others, I can only speak for myself and explain how I came to assume the leadership of my particular branch. The whole story has never been made public. It has remained within my lineage and considered no one else's business. However, the recent state of affairs of our noble Order forces me to come forward to explain the Truth which is often concealed by those wanting to be King of the Hill. My story begins in 1984. I held the degree of Adeptus Minor 5=6 directly under Grady when I headed to Syracuse New York to meet him. This is well documented. At the time I was living in New Haven, Connecticut. He had called me earlier in the week and requested 'strongly' that I come up. It seemed urgent but he refused to tell me over the phone as to why he wanted to talk, other than to say it had to be in person. A bit of history is required to understand what was about to transpire. We all know that on October 12th 1977, just as the Sun passed the peak of an eclipse on the birthday of Aleister Crowley, Grady signed a Charter officially establishing the OTO in Berkeley, California, using Crowley's special Seal Ring of Ankh-af-na-Khonsu. What is never discussed is that the Charter actually states, "Let all Thelemites know that I, Hymenaeus Alpha, 777 IX° O.T.O., 9=2, Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis of Aleister Crowley, Baphomet 666, do hereby Charter Thelema Lodge as Grand Lodge of O.T.O." All well and good, but how many people are aware that Grady actually signed the Charter as a Magus of the A.·. A.·., 9=2? He rarely talked about this but his students will attest that according to Grady, on this particular day, he made the affirmation to assume the degree. Grady asserted that he uttered his magickal Word, as a Magus, under his breath. It was the letters 'OTO.' This Affirmation would not only give birth to The Grand Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis but would reactivate and breathe life into the Order, or so he believed. In fact, Grady felt his entire life had been preparing him for that single moment and, in many respects, I agree. I explained all the details of Grady's 'fate' which lead up to this event in the lengthy biography titled The Warrior- Troubadour, The Life & Times of Grady Louis McMurtry which appeared in Red Flame No. 1. However, years later in 1984, he felt his Universe was in jeopardy of collapsing. There were 'traitorous dogs' nipping at his heals. The analogy he used was like "black crabs in that drainage ditch hard by Old Tokyo Bay" who lived in "shit." It is not the purpose of this Introduction, although recorded elsewhere fairly in-depth, to explain why he felt this way. Those who know the events of this period will attest that the OTO was very unstable. The main reason for this according to Grady, was his own continued inability to fully activate the degree of Magus which he had assumed in 1977. To achieve this he believed, whether right or wrong, that he needed someone to assume the degree of Magister Templi, thus pushing him forward, as Frater Achad did for Crowley in 1916. I know that some people might disagree that Grady was ever a Magister Templi because I have heard grumblings of which degree some are willing to accept that he had obtained to prior to his death but, such is a ludicrous notion. I won't get into the varied reasons why they need to degrade him, but in Truth no one can ever dispute another's claim to have sworn the Oath of the Abyss, as Grady had often stated he did. That is Grady's karma and his alone. In fact all initiates have the right to swear this Oath no matter which degree they hold and, as his student I will not deny Grady's claim to having done such. It's all I've ever known and I must honor it. However, it can be debated whether or not Grady had the ability to fulfill the next degree, which in all honesty even he doubted. Still, we must consider the power behind the Word of a Magus. It should create a Universe. Grady's Word created (or re- activated) the OTO which many of us are still part of to this day. This is the true power of a Magus. If anyone within the OTO denies such then they deny the very cause of their existence as it presently stands rooted deeply in Grady McMurtry and the Caliphate. Anyway, back to Syracuse, after a rather lengthy conversation Grady took out a pile of assorted letters from a folder and began reading from them to me. He quoted a letter which Crowley had written to him in November of 1944, or "Trust not a stranger: fail not of an heir." He also told me that according to Crowley, an Adept only has 2 real steps to take: 1.) to achieve 5=6, which means bringing your Energy up to your Heart Chakra Tiphereth where you meet your HGA and then, 'under that divine guidance', to 2.) essay the adventure of the Abyss. He later gave me the folder to keep and study. It took me years to fully understand the ordeals which were about to be thrust upon me. Since, as he stressed, I had already accomplished the first step of 5=6 and was one of the highest ranking members in his lineage, he hoped I would be willing take the Oath of the Abyss for his sake and the OTO. He then took my copy of Magick, which I carried with me everywhere, opened it to a page and began to read, "No attainment soever is officially recognised by the A.·. A.·. unless the immediate inferior of the person in question has been fitted by him to take his place." With his pen he then drew a big circle around the paragraph, as he put it so I don't forget. It became very clear as to what Grady was saying and why he wanted me to take the Oath of the Abyss. None of his students had taken his place as a Magister Templi when he assumed the degree of a Magus in 1977. Now, years later, he believed he needed this. The urgency for me to take the degree, at least in his mind, was the factor of his failing health and that his other heir had recently, quote, "failed him miserably" and aligned himself with "the enemy" who were attempting to infiltrate and undermine the Order while he was in the throngs of a lawsuit against Marcelo Motta. Grady suspected that this was beginning to happen as far back as 1981 which is why he began to quietly groom me behind the scenes, as to not put all his apples in one basket in regards to A.·. A.·.. I'm not going to give all the details of the tragedies which occurred behind the scenes which prompted Grady to act. That is his karma and mine for accepting it. Besides, some of the players are still alive and it would do no one justice to reveal what tormented Grady during the last few years of his life. Contrary to what some people have claimed, at no time was taking this Oath ever demanded of me. The decision was left totally up to me, as witnesses of what transpired in Syracuse will attest. In fact, Grady himself told me it was OK if I did not accept this "challenge". Nothing between him and I would ever change and he would find another Way. However, there would be no need for that. Later that day of April 22nd 1984, after deeply searching my soul, I made up my mind. I swore the Oath of the Abyss before Grady Louis McMurtry, thereby assuming the degree of Magister Templi 8=3, as well as taking the VIII° of the noble Fraternity of Ordo Templi Orientis.[1] When he signed and sealed one of the appropriate documents he used black sealing wax. At the time, he turned to me and chuckled, saying, "obviously obtained for this event." I made a comment that it is understandably not a color he'd normally be using. I asked him where he found black sealing wax, of all things, on such a short notice in Syracuse late at night. He laughed and simply said "magick." Later he confessed he had brought it, along with all the quoted letters, from California as "part of his plaid', hoping I'd be a part in it. One of things which he stressed was that I should continue taking the degrees between Adeptus Minor and Magister Templi to balance myself karmically for the ordeals which would be imposed upon me by the Secret Chiefs. I gave him MY Word that I would. When Grady returned to Berkeley things began calming down as if his Universe was getting re-aligned due to what transpired magickally in Syracuse. The opposing forces, some of whom were in-house fighting, shook hands and seemingly tried to work together. However, Grady would often tell me over the next year that he could never trust any of them again, nor confide in them as he had in the past. Since most of what occurred in Syracuse, between Grady and myself, dealt solely with A.·. A.·. issues he felt no one in the OTO in California had to know all the details except the fact that he had given me VIII°. Although, typical of Grady, he talked to someone whom he thought he could trust and thus it got out that I had taken the Oath of the Abyss. However, it really didn't matter to me. I had immersed myself deeply into the degree and into those things which Grady told me to study, especially in regards to Liber Aleph. My own life became filled with daily ritual and constant meditation. I was finding myself confronted time and time again by Choronzon. Life proved interesting. Then, as if by the fate of the Gods, while deep in a Magickal Retreat at Grady's own request, I received a phone call that my beloved superior had quietly died in his hospital bed. This was one of the darkest days of my life. It was July 12th 1985. Two days before my thirty-fourth birthday. To this day I have vivid memories of leaving Syracuse (in 1984), wondering if my taking the Oath of the Abyss would really help Grady obtain what he wanted - now, a little over year later, only the Gods would ever know. Like his predecessors, Grady McMurtry left no written provisions for an official Head to take over his branch of the A.·. A.·. nor were there any plans given to me, or to others, for a meeting to be called to discuss this dilemma. In some ways this was my own fault as I was the senior member of his lineage. I should have assembled, as I knew Grady believed to be the correct procedure, a "General Council of the Order ... within a year and a day" of his death, but I didn't. I can give no good excuse for my actions other than to say that I was being consumed as I faced the Dark Night of my own Soul by letting the Gods guide my destiny. The ordeals which I was going through at that time were severe and I felt that I should remain in my Magical Retreat. I have no regrets. After all, progressing through the degrees was the last thing Grady and I ever talked about and I felt strongly that I must fulfill it. I did not worry about the state of affairs which Grady's branch was going through and, in my absence, it began to grow noticeably into different directions, or branches, similar to what occurred after the death of other notable members. I had immersed myself into reading those things which, as Grady pointed out would further my studies. Much of which is disclosed throughout this issue of Red Flame. On February 16th 1988 I completed my Thesis for 7=4 and five years later to the day when I swore the Oath of the Abyss, or on May 22nd 1989, I had completed all the tasks which Grady McMurtry had requested and came full circle. Back on April 22nd 1984, I wrote in my diary that after being alone for hours, "when Grady arrived I simply looked up at him from the chair and humorously to break the ice, asking, why me, are you sure I'm what you're looking for? He walked past me toward the kitchen and said harshly, 'Jerry ... you're he!' I turned, said, OK I'll do it. He simply said 'good' as if I, a soldier, accepted his suicidal mission." Yes, it took five years to the very day to come full circle to this point and five is the number of the Hebrew letter HE ... in a very strange and odd way, I was, as Grady pointed out, He. However, by this time Grady McMurtry's branch of the A.·. A.·. had already splintered and those whom I could have been summoned to a meeting had become heads of their own lineages, even if they had not accepted such a role outwardly. In retrospect I think this may be an important stage in the growth of every branch of the A.·. A.·.. Of course, there are those who say you should never mention that you're a member in A.·. A.·. nor state which degree you presently hold. Everything should be secret, hush-hush and that no one who holds a degree above the Abyss should ever disclose their true identity. This is pure Old Aeonic balderdash spawned by individuals who either misunderstand the teachings of our noble Order or who have things to hide, but it is not the purpose of this Introduction to expose them. Since many of the branches have evolved differently, what one claims as the official policy may no longer be true in another. We believe that since our own noble prophet Aleister Edward Crowley, openly acknowledged and wrote about his personal attainments above the Abyss with great pride in his Confessions and elsewhere, then we too should proudly hold our heads up high and walk in his footsteps. In fact few A.·. A.·. members of the past have ever remained silent about who they were or of their accomplishments. This is only a recent and I stress, recent phenomena. However, this type of behavior reeks of the Old Aeon's 'secret' little boy's club mentality. I must remind the reader that it was a wise man who once said, "He who takes the word of a fool walks off a cliff, blinded by another's spawned Illusions." Furthermore, it was Aleister Crowley who once chastised Wilfred T. Smith for claiming a high A.·. A.·. degree while not having any records to substantiate his claims, least of all the ability to write out and publish how he believed he had have risen to such. In other words, all branches should be able to proudly unveil the history of our noble Order which includes themselves. Finally, the Epistles which are being released in this issue of Red Flame originate from our branch of the A.·. A.·. and are titled THE MAGICKAL ESSENCE OF ALEISTER CROWLEY, Understanding the New Aeon through the teachings of the Great Beast. As stated in the Preface, these lessons are radically different in thought than some branches might care to embrace but as we pointed out, that is the Beauty of Thelema. If you don't like what we're doing in our branch then there is always another. We don't claim to be the King of the Hill or the only A.·. A.·. as do certain branches. We feel that if what we're doing doesn't sit well with you, then the Gods will draw you toward that branch which does. If all A.·. A.·. lineages were exactly alike, teaching and following the exact same thing, then it would be a boring world with no Thelemic future for the diversity of humanity. All our Epistles, up till now, have been distributed only amongst members in our Clerk Houses which is a term taken directly from Liber AL vel Legis which states, "Establish at thy Kaaba a clerk-house: all must be done well and with business way.""(AL III:41) These Clerk Houses were established as prefatory bodies existing in the outer or mundane world to fulfill the needs of students in our branch of the A.·. A.·.. The first Clerk House was established in February of 1987 in New Haven, Connecticut. Right from the start the Clerk House became our interpretation of the Grade of man of Earth. (AL I:40) It is here that we wanted our students to deal with issues relevant to this-plane thinking in order that they might establish a suitable foundation unhampered by the restrictions of others. There are those who will vehemently argue that the A.·. A.·. has nothing to do with Clerk Houses. However, let me remind the reader that the A.·. A.·. is divided into three sections on the Tree of Life. The first being the G.·.D.·. or Golden Dawn (utilizing spheres 10 and 9). This should not be confused with McGregor Mather's The Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn. If you pass into the next stage you become a member of the R.·.C.·. or Rose Croix (8-4). The third and final stage is S.·.S.·. or Silver Star (3-1). It is only in the Silver Star that one becomes a true initiate of the A.·. A.·.. Here, the Order is like the Rosicrucian movement of the previous Aeon in that there can be no official mundane organization on this plane, which in itself is obvious since these degrees lie above the Abyss. However, just because the degrees reflect an individual's personal spiritual quest it does not negate an actual mundane organization. Otherwise, if there is no Earthly fraternity, why all the fuss among Motta's students over who should control it? The A.·. A.·., like any true Inner School, must use an 'outer extension' in order to aid humanity. This was the original intent behind Crowley's G.·.D.·. which was supposed to be the functioning body on Malkuth (i.e. our Earth). However, no such outer vehicle is found anywhere in the world by this name, nor has there ever been. In Crowley's lifetime this outer extension was never formulated into an actual fraternity and his students were merely rushed through the early degrees on a personal one-on-one basis. Part of the present day confusion is due to some A.·. A.·. branches claiming that they are working Crowley's Golden Dawn. In some respects they are, but this is a misnomer. They're working only the degrees. Ah, yes, it is all very confusing but you must realize that the Order has changed much over the years. Since there is no actual mundane organization known as the G.·.D.·. every A.·. A.·. branch presently uses a different outer extension. For example, we use a Clerk House structure, Soror Meral uses The Temple of Thelema, there is another branch which uses the term Abbeys and yet another who has established Churches. There are other branches who are currently in charge of running the affairs of organizations and fraternities like Motta's students with the OTO. The bottom line is this, once brought down onto Malkuth, Crowley's views regarding the structure of the A.·. A.·. has been interpreted differently by each branch who extrapolates what they feel is important and then creates its own outer extension to fulfill its needs. Perhaps a greater controversy which these Epistles shall spark is that, although they mention A.·. A.·. theories, they also mention OTO. Of the latter, there will be those who'll deny the knowledge being imparted has anything to do with the noble fraternity of Ordo Templi Orientis. In some respects they are completely correct. These teachings are mainly A.·. A.·. thoughts regarding certain mysteries which are loosely taught in OTO. This knowledge was told to me personally by Grady McMurtry. Furthermore, to complicate the issue, if any IX° initiate of the OTO openly criticizes the knowledge found in these Epistles then the question which needs to be asked is whether he or she was a provisional or a magickal IX° under Grady. There is a distinction as wide as the Atlantic Ocean which will definitely show why they may also be oblivious to the teachings, so let me explain the difference. In July 1978, at the age of sixty, Grady's physical condition started to deteriorate after ignoring what he thought was a minor problem. Difficulty in his lower bowels and the loss of blood became a major issue. He was admitted to the emergency room at the local V.A. Hospital where he remained for a few days. He was dehydrated and anemic, almost a dozen I.V.'s were attached to his body in hopes of restoring the balance of fluid. Although he was expected to fully recover, Grady looked at this illness with great concern, remembering what Crowley had told him years earlier in 1944, "Trust not a stranger: fail not of an heir." Grady knew he had come close to dying and the idea of a successor became paramount. He decided to create what he termed 'Provisional' IX° members of the Ordo Templi Orientis. He claimed that he did this for two reasons. First to ensure, in case of any unforeseen accidents, such as his death, the Order would survive. This ruling body of regional IX° members could then meet in an official capacity in time of an emergency and vote upon a new Outer Head of the Order. Thus, the Order would not slip into obscurity. And the second reason for creating 'Provisional Ninths' was to help establish an inner core of IX° members to show the Courts in California that the OTO was more than just Grady McMurtry. Grady wrote, reminiscent of his war days, "The IXth Degree members so created are Provisional: that is to say, these IXth Degree promotions are in the nature of Battle Field Promotions." It is important to remember, contrary to what any of them may claim, that all these 'promotions' were not of a magical nature or training in regards to IX° secrets but were simply created for political reasons. Furthermore, Grady believed, as did Crowley, that the full mysteries should be imparted only to initiates of the A.·. A.·. and just because an individual may be IX° OTO they didn't warrant any special consideration. We know, according to Crowley's own diaries, that he gave Grady McMurtry "more solid instruction in IX° than I ever gave before to anyone!" (December 22nd 1944) In fact, Red Flame No.1 The Poetry of Grady Louis McMurtry made it very clear that Crowley looked toward Grady in a unique light, possibly as a future heir, which is why he confided to him certain mysteries not normally disclosed to OTO initiates. To explain what was so unique which Grady learned, has anyone ever wondered why, even though Crowley had a wealth of knowledge on the subjects of the Qabalistic Tree of Life and ceremonial magick, that he never fully elaborated upon such in OTO Grade Papers? The reason for this is two-fold. First the fraternity at the time of the writing of these papers was not in Crowley's mind, Qabalistically or magickally trained. It was simply a mundane fraternity dealing with this plane thinking. Furthermore, he planned to teach these mysteries within the A.·. A.·.. Shortly after some of the final OTO Grade Papers were written, Crowley wrote a profound book titled Liber Aleph, The Book of Wisdom or Folly. It's an A.·. A.·. Document in Class B. Why this book is so important is that it contains what Crowley has stated as being the clearest description of 'the heart of his doctrine' as well as the Truth behind the magickal formula of ON, the First & Last word of the OTO. Crowley explained to Grady that in Liber Aleph he poured out his heart and soul, telling the full Truth regarding western Tantra and its formulas. It is very distinct from Eastern thought and is only hinted at in OTO Grade Papers. This mystery being disclosed in an A.·. A.·. book should plainly tell you that such was not necessarily meant for the fraternal masses found within the ranks of OTO. Now you know why some of the information in this issue of Red Flame may go over the heads of some Ninth Degrees of OTO. It is not standard OTO teachings. In case you haven't suspected as to whom Grady McMurtry confided in, it's quite simple. It was me. Over the years I have never publicly come forward or tried to profit from this knowledge, nor have I egotistically or pompously held a King of the Hill attitude because of such. I have kept very, very quiet. I've considered myself lucky and honored to have a piece of the puzzle in order to pursue my own personal studies. In Truth, this is what occupies most of my time, as well as dealing with the affairs of Grady's A.·. A.·. lineage. Why I'm releasing some of the information now is quite simple. First of all, it's no secret that Aleister Crowley published almost everything he wrote about in regards to the A.·. A.·. within his laborious encyclopedia titled The Equinox. He felt the information must be made available to those individuals who were spiritually ready to appreciate the teachings. We, too, have come to realize the same thing. Keeping information hidden, as if it were one's personal treasure, is un-Thelemic. Therefore, it's our desire to extend an open hand in order to display some of the jewels which we distribute to our students. As to why Grady revealed these mysteries to me is obvious: I was the highest ranking initiate in his branch of the A.·. A.·. as well as VIII° OTO. He also needed someone to confide in, especially with his impending fear of death in 1984 and the failure of his only other heir. Still, this doesn't answer the question of what initially prompted Grady to take a personal interest in me. Obviously there were others as capable with whom he felt closer but to understand why me, we must go back to 1978. It all began when Grady spent time at my house in Connecticut. I had been studying Qabalah since the early seventies. I have hundred of drawings, oil paintings and notebooks which I've done in regards to my research on the Tree of Life. Grady loved to muddle through these and tell me his views, stories and ideas. But it was my series of black and red drawings done between 1974-76 which excited him the most. It seems that I had somehow stumbled upon the first part of the equation to the formula of ON from Liber Aleph which unveils the phallic mysteries of Abrahadabra which had been taught to him personally by Aleister Crowley. However, and I agree, I lacked a full understanding of it and was oblivious of the second half of the equation which dealt with the feminine formula. Because of this he felt I needed "coaching." In fact, I have vivid memories of him leaning forward holding Liber Aleph, chuckling and asking, "Have you ever wondered why so many chapters in this Liber are titled 'On' such and such?" I was immediately struck by a lightning bolt of realization. He then laughed, "Does this blow your mind?" I must confess, it did. There were a million questions swimming around in my brain. He then read a passage about these two letters, or O and N, which stated that one is "the formula of the Man, as the other was of the Woman." Grady then pointed out that I had, without full realization of the implications, drawn the Formula of O. However, although he would guide me as to what to read in order to further my studies, he would not give me the final secrets regarding the formula of N until I took the degree of Magister Templi in the A.·. A.·.. This would occur while I was in Syracuse in the spring of 1984. By this time I had already been made Seventh Degree of the Ordo Templi Orientis and was ripe for the Truth behind the formula of ON, especially considering that this Word is found in both the Minerval and Seventh Degree. To further explain, Grady pulled out a small first edition of The Book of Lies which he had brought with him from California. He read, "Brothers of the A.,.A... are Women: the Aspirants to A.·. A.·. are Men." Although there are some obvious mundane meanings behind this phrase there are other concealed Truths. Grady explained himself by telling me that within the framework of outer fraternities, such as Ordo Templi Orientis, the phallic mysteries of O are slowly revealed to both men and women. Thus all Aspirants to A.·. A.·. are referred to as being male because of the nature of the Mysteries. However, within inner schools which reside above the Abyss, like the A.·. A.·., one becomes one with the mother of the child, immersed in the formula of N. Thus, both men and women, are referred to as feminine. Grady then read to me The Glow-Worm, explaining that the child Ra Hoor Khuit when brought below the Abyss, bathes in one's Sun in all it's Beauty. On an Outer level this is symbolically sewn on the chest of every initiate's robe of the Second Degree OTO as a descending Red (trinity) Triangle but, in truth, most will never know its true symbolism. As a clue, Adeptus Minors in the A.·. A.·., who resides in Tiphereth, will attest that it symbolically takes 120 years to go through all the grades up to where they presently stand. Why? Is it coincidence that the number value of the word ON is 120? All this may seem little more than confusing tidbits of thought, but rest assured they are not. It will all be carefully discussed as to its import in this issue of Red Flame. One might ask if there were any IX°s who knew the full secrets of the Formula of ON. To answer this I must point out that most of the IX°s while Grady was alive, besides not being A.·. A.·., were only provisional degrees which, like the modernm day OTO term 'Auxiliary Bishops', implies much. As for those who were full magickal IX°s, you could count all of them on the fingers of one hand. I also know, because he had told me so, that he never discussed with any of them what Crowley had taught him in regards to Liber Aleph. He had his reasons for mistrust. I'm not sure I agree with them but it is no secret, even though I loved the man very dearly, that in many ways he was a chauvinistic pig to the max. The reason he kept quiet had nothing to do with a person's A.·. A.·. degree or connections. It simply had to do with the fact that most of the full IX°s were females. Grady believed, like Crowley and Germer, that a woman should be kept totally in the dark and that it's 'not profitable' to tell them the full process or secrets because of a woman's three-fold Scorpionic nature which can unconsciously 'destroy' or earth-out a magickal working. In fact, Grady often quoted sections from Liber Aleph and other books which supports these beliefs and told me to do likewise. In some respects I have, by not revealing the final secrets as disclosed in this book. When Frater Hymenaeus Beta took over the leadership of the OTO after Grady's death, he did away with the tenn 'provisional' and made all Ninths 'full' Ninths. This looks all well and good on paper, but the waving of a pen does not imply instant IX° knowledge any more than reading Francis King's book The Secret Rituals of the OTO implies initiation. To me what HB did was not total folly, contrary to what some may think or have expressed. It's not necessary for an Upper Degree to 'understand' the mechanism behind sex magick as much as it is to simply do it correctly. In other words, within the OTO's Grade Papers there are enough clues that, if an individual has been given a good magickal foundation, by doing certain fraternal practices of a sexual nature, remarkable things should occur. Contrary to what any may claim, the papers stop short of revealing the Secrets of ON and I defy any of them to point out otherwise. Still, some Ninths think themselves brain surgeons. They believe that they are in possession of such Truths simply because they have read or possess the papers which Aleister Crowley wrote between 1914 and 1918, even though outsiders can buy these same papers on the used book market. So what does this imply? In other words, there are few 'secrets' left in OTO. Even more sad is that some modern IX°s published comments regarding sex magick, especially about feminine mysteries, are so stupid that they show beyond a shred of a doubt that the writer hasn't a clue to distinguish between Western and Eastern Tantra which is as different as night and day. Their comments border on being book-read dribblings of Eastern thought rather than being rooted in a solid foundation of Western phallic magick. All in all, there are many Epistles, besides those being published in this issue of Red Flame, which are distributed in our branch of the A.·. A.·.. Through some of them we learn unique insights which help us grow and understand our Thelemic ways. We acknowledge the impossibility for any one individual to know the sum total of Aleister Crowley's beliefs. Even after years of study, the best to be hoped by anyone, even myself, is to glimpse only certain aspects of his profound wisdom and understanding, possibly even perceiving things which have escaped the average individual's scrutiny. We teach our students that since no two people can walk down a street and describe the same thing it is assumed that this is also true when a group of individuals study magick. It would be a boring world if we all knew the same filing, thought alike and published books which are simply rehashing and footnoting the same old data. Thelemic thinkers or pathfinders are so very important simply because their thoughts border on heresy. They push the limits of understanding to the point of being, as one person describes, "ozone climbers." However, you don't have to agree with everything these pathfinders have written but just maybe, what they perceive or illuminate will inspire you to take a single step forward on the path to understanding Self in the New Aeon. Love is the law, love under will. - AL I:57 Frater Achad Osher 583 [1] See page 70 for an explanation on why both degrees were taken [not on-line] back This on line version contains only the Apology, the Introduction and An Open Epistle Regarding Francis King's book The Secret Rituals of the OTO from 'Red Flame' No.7. The thirteen chapters which are found in this issue, titled The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley, are not reproduced nor are a few other shorter pieces. An Apology An Open Epistle Regarding Francis King's Book The Secret Rituals of the OTO
Also by Jerry Cornelius: Thoughts on Metzger The Warrior-Troubadour, The Life & Times of Grady Louis McMurtry (Red Flame No.1) Myths of the Solar Lodge Revisited (The Scribe, Vol.1 No.7 1997) Chronology of events leading up to the lawsuit filed by the Ordo Templi Orientis on Sept. 12th 1990 against Alameda County & the City of Berkeley. KALIL and the Thelema93-l Tango An Open Epistle on the Expulsion Liber Al Vel Legis (The Book of the Law) (Red Flame Nr.8)

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