Charles Manson and the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.

Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon
Birth of a new American O.T.O.

History of the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.
Charles Manson and the Occult

Peter-Robert Koenig
1999/2011




New O.T.O. groups in the US




Charles Manson, never a member of one of the many O.T.O. groups, is regularly brought up by the tabloid press in rehashed stories of his alleged brief contact with Georgina Brayton's 1960's 'Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.' The 'Caliphate' (the new American O.T.O. founded in 1977) has frequently described this earlier O.T.O. lodge 'irregular', but Phyllis Seckler, one of the 'Caliphate's' main protagonists (she was the wife of its founder, Grady L. McMurtry) has admitted that the 'Solar Lodge' was a genuine O.T.O. body. To exaggerate a little, one could say that without Manson the 'Caliphate' would not exist at all. Let's unfold a bit of this particular history.Charles Manson


During Aleister Crowley's lifetime there was only one active O.T.O. lodge in the US — the so-called 'second Agapé lodge' in California. Crowley was never really satisfied with the Agapé group's membership and activities; he called them "fans" and stated in his diary on March 9 1945: "I place the Californian Lodge under INTERDICT." [He added: "Jack's NLT came just in time to stop me doing this".] So to one member of the group, the aforementioned McMurtry, Crowley gave special instructions: in the event of an "emergency" McMurtry was to take over the running of Agapé lodge, subject to the approval of Crowley's heir-apparent in all matters of O.T.O. matters, the German born Karl Germer.

The trouble was that Germer had a very low opinion of McMurtry, calling him a "Minus", and saying that in his opinion the United States was a "spiritual desert"; Germer closed the Agapé lodge on September 7 1953, and favoured Hermann Joseph Metzger from Switzerland as heir to the O.T.O. At about this time, McMurtry completely lost any interest he might have had in the O.T.O. and this is probably the main reason why O.T.O. activities in the US were continued by others.




Introduction




Ray and Mildred Burlingame were members of the second Agape Lodge (supposedly for ten years) that was closed in 1953 by Karl Germer. In 1961-62, Georgina (Jean) Brayton (1921-1984) became acquainted with Mildred and later met her husband, Ray. Richard M. Brayton (1911–1989) was a high-school teacher in Civics (Government). 11th or 12th grade. All his students were African-American. His wife Jean and Frater Shiva and Soror Asi founded 'The Solar Lodge of the OTO', or otherwise known as the 'Riverside Lodge of the OTO' in 1965. Solar Lodge Ordo Templi Orientis Jean Brayton
Dick Brayton had little interest in these matters [detail provided by Frater Shiva — see last separate box below]. It was effectively the illegitimate orphan offspring of a dissolved lodge. Neither the Burlingames nor McMurtry (who was later to reappear) had permission to either initiate candidates into the O.T.O., or to found new O.T.O. lodges indeed accoring to the O.T.O.'s statutes, it is expressly forbidden to initiate or install lodges without the express permission of a superior in the Order. Members of the Solar Lodge acquired a dubious reputation when some of them were accused of breaking into the homes of Germer's widow Sascha, Israel Regardie, and Mildred Burlingame to steal O.T.O. documents. When Phyllis Seckler (a former member of the defunct Agapé) came to hear of this, she contacted another ex-Agapéan, Grady L. McMurtry in January 1969. Seckler and McMurtry marry, and become the founding nucleus of the 'Caliphate' [see below]. Years later, Solar Lodge member Robert Duerrenstein denied that any member of the Solar Lodge had been involved in the burglaries of Sascha Germer and the others, his statement was based on the simple reason that Ray Burlingame had told them there wasn't any O.T.O. material worth stealing at their houses.




original solar lodge materialoriginal Solar Lodge material



Report by a member of the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.

Date: August 1999, compiled from several emails
 I am a former member of the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O., in Los Angeles, from
 September 1967 to February 1968.
 I was looking for an apartment and ran across one owned by Georgina (Jean)
 and Richard Brayton, as they had advertised such for rent. They had at least
 three properties in the USC neighborhood. I only know about the houses and
 apartment in the USC neighborhood. This was at the beginnning of the time
 when they were building their empire. Jean encouraged me to attend a meeting,
 gave me the manifesto of the O.T.O., and a privately-printed copy of the Book
 of the Law.
 There were approximately 15-20 members as I recall at the time. I have
 forgotten most of their names. The house where they lived is no longer there.
 They seemed very organized, and quite dedicated. Los Angeles at that time was
 immersed in the same social ferment as San Francisco. Remember the summer of
 love? I had just come down from Haight-Ashbury. We were all still using LSD
 and looking for utopian groups. The news was only just beginning to
 sensationalize and distort what we were doing. But we were easy targets for
 the more experienced, sinister people who wanted our money, souls, etc. The
 O.T.O. looked like a cool group of people, at first, because they had all the
 right words. They were very welcoming, and wanted us to join in with their
 rituals. They practiced all the rituals you read about in the Equinox.
 They began initiating more and more people during the months I was involved,
 because they wanted to increase their numbers. Jean was clearly in charge,
 but was often absent. But she supervised the dismantling and reassembly of
 buildings in the desert.
 Her husband was a teacher at the University. Several of the lodge members
 were students. Many kinds of drugs were available. One or two of the members
 were making them. The house had a main temple on the top floor, but members
 had individual temples in their rooms, some quite elaborate.
 I left in order to go to Vietnam. This was before the affairs with the
 newspapers and the stories about Charles Manson. You can imagine the chills I
 felt in 1969, hearing about Charles Manson's beliefs in race wars, building
 retreats in the desert, hearing messages in Beatles songs, using drugs,
 talking about "man is god" and "Do what thou wilt" philosophies.
 Nevertheless, I did not know about the Solar Lodge scandal until I ran across
 it in an obscure book in a second hand bookstore in 1988! Now of course with
 the Internet there is all kinds of information and misinformation.
 The only thing I have read in the press was the book, The Family, by Ed
 Sanders. Some of his information seemed about right, but some of it was just
 plain wrong, I think. There was never a lodge in San Bernardino. They are
 confused with San Bernardino county, which is where Blythe is.


Remark about a factual error. Blythe is located in Riverside County, not San Bernardino County. Vidal is located in San Bernardino County, with the county line being approximately 2 miles south of the town. The Sheriff's Deputies that was actually involved in the "Boy in the Box" case said the reason that the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. took the case, rather than the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. was because their office in Blythe was far closer than the SB County Sheriff's Office in Needles. * * * To my knowledge, the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. started in late 1966 — early 1967. The construction of the Ark began in summer of 1967. We used materials from quonsett huts we purchased and disassembled, then took them out into the desert, near the Colorado River. The exact spot was near the small town of Vidal, Calif. We were headquartered in an old house in Los Angeles, near the USC campus. We were building the "Ark " in the Mojave desert, near Blythe, California. There were about 15 to 20 other members of the Lodge at that time; men and women, all ages. A few were students at USC, but there were also professionals, house wives, and assorted others. No one as crazy as Manson at that time. Where did Charles Manson come from? I guess I'm not surprised, though. There were some pretty far-out types circulating between Haight Ashbury and L.A. in those days.

Excerpt of "Ordis Templis Intelligentis" by Alex Constantine, 1996: The O.T.O.'s Solar Lodge in San Bernardino was founded by Maury McCauley, a mortician, on his own property. McCauley was married to Barbara Newman, a former model and the daughter of a retired Air Force colonel from Vandenberg. The group subscribed to a grim, apocalyptic view of the world precipitated by race wars, and the prophecy made a lasting impression on Charles Manson, who passed through the lodge. In the L.A. underworld, the O.T.O. spin-off was known for indulgence in sadomasochism, drug dealing, blood drinking, child molestation and murder. The Riverside O.T.O., like the Manson Family, used drugs, sex, psycho-drama and fear to tear down the mind of the initiate and rebuild it according to the desires of the cult's inner-circle. Morris McColley was not the head of the group, and he did not have a place in San Bernardino, but in Vidal, which is in the very large county of San Bernardino. Actually I don't think it was his place, either. And part of the reason in my opinion for the location may have been that it was close to Parker, AZ, which was the location of one of Jean Brayton's teachers. Morris was a barber, not a mortician, as I recall. I don't remember Barbara. Yes, the order did have apocalyptic views when I was there. That is why the "Ark" was built. This was a temple in the desert, built from disassembled quonsett huts. What is a quonsett hut? It is a temporary structure built in wartime. Made from large pieces of corrugated steel, it's like taking a big pipe, laying it on the side, cutting off the bottom half, putting doors on the ends, and windows in the sides. The group believed that "it was all going to come down" that is, a repeat of the Watts riots (remember, this was LA in 1967) not unusual. This was a time of revolutionary fervor among the young in many places including Germany, China, Paris, England, and of course peace and protest marches everywhere! We were caught up in a mixture of drugs, anti-war, and anti-establishment. The Order was powerful because it embodied these things. Interestingly, the racist attitudes were not made evident at first, but only hinted at. This was Jean's way ... she often would obliquely hint at things. We would listen to the Beatles albums and hear special messages. There were messages everywhere, if you could hear them. Hearing them often involved drugs. All kinds of drugs. Jean wanted converts, while the "gates of initiation" were wide open. She began putting on "profane parties" to bring in the masses, and people were attracted to the idea of a special, semi secret organization with rituals, sex and strange doings and good drugs and groovy people! The group did not have a single, cohesive world view. There may have been some members who believed in hollow earth. Jean was very interested in Mei Ling's world prophecy, which, among other things, dicussed a predicted world deluge. There were all kinds of ideas flying around the place! People were trying out different kinds of thoughts. Question: Were the rituals and initiations para-masonic? — Indeed they were, in fact, prior to taking the first degree, we were asked if we had ever had any contact with the masons. Question: What were the ceremonies, and into which degrees were the initiations? — The only ones I know about for sure were the minerval through the third. I believe others may have been conducted in the desert. I suspected the sex magick, which is one of the reasons I left ... the women weren't all that attractive!! They didn't tell you everything right at first :) But as I hung around the house, I picked up bits and pieces. Especially after I visited the ark. And of course, when everyone was high. Jean often referred to Ray Burlingame, and mentioned Parker, Arizona, which is possibly where they had lived for a time. I got the feeling that their contact had been a few years previously, but I don't know exactly. They sure had a lot of old books and other artifacts. I was in Jean and Dick's bedroom a few times (snooping) and besides being really messy, there was a lot of stuff. The only theft I knew about was when two members visited a house in the neighborhood that was for sale, and they took something from it, stating that it belonged to them anyway. I was put off by this, and it was another one of the reasons I felt distanced from the group. The only other illegal activity I knew of was drug use, but then, it was the 60's ! Question: Did Jean Brayton really think she was the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley? — She never said this to me. Question: Did she claim she was head of the O.T.O.? — No, just that lodge. Jean never claimed to be OHO, or any grade, for that matter. And indeed, there was one other person who I met who might have had a leadership role, but I don't recall his name. I knew there were other groups, They were seen as rivals. But the lodge did not consider _all other groups to be rivals, nor did it consider freemasonry to be antithetical. I do not know the exact identity of the groups it considered to be enemies, I just know they existed. I do know that some of the lodge members considered black people to be enemies. This made me uncomfortable. My memory of Jean Brayton is that she was a good person. I believe her iron-fisted rule descended after my time, or else she hid it from me. In my experience, she was authoritarian, but not tyrannical. There were no children at the lodge when I was there, so I did not get to see how they were taught.






Ordo Templi Orientis - Velle Transcendental Research Association — Solar Lodge


To be continued below



In August 1969 Charles Manson's 'Family' committed their 'notorious' murders while at the same time the Solar Lodge was at the centre of their own scandal. Here's a newspaper-clipping from the 'Washington Post' for October 31 1969:


       Boy Tells Of Chaining By Cultists
        INDO, Calif, Oct. 30 (UPI)
        — Anthony Saul Gibbons, 6, sitting on a pillow
        on the witness stand so he could be seen, tes-
        tified Wednesday he was burned with matches and
        imprisoned in a packing crate at a desert com-
        mune for starting a fire.
        The small boy was barely audible as he relatd
        the events that led to his being chained inside
        the sweltering box for 56 days during the sum-
        mer on the farm commune operated by a cult called
        Ordi Templar Orientialis.
        Eleven members of the commune, including the
        child's mother, are on trial for felony child
        abuse.
          Anthony, now a ward of the court, said his
        fingers were burned with matches after he started
        the fire which destroyed a house and injured a
        group of goats June 20.
        He testified he was placed in the packing crate
        with his legs chained and let out only to do his
        "chores."
           The boy was questioned repeatedly before he took
        the oath as Defence Attorney Keith Blazer attempted
        to establish if the boy knew what a lie was. The
        boy said he understood that he would be punished if
        he told a lie.
            After Anthony testified, the prosecution rested
        its case.
 
Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Anthony Saul Gibbons Boy in the Box
Candace Reos, a former member of the Solar Lodge, was questioned by the police in 1969. She stated that Brayton practised thought-control on the Lodge's members; one member, she remembered, was ordered to curb his sexual desires by cutting his wrists every time he was aroused. Mrs. Reos told the police that when she herself became pregnant, Brayton was outraged, and told Reos that she would have to train herself to hate the unborn child.

Reos went on that the children of the group's forty-three members were kept apart from their parents, and received special "training" that was given in "very severe tones." She added that "there was a lot of spanking involved, and a lot of being enclosed in dark rooms." The teacher's punishments "left welts", and the Order parents themselves were sometimes ordered to beat their own children.




The FBI files on the Solar Lodge




Parts which have been blacked out by the FBI censors are marked XXX. It should be noted that Charles Manson is not mentioned anywhere in these files.
Facsimile reproductions of these files may be found in my Materialien zum OTO.
Access to larger scans of these facsimiles via my Picture Website.
Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Ordo Templi Orientis FBI files


Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Ordo Templi Orientis FBI files Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Ordo Templi Orientis FBI files Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Ordo Templi Orientis FBI files


 Date: 8/15/69
 TO: DIRECTOR, FBI                  ATTN: Identification Division
 FROM: SAC, LOS ANGELES (88-16511)
 SUBJECT: GEORGINA R. BRAYTON, aka Jean Brayton — FUGITIVE;
          RICHARD MONTGOMERY BRAYTON — FUGITIVE;
          ROBERT ALLEN DUERRSTEIN — FUGITIVE;
          EDSON FRANK DUNLAP — FUGITIVE;
          JAMES HERBERT GIBBONS — FUGITIVE
          UFAP — CHILD ABUSE
          OO: Los Angeles

 The following information was furnished 8/14,15/69 by XXX Riverside County
 Sheriff's Office, and XXX Riverside County District Attorney's Office,
 Blythe, California. These agencies requested Unlawful Flight to Avoid
 Prosecution (UFAP) assistance for captioned subjects: This case involves
 an organization or cult known as O.T.O., which letters stand for Ordo
 Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the Orient or Oriental Templars).
 It is also known as the "Eye of Horus" and has had book stores under this
 name. The aims of O.T.O. are the teaching of hermetic science or occult
 knowledge, the pure and holy magic of light, the secrets of mystic
 attainment and yoga of all forms. According to cult literature entitled
 "Manifesto of the O.T.O.", it embodies the whole of the secret knowledge of
 all Oriental orders and "has existing branches in every civilized country
 in the world." The O.T.O. maintained book stores in Blythe, California,
 and at 1918 West Eight Street, Los Angeles, which later moved to 1241
 West 30th Street, Los Angeles. These "Eye of Horus" book stores were
 managed by subject ROBERT ALLEN DUERRSTEIN.

 A group or commune of the O.T.O. based in Los Angeles, California, at 1241
 West 30th Street and 2627 Menlo Street, approximately one and one half to
 two years ago began building a retreat or commune on 20 acres of land
 located in a remote desert area, 38 miles north of Blythe, California, on
 Highway 95. According to tax records, this property is in the name XXX.
 During the period of construction, the cult members worked in Los Angeles
 and travelled to this property on weekends.
 About three to four months ago, a large part of this group moved to this
 desert commune and several obtained jobs in Blythe. The buildings consisted
 of a Quonset type building and "houses" made out of "piano boxes" and "A"
 frames. They maintained livestock such as cows, goats, and horses on this
 property. The O.T.O. also listed a run-down tavern, motel, store, and
 station at Vidal, California, approximately two miles from their commune.

 Among persons moving to this commune were five children, two of which were
 ANTHONY SAUL GIBBONS, also known as Saul Gibbons, age 6, XXX. Their mother,
 BEVERLY JUNE GIBBONS,  a white female, age 36, and xxx APPROX. father,
 JAMES HERBERT GIBBONS, an employee of the Los Angeles County Probation
 Department at Camp David Gonzales, were members of O.T.O. Witnesses state
 that according to rules of the cult, the parents were not to have direct
 control over their children and the children would be in effect wards of
 the O.T.O.
      [Remark P.R.K.: This sounds like Reuss' concept of a social utopia,
      somehow tried out by Crowley at his Abbey of Thelema at Cefalú] 

 On 7/26/69, XXX went to the commune to look at some horses which were for
 sale. At this time, they observed a child chained inside of a large shipping
 crate and thereafter notified the Riverside County Sheriff's Office.
 Riverside County Sheriff's Deputies proceeded to the commune, where they
 found SAUL GIBBONS sitting on a mattress in a 6' by 6' box. A heavy metal
 chain was padlocked to his left leg and the other end of the chain was
 locked to a large metal plate. The box also contained a No. 10 can
 partially filled with human waste and swarming with flies.
 Also, the box contained an uncovered plastic jug with drinking water, a food
 encrusted plate, and a small washtub filled with dirty water. The stench was
 nauseating, the flies were swarming, it was hot, and the boy could not
 recall how long he had been in the box. The recorded temperature in Blythe
 since 7/1/69 reached 117 degrees with 12 days raching 110 degrees or more.
 Investigation determined that on 5/20/69 the Quonset hut at the commune,
 with many of the cult's belongings, burned down. This fire was not reported
 to authorities.
 Cult members determined that SAUL GIBBONS set the fire and about three days
 later, GEORGINA BRAYTON, RICHARD BRAYTON, and ROBERT DUERRSTEIN, as well as
 other cult members, proceeded to the commune from Los Angeles.
 XXX former O.T.O. members, stated that GEORGINA BRAYTON is the leader of the
 group and ROBERT DUERRSTEIN is second in command. The group is strictly
 disciplined and JEAN BRAYTON finalizes all decisions.
 Upon arrival at the commune in May, JEAN BRAYTON is alleged to have held lit
 matches to the hand of SAUL GIBBONS as punishment for burning the Quonset
 down and for killing two goats which were destroyed by the fire. She
 allegedly made SAUL bury the goats after which he was "beaten all day" with
 bamboo sticks by the adult members of the commune while the BRAYTONS and
 DUERRSTEIN watched. SAUL was then put in an "A" frame building by the "cow
 pens" and chained to the heavy metal plate. He allegedly stayed in the "A"
 frame two weeks, during which time he was fed only bread and water.
 Thereafter, he was transferred to the 6' by 6' wooden box in which he was
 found on 7/26/69.
 A week or two after SAUL's original punishment at the commune, a meeting was
 held at the O.T.O. Temple, 2627 Menlo, Los Angeles. JEAN BRAYTON told those
 present that as punishment for setting the fire she had burned SAULS's hands
 with matches, made him dig the grave and bury the carcasses of the two goats.
 and then chained him in an "A" frame, where he was to sit in Asana, a yogie
 position. She then said that when it was convenient, she was going to give
 SAUL LSD and set fire to the structure in which he was chained and give him
 just enough chain to get out of reach of the fire. She asked if anyone had
 any objections or better ideas. No one, including SAULS' mother, BEVERLY
 GIBBONS, who was present at the meeting, had any objections. ROBERT
 DUERRSTEIN suggested they kill the child, but JEAN BRAYTON said this would
 not be necessary.
 BEVERLY GIBBONS allegedly remarked during these conversations that it was
 "sacrificing one to save many".
 SAUL GIBBONS, age 6, was apparently chained in the above condition from
 about 5/23/69 to 7/26/69.
 The Riverside County Sheriff's Office arrested the following cult members
 after SAUL was found and they were subsequently booked 8/13/69 on Riverside
 County Grand Jury indictments charging child abuse. They are currently out
 on bond:

 CLIFFORD ALAN REOS, white male, age 21, 5'10", 160 pounds, brown hair, and
 green eyes;
 MICHAEL JOHN FOXWORTH, white male, age 20, 6'20", 175 pounds, brown hair,
 and brown eyes;
 GARDNER HERBERT REYNOLDS, JR., white male, age 22, 5'11", 180 pounds, brown
 hair, and hazel eyes;
 JAMES EDWARD HUNGERFORD, white male, age 22, 6', 175 pounds, brown hair, and
 blue eyes;
 VIRGINIA CELESTE MICHEL, white female, age 21, 5'3", 110 pounds, brown hair, 
 and blue eyes;
 PATRICIA ANN MOSHER, white female, age 26, 5'3", 105 pounds, brown hair, and
 blue eyes;
 JACK REVEL NEECE, white male, age 22, 5'8", 140 pounds, brown hair, and blue
 eyes;
 JOHN FRANCIS NICHOLSON, white male, age 21, 5'8", 148 pounds, brown hair, and
 blue eyes;
 JUIDH LYNN OSTER, nee Angelson, also known as Julie Oster, an employee of the
 Bank of America;
 BEVERLY JUNE GIBBONS, white female, date of birth 5/13/33, 5'4", 105 pounds,
 brown hair, and brown eyes;
 JEFFERY FLYNN

 As previously stated, the above listed persons have been charged with felony
 child abuse and are currently out on bond.
 On 7/28/69, XXX Riverside County District Attorney Investigator, interviewed
 XXX who were all together at Blythe, California. He also talked that date by
 phone with XXX. Warrants were not outstanding for these persons at this time
 and they were not arrested. All of these people disappeared thereafter and
 their whereabouts are currently unknown.
 XXX Vidal, California, advised the Riverside County Sheriff's Office 8/4/69
 that XXX disappeared after the above arrests and that she had seen a letter
 from RICHARD BRAYTON to XXX , which was postmarked in Arizona, city unknown.
 While JULIE OSTER was in the Blythe jail, conversation was overheard between
 JULIE and O.T.O. friend in which JULIE said that if "she (JEAN BRAYTON)
 couldn't come back in the stat, someone else would have to administer the
 business enterprises at Vidal". Also, that the BRAYTONS "weren't safe in the
 United States".
 On 8/13/69, the Riverside County Grand Jury returned a true bill charging 19
 members of the O.T.O., including all five captioned subjects, with violation
 Section 273(a), California Penal Code, Child Abuse, a felony.
 This case was discussed with Assistant U.S. Attorney DAVID P. CURNOW, Los
 Angeles, by SA XXX on 8/14/69. He authorized prosecution of all five captioned
 subjects for violation Title 18, Section 1073, U.S. Code, UFAP — Child Abuse.
 He recommended $25,000 bond for each subject.

 On 8/15/69, complaints were filed by SA XXX before U.S. Commissioner JOHN
 MORGAN, Riverside, California, and warrants were issued. Fugitive Form Letters
 submitted.

 GEORGINA R. BRAYTON is a white female; born 12/29/21, possibly in England;
 5'5", 135 pounds; brown hair dyed red; green eyes; California driver's licence
 F553407; and Social Security Number XXXX. She allegedly has claimed to be the
 reincarnation of Sir ALEISTER CROWLEY, who wrote "Book of Lies" published in
 London in 1913. CROWLEY, since deceased, was an alleged leader of O.T.O.
 RICHARD MONTGOMERY BRAYTON is a white male; born 1911 in Ohio; 5'10"; 165
 pounds; black hair, graying; brown eyes; Social Security Number XXX, California
 driver's licence B240125, and Criminal Identification and Investigation (CII)
 Number XXX. He was arrested for burglary by the Los Angeles Police Department
 9/28/68, their number XXX. BRAYTON is alleged to have become addicted to
 percodan.
 ROBERT ALLEN DUERRSTEIN is a white male; born 9/23/39; 6'3"; 160 pounds; brown
 hair; blue eyes; California driver's license F819421; and with address 1241
 West 30th Street, Los Angeles.
 EDSON FRANK DUNLAP is a white male; born 10/10/30; 6'2", 180 pounds; brown
 hair; hazel eyes; address 1241 West 30th Street, Los Angeles; and California
 driver's license F324970. DUNLAP, a dentist and graduist of University of
 Southern California (USC) Dental School, is reportedly a high cult member and
 has worked for XXX has a bank account at the Bank of America, 1255 Sartori
 Avenue, Torrance.
 JAMES HERBERT GIBBONS is a white male; born 8/22/32 in California: 6'1"; 160
 pounds; brown hair; Social Security Number XXX and was employed by the Los
 Angeles County Probation Department. He also has degrees in theology and made
 application to teach at the Palos Verdes Junior College, Blythe, California.
 The Riverside County Sheriff's Office also has felony warrants for charging
 child abuse in connection with this matter for DENNIS CASTINEREZ, also known as
 Paul Masters, Steve Quilly, a white male, 25 years of age, 5'7", muscular
 build, dark hair, and tan complexion. CASTINEREZ allegedly may be avoiding the
 draft. They also have felony warrants to B. APPORX. Lorna FLYNN, a white
 female, and GEORGE CHRISTIAN SCOTT, a white male. The Riverside County
 Sheriff's Office to date has not located these persons. UFAP process is not
 outstanding for CASTINEREZ, LORNA FLYNN, or GEORGE SCOTT at this time.
 XXX
 The O.T.O. leases and operates the Richfield Service Station at 3401 South
 Flower, Los Angeles, which is run by cult member XXX. Other cult
 members work at the station.
 XXX



Comment by a former member of the Solar Lodge — see above

 Robert Allen Duerrstein, "Bob" as I knew him, was in the dentistry department
 at USC, and got us all kinds of drugs. Edson dunlap, aka "Big Ed", I knew
 little about, except that I think he had a lot of power in the organization.
 He was a former race car driver. James Gibbons "Spud" as we knew him, was a
 friendly man, a good soul, so I thought. I cannot imagine that he would
 subject his child to this thing.
 It troubles me to learn the identity of the parents whose child was the "boy
 in the box". Of all the people I knew in the group, I would have guessed them
 to be least likely to do such a thing. But I also understand how such a thing
 could happen.
 The "Order" promised a "short cut across the spirals of evolution to true
 enlightenment." Many of the people involved at that time had experimented
 with mind-altering drugs. Remember, this was in the time of Haight Ashbury
 and Timothy Leary and a rediscovery of Asian philosophy. I myself had just
 come from Haight Ashbury to Los Angeles in the summer of 1967, when I was
 introduced to the Solar Lodge. Many of us had tried LSD, and after a while,
 realized that it only took us a little way. We wanted to know if there was
 more, and the Solar Lodge promised us that there was. They used mind-altering
 drugs to help the process, but they were not the first. Certain branches of
 yoga use "arshti", which is a practice of giving drugs to acolytes to help
 them open up their perception.
 In addition, they were a kind of communal group, also very attractive at that
 time. I saw this when I first met them. They were renting apartments in South
 Central Los Angeles, and I rented from them, and eventually took the oath of
 the Minerval Degree from them. There appeared to be about 15-20 members then.
 Many lived in the same house with Jean and Dick. Some were students at the
 nearby University of Southern California. The core group members appeared to
 be a bit older, from mid 20's to 40's. Most new members were younger.
 The atmosphere at that time was enthusiastic, mystical, and a bit unsettling,
 because of the feeling that many things were not being revealed to newcomers. 
 But this also attracted people to become more involved, in order to find out
 more. Jean began the practice of putting on "profane parties" in order to
 attract newcomers, because she said that it would only be possible for a
 limited time to gain new members. [see Frater Shiva in a separate box] 
 They held ceremonies, including initiations in the third floor of one of the
 houses they owned. They taught yoga, Kabbala, and various forms of
 divination, such as Tarot reading. They also had an extensive collection of
 books, some of which appeared to be very old.
 They were also building a retreat in the Mojave Desert. They called it the
 "ark", because it was where we would all go when rioting began again in Los
 Angeles. (Remember, the Watts riots had happened two years before.) They
 built this desert temple near Blythe, CA from Quonset huts dismantled from
 old warehouses in southeast Los Angeles. The temple was in the shape of a
 pyramid [see Frater Shiva in a separate box], because of the power in that shape,
 because the location was roughly
 at the same latitude as Cairo, and for various other reasons. This
 apparently was the building that was burned, although I am only guessing.
 As one spent more time with the group, and advanced in the grades, more was
 revealed, and more demands were made. To paraphrase a passage from the Bible,
 "on the tongue, it was sweet, but in the belly it became bitter." But we were
 also instructed from the very beginning that part of the test of our
 worthiness would be our willingness to follow instructions that seemed
 unusual. Because we had to subdue the ego, which was very tricky, and would
 find any way it could to preserve itself.
 At the time I was involved, there was no illegal activity that I was aware
 of, other than the use of drugs and some petty theft of statues from
 neighbors' property [see Frater Shiva in a separate box]. Most of people's energy 
 was devoted to the practices we were assigned.
 Sometimes a few of us would spend long hours into the night talking
 philosophy, but we were discouraged from talking about our practices or about
 what we knew about the organization [see Frater Shiva in a separate box]. This was 
 a time when we questioned all
 values: our president had been assassinated a few years previously, our
 religions had become irrelevant, we were against the war in Vietnam, an many
 of the terrible things we had been told about drugs we felt were untrue. So
 we were throwing out the old ideas and reinventing ourselves. The Solar Lodge
 beliefs appeared to have answers to our dissatisfaction with traditional
 values, and they made us feel special, superior.
 But after a few months, I began to find the group a bit boring and
 narrow-minded, particularly in their views about Black people. Their racism
 was one area where they were out of touch with the mood of the times. But the
 racism was very subtle, and there was not preaching about white supremacy or
 aryanism [see Frater Shiva in a separate box] .
 Most of what I have read about the group varies from sounding fairly true to
 being wildly inaccurate. I doubt very much that Jean Brayton was a CIA
 operative, as was Cinque and other members of the SLA. She certainly was not
 a daughter of an Air Force Officer, as some say! She actually had a slight
 English accent and enjoyed making marmalade and tea. Maybe she was channeling
 Crowley! She never in my presence claimed to be Crowley's reincarnation,
 however. She did have many opinions about world events, but on close
 examination, her understanding of those events was shallow, incomplete. She
 chose to pay attention to what reinforced her somewhat apocalyptic views.
 This became tiresome to me eventually. She would, from time to time, say
 things that had a curious ring of truth. I remember in particular her saying
 that in order to truly change, one had to cut ties from old acquaintances.
 She once pronounced the family "public enemy number one", because it kept
 individuals from cutting the bonds of conformity. She loved to find greater
 truths in everyday observations, and many of the members extended this to
 looking for hidden meanings, notably in song lyrics, especially Beatles
 lyrics.
 All of what I have read about the group completely ignores the aspect of
 human aspiration that the group harnessed. The group members were not devils.
 They were ordinary people who were seeking. Since that time, we have seen
 many other examples of what can happen when ordinary seekers fall under the
 spell of a charismatic leader. Some can do much good, and some, such as the
 followers of Jim Jones, can do much ill. We would do well to spend some time
 not simply vilifying these people, but trying to understand what in human
 nature is attracted like the moth to the flame.
 The Solar Lodge followed the OTO motto that "Man is God". But I would modify
 that to add that it is true insofar as any human can understand a supreme
 being. Therefore, the "men" of the OTO are gods. And not all gods are great,
 or benign. It was this hubrid, I think, that led to the unfortunate decision
 to put a child in a box. This is what happened to the Braytons and their
 Solar Lodge.
 What happened to me? I was forced to leave because of Vietnam. I joined a
 much more powerful and deadly cult, the U.S. Army.

                                    * * *

 I am fearful of having my name associated with the group, and being contacted
 by any of the old members of the group. I'll tell you a story:
 In 1972 I revisted the meeting house to see if any of the people I had known
 were still there. the windows of the house were papered over so that no one
 could see in. Finally, a person who I recognized answered the door. He was
 extremely guarded, and looked as though he had aged considerably in the 4
 years since I had seen him (he couldn't have been over 25) He asked me if I
 had heard the news about the group (I hadn't. I knew nothing of the
 associations with Manson) Then, fixing me with a very sinister scowl, he told
 me never to return unless I was rejoining the group. "This is not a
 bullshit organization", he said.
 The more I am finding out about this group, the more I realize I did not know
 very much about them. and I would imagine that some of the former members are
 still around. And right now here in the States is a bit of fear about what
 crazy person might be loose with a gun!




Comment by Frater Shiva, another former member of the Solar Lodge


Ray and Mildred Burlingame, plus Mr. Basham, initiated Jean Brayton into the
Minerval degree and the first degree on Tuesday evening, October 30, 1962. After
her ceremonies, Milton Basham (and, it is said, his wife also) received the 
Second degree. Jean's husband, Richard (Dick) Brayton, never received any form of
teaching or initiation from the Burlingames. Somewhere, at intervals of a few
months, between the date of this initiation (Oct 1962) and July 1965, Ray
Burlingame initiated Jean Brayton into the V° and the IX°, supplying her with
(carbon-copy-style) copies of all the papers and initiation rites pertaining to
all the grades, until the stack of papers was nine layers deep. The final
document, Emblems and Modes of Use, was hand copied by Jean Brayton with pen and
paper from a hand-written document that Ray had set before her after her brief
ceremony. In case anyone wonders … there was no sexual activity involved. Then he
stood over her and watched as she transcribed the "codex" into her own possession.

I (Shiva) was present during many of the meetings described in the time period
cited above. I was never present at an "initiation," but I stood solitary guard in
the outer temple as the higher grades were being transmitted in another room. The
radiating energy (which "leaked through the veil") had a peculiarly subjective
"radioactive" quality. No drugs were ever used — Frater Aquarius warned of their
dangers and was firmly set against them. I have repeated what she described to me
about certain activities that took place behind that "veil," and it is the same
rays and activities that she used when she transmitted this same information to
me, and to several others (in the V°), and to a few of us in the higher numbers.
This entire series of transmission of degrees is sometimes hotly debated, and it
is not recognized by the current OTO, incorporated. I have publicly acknowledged
their position and here is … why?

1. The generally accepted rule for authorizing initiation is a written note
(charter) from The Grand Master Baphomet (for beginners, see III° oath). Setting
aside any considerations of the fact that there was no Grand Master in any form in
those days, I must admit — We had no written charter, neither from any Grand
Master nor from Frater Aquarius (Ray). 

2. Instead of a charter, the entire operation revolved around a certain IX°
talisman that I have openly described elsewhere. After Ray had given Jean her
final papers, he said, "By the way, you'll need this …" as he passed her the
powerhouse that had come to him from Aleister Crowley via Jane Wolfe. This was not
an OTO emblem — it was what we might call a "Thelemic Emblem," placed on top of a
graded stack of OTO initiation documents. This does not constitute generally
accepted authority to initiate into the OTO or to use the initials OTO®.

3. Since the engine that ran our daily lives was the A.·. A.·. curriculum, and the
commonly used name for our society was "Solar Lodge," I am content with that
title, historically speaking, for it carries its own distinct vibration.

4. In respect of our relation to any external body or corporation, our
organizational structure and operation would fall under the title, Clandestine.

Frater Shiva, Email dated 16 March 2011.



"It was also at this time of the first initiations [1965]
that I conceived and suggested the name “Solar Lodge.“ The 
term, “Solar,“ was selected due to its derivation from the 
Sun (Sol), around which everything else in our “solar system“
revolves. It was intended that there would eventually be 
additional Lodges that would “revolve“ around this central 
Solar Lodge. Capricornus [Jean Brayton] liked it and the 
appellation was immediately adopted. Now, when still a 
Probationer, Frater Sol had experienced great difficulty
settling on a magickal name for himself. Eventually he 
accepted a name that I designed for him: “Rajka,“ which
Qabalistically speaking is RJKA = 231 = “To rise like the Sun.“
After his I° initiation, he was upgraded to Frater “Sol,“ 
implying that he had “risen.“ Solar Lodge was not named after
Frater Sol, rather the reverse was true."
  — Frater Shiva: "Inside Solar Lodge — Outside the Law", 
York Beach, 31.



The Braytons had a small, one-bedroom house on 30th street, in which they lived.
Jean (without the knowledge of her husband) bought a two-story "mansion" two doors
away from their home — it was her intention to rent rooms to students from USC. 
Shiva (your author) was the first student to arrive and rent. The place was still 
under refurbishment (it was a mess) and he took the first room  that had been
cleaned leaned up (Room #4 — 1963 e.v.) — then he helped Jean rebuild the rest
of the rooms.
Other students came and pretty soon the whole place was rented. The situation
remained like this for two years. After the Lodge got underway (subtly in 1964 -
but formally in 1965), a third property, with many rooms, was purchased down the
street — about 7 lots away. This is the ONLY house that still remains and it is
currently (2005 e.v.) owned by … USC … who rents rooms to students therein.
There were no "members of religious cults;" there were students, SOME of whom became 
members of the Lodge. Other students (all) knew of our magickal activities, but they
"minded their own business" and no effort was made to convert them for we
were consciously abiding by the "attractive principle" — that is, they had to
ask first. "Always make them ask!" Eventually, three additional, really big and
ornate [but old], houses were purchased on another street. The last one was bought
after  left the Order (in '72 e.v.). There was only one bookstore, but it moved
around (reincarnated?). First it was across the street from USC, then it moved a
few miles north into central L.A., then it moved to Blythe, CA. Rooms were not
rented to "members of religious cults," but to students. Some of these (about 50%)
joined the Lodge. One could justify the quoted phrase, but it is not what was
being done. Around 1967, a franchise (that's like a rental — not a purchase) was
engaged   Frater Apollo with Atlantic-Richfield (now "ARCO"), under his own
volition. It ran successfully for 2 or 3 years — until the whole Lodge blew up..

A list of 50 initiates is posted at the Mystic-History website. Frater Anubis
submitted a list of 75 named initiates to me around 1979-80 — just after he left 
"The Tong." He should know. He was the Grand Treasurer General and he kept those
records — along with the recording of "dues paid" at the average rate of $20 per
year, I believe. This was always considered a token payment, indicative of one's
continued interest. Other money from members was Never solicited. In the final two
ears of my seven-year tenure, Work was solicited. Money from the public was Never
solicited. Early (the first 5 years) Work and monetary donation were completely
voluntary without any encouragement. That fact alone should raise interest. The
Braytons were operating at poverty level when they bought that first little
house.
The amazingly rapid growth into a constant, positive cash flow, with the ability
to acquire property really fast  — while making it pay for itself, is one of the
mysteries that people often cite when referring to Solar Lodge. It has been
compared to the crusader-era Templar phenomenon. They ended up in deep doo-doo
too!  But that is another story, being one of the key elements in the second book,
now under construction — if I can ever get back to it while engaged in this essay.

There were 75 initiates, formally recorded. There were many, many others who were 
"guests" in the house (one or another of the 8 houses) for the purpose of visiting 
while investigating the Law of Thelema. Overall, I would say somewhere around 250.
Maybe more. Frater Shem  offered open house to about 8 people each evening, once
a week, for at least 3 years.

Quote: (from anonymous source) "Jean began the practice of putting on 'profane
parties' in order to attract newcomers …"
Fact: Only one such party was ever held. It was Night on the Nile. It was the
grand opening of the newly-restored "Grand Lodge" on Menlo Avenue. It was not
to attract newcomers. It was an invitation-only event wherein the close friends
and family members of any member was invited. It was hardly expected that any of
these people would want to join. The main objective of this "party" was to serve
notice on meddlesome friends and family members that had been, overtly or
covertly, attempting to dissuade a member away from his/her beliefs and/or
associations. I wrote the script for the play ("The Succession of Aeons") and I
also put the vodka in the punch bowl. As I was doing so, Frater Shem, under his
own direction and free will, poured a big slug of LSD into the same punch bowl.
The results were, to say the least, interesting. All of this was contained within
a circle and the ceremony (play) include The Invocation of Thoth, which is always
considered a big hit. Some of the more interesting results happened after any
given "guest" left the circle.

Quote: (anon) "The temple was in the shape of a pyramid …"
Fact: There was no temple at Solar Ranch. There were simply two Quonset huts, 
some minor out-buildings, and one small travel-trailer. One Quonset was a combined
bunkhouse, living room, kitchen .. and yes, ceremonies were performed there. One
of them resulting in the UFO story that has not yet been revealed. A thoughtform
of a pyramidal temple was certainly in place. But first, the four cornerstones
had to be erected. The Quonset complex was only the first cornerstone — the other
three never had time to be started. This Quonset complex was indeed the structure
that burned, taking with it the vast majority of the archives. This whole
destruction would probably have been avoided if the guru had merely hastened to
the words that she heard when she meditated upon the next step:
 
"Capricornus [Jean Brayton] withdrew alone several hundred feet into the desert
and sat down in meditation.
She sought the meaning of the disaster and in response a loud,
internal, booming voice said unto her, “The Gates of Initiation are closed!
Send everyone away!“
Instead, she said to herself, “I will never send anyone away!“ She then
returned to the group and proclaimed, “This is a big problem, but I have decided
we will rebuild!“
Note: She did not reveal her internal message to me (or anyone else) until six
months later! This is the critical juncture where it all started to unravel." 
- Frater Shiva: "Inside Solar Lodge — Outside the Law", 2007 

Note: I am choosing not to dispute anon's "bitter" description as he moved on up
through the grades; this probably was his experience. Many initiates go through
this. However, since he/she was apparently affiliated before the playing of the
Atu XVI card (the blasted tower), it might be noted that, at that time, all labor
was strictly voluntary. No money was sought. Free, high-quality food was always
offered. The "following of unusual instructions" meant performing The Tasks of the
Grades as written in their currently-held A.·. A.·. Paper. There was no personal,
dictatorship operating. Everybody followed the same curriculum. If one showed up
for work, then one had to do what the team leader said. "Put this toilet on that
second flatbed trailer over there!" "Jack the car up higher so I can get this
engine installed."  "Call every rental agency in the phone book and see if they
have a water pump we can use to empty this flooded basement." — Just like what
happens when you go to work in the outer world. Any bitterness was his/her own,
because the rest of us (most of us) were on a roll, generally enjoying every
moment of it — except when those moments of personal crisis arose. And that, being
handled, it was time to get back to work.

Quote: (anon) "… some petty theft of statues from neighbors' property."
Fact: I have seen this quote before. Amusing, isn't it? The neighbors didn't have
any statues. They had, essentially, nothing. This was an University area that was
on the fringe of the ghetto. Frater Shiva himself (that's me) bought and delivered
the various statues that adorned the properties. They came from curio shops on
Hollywood Blvd. The neighbors did actually steal a large yellow Buddha statue from
us. It was the same one that a certain member who disappeared (from his family and
former associates) was cited as "being buried under." Rest easy, for this
"murdered" member is one of the eight who still exists (circa 2005 e.v.) within
the hidden core group of survivors.

Quote: (anon) "… we were discouraged from talking about our practices …
Fact: This is absolutely correct. It was a strict A.·. A.·. curriculum within a
group that practiced group rites on a regular schedule (weekly). Any discussion of
personal practices was supposedly limited to one's "link" (guide) or one's student
(downline). Of course, people find it hard to keep their mouths shut and there
were frequent reminders about this. Oh Lord!  It's like Ashramic discipline — I
feel bitter!

Quote: (anon): "The racism was very subtle, and there was not preaching about white
supremacy or aryanism."
Fact: This racism theme is one that keeps coming up. If there was any racism, it
must have been in the lower grade levels — where, it should be noted, it probably
did exist — just like it exists within almost everyone on this planet — maybe
that's why it was "subtle."  I was on the council that approved the initiation of
a black person. He asked, he did the work, he got admitted. Our operational phrase
was "Refuse none." Our neighbors were almost exclusively "people of color." We
were invited into their homes on numerous occasions where we were offered tea,
coffee and cookies while we discussed our ancestries, various economic distresses
and assorted neighborhood problems. "It's those kids down at 1201 who are stealing
all the bicycles;" (we discovered a "bicycle shop" in their garage and spoke to
their parents). They visited our homes when they had something to impart.
All things considered, I think our "racial adjustment" was far more harmonious
than most societies were at that time, and even as they are today.
I might add that a certain mistrust was present and discussed at all levels: of
certain young, black men (never women), unknown to us, in a group of three or
more. They could be easily identified by their dress and their bearing. We lived
on the edge of the racial abyss. These emissaries of the gangs that lurked just
out of our range of sight and influence were decidedly dangerous people. The
influence of hard drugs was present in their eyes and they were never friendly. If
this is "subtle racism," well, I doubt it. It is common sense. 

Frater Shiva: "Liber Disclosum No Number BEING AN ANAL-LYSIS OF MATERIAL PUBLICKLY
POSTED BY MR. KOENIG (SWITZERLAND) THAT REFERS TO Solar Lodge R.I.P.", March 2011.


Quote: "Many kinds of drugs were available. One or two of the members were making
them."

Shiva replies: Many kinds of drugs were available everywhere. Dexedrine® was
outinely used by approximately 60% of the entire dental school student body — some
say I am wrong, "because it was at least 85%." LSD and similar substances were
absolutely legal to sell, buy, hold and consume. Pharmaceutical-grade, Sandoz®
Laboratories' LSD-25 was the sole provider. In an environment like this, all other 
drug settings pale in comparison. If you were a part of it, in the mid-to-late
60s, then you know what I mean. Interestingly, we had no problems with any members
in relation to alcohol or cocaine, both of which were extremely popular in the
outer world. Nobody was "making" any drugs at any point in the whole adventure -
with one exception: Frater Yama decided to extract the LSD molecules out of
Morning Glory seeds, a perfectly legal ritual. He borrowed my vacuum pump to get
the goop separated from the solvent (diethyl ether). The whole Grand Lodge stunk
badly for a few hours and the resulting libation was the poorest quality medicine
I have ever encountered — nausea mixed with lethargy and no transcendental powers.
This was done once! Nobody in their right mind would partake of his mixture a
second time.

Marijuana, although illegal, was available everywhere. Just like the alcohol
prohibition a couple of decades into the new aeon. Solar Lodge did not furnish,
sell or provide any drugs of any kind to any person, except in the course of its
use as a libation in a formal magickal ceremony. The members brought their own
marijuana. Everybody, everywhere, within this circle and amongst their worldly
friends, had their own marijuana. Members passed the marijuana around instead of a
bottle. Again, this was during formal ceremonies. I am sure that individual
members indulged in their own habits, but I saw no evidence of what is termed
"chronic use." Marijuana was not used in the house or at the ranch for work
parties or social purposes (the so-called "recreational" use). The closest thing
to an outer world usage was dispensation for the purposes of watching the first
runs of Star Trek® every Friday evening, which for us was a great game of
synchronizing ideas and Qabalistic correlation.

Now there's always an exception — Just when we were coming under the watchful eyes
of the citizenry of Blythe, California, one member was busted in the parking lot
of The Eye of Horus bookstore for selling marijuana. Capricornus (Jean) was
furious; I was a bit irate. He was running his own little, private operation,
that's what he was doing.

Quote: Remark about a factual error. Blythe is located in Riverside County, not
San Bernardino County. Vidal is located in San Bernardino County, with the
county line being approximately 2 miles south of the town. The Sheriff's
Deputies that was actually involved in the "Boy in the Box" case  said  the
reason that the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. took the case, rather than
the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. was because their office in Blythe
was far closer than the SB County Sheriff's Office in Needles.

Shiva relies: There was no need to perform this song-and-dance justification.
Solar Ranch, where the alleged crime took place, was distinctly positioned in
Riverside County, just about a thousand feet south of the San Bernardino County
line. The town of Vidal, in San Bernardino County, was never invaded by the law as
no alleged crimes were attributed to that location; they came looking for
fugitives a time or two, but they never found anybody they wanted.

Excerpt of "Ordis Templis Intelligentis" by Alex Constantine, 1996:
Quote: The O.T.O.'s Solar Lodge in San Bernardino was founded by Maury McCauley, a
mortician, on his own property. 

Morris McCauley, R.I.P., was a Master Magician (IIIº) who came along way after
Solar Lodge was underway. During the high adventures with the FBI, he secretly
removed a set of initiation documents and went away to another city to found a new
Order (still in existence, even though he has passed away). He was a barber, who
had previously been a mortician in a family of morticians. He played no part in
the founding of Solar Lodge, and he owned no property in San Bernardino (city or
county).

Frater Shiva, Email 16th March 2011.


 




Ordo Templi Orientis Ordo Templi Orientis



It seems that the accused parties came before a judge in December 1971.
In January 1972, Jean Brayton's periodical 'Midnight Press' published a "Special 'COMICS' Issue", from which it was plain that the Solar Lodge was now calling itself the "Velle Transcendental Research Association, Inc." In this issue of the magazine (Vol. 1 Nº 4), mention was made of the first trial as a "farce", and that a higher court than the Indio Superior Court would be bound to accept the group's evidence of "the existence of the psychological report which confirms that [the boy in the box] Anthony [Saul Gibbons] was not harmed emotionally or physically." The magazine also complained about the numerous delays to the group's defence caused by recalcitrant attorneys, claiming that they were the victims of perjury "confidential material" had been witheld from them, and that they had not been provided with court transcripts. It also adduced the "fact" that the six-year old Anthony Saul Gibbons had emerged from the box on July 26 1969 "in good health as confirmed by a doctor's examination."

Jean Brayton gave her own opinion of the local justice system: "The Riverside Railroad Injustice System supports judges and prosecutors who are neighbours, who belong to an in-group clique of socialites, who golf together, who evaluate trial action according to political pressure, who exchange functions of the judicial system indiscriminately, who ignore welfare and probation recommendations to inflict jail terms in their warehouses of perversion, who have professional witnesses and intimidated witnesses perjure themselves in order to unjustly malign those who endeavor to bring true freedom and love into the hearts of all mankind."

The members of the Velle Transcendental Research Association, Inc. called themselves "Velleans", and the group claimed that it was a "True, Universal Brotherhood" which paid homage to Freemasonry. The Velleans said that they had magically invoked the Egyptian god Tahuti (otherwise called Thoth) to call forth a tribunal before "Horus! Lord of the Aeon!!" where "The Grand Inquisitor [i.e. the judge] and Prosecutor" were compelled to "Swear that we will never again hinder our [illegible] man in his search for true freedom and understanding. We also swear to strive ever stronger in our search for truth and knowledge of our true selves!"



Rumour has it that Jean Brayton escaped to Ensenada in Argentina, just prior to being arrested. Some say she's dead by now.




The birth of the "Caliphate" as a consequence of Charles Manson's involvement with the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. ?




In January 1969 Phyllis Seckler told Grady McMurtry about what had been happening in California. On 29 April 1969, McMurtry moved from Washington to California, and started an unsuccessful campaign to recruit former Agapé members to his cause. In a letter dated June 9 1969, one of these ex-members called Jean Shivonen replied to McMurtry: "I'm not interested." Nonetheless, McMurtry and his wife Phyllis formed a group callled "the Continuum" and started publishing reprints of Crowley's writings. It was this Continuum group with a nucleus of five members that was eventually to become the 'Caliphate' O.T.O.: a new O.T.O. founded in 1977 for the purpose of getting tax-exempt status as a religious association, and to benefit from an alleged claim on Crowley copyrights worldwide.

An intriguing sidelight is cast on these pretentions by Crowley's Last Will and Testament, which makes no mention of McMurtry at all, naming the Englishman John Symonds as "Literary Executor" to the Crowley estate.


While the Solar Lodge may not have believed that Sascha Germer had any worthwhile O.T.O. material, McMurtry certainly toyed with the idea of filing a legal claim to force her to hand her archives over to him. However, the local police cautioned him against this. On March 20 1973 McMurtry and Seckler publicly copyrighted Crowley material for the first time.

When it was revealed in the tabloid press that Manson might have been an occasional visitor to Jean Brayton's O.T.O., McMurtry promptly informed on Brayton to the FBI, almost certainly to avoid his own affairs being investigated too closely. He also furnished journalists with information about Brayton and the Solar Lodge; in return for this favour, Ed Sanders made no mention of McMurtry in the first edition of his book on the Manson affair "The Family". More recent editions of "The Family" also exclude any mention of the O.T.O. as well.
Earlier, Sanders reported that at least five separate sources informed him that Manson was involved with the Solar Temple Lodge, both at the Lodge's desert ranch, and at one of their houses in L.A., located near the USC campus. Sander's also claimed that a house owned by Brayton at 1251 West Thirtieth Street in Los Angeles was supposedly frequented by Manson. [In fact, it was Manson ‘Family’ member Tex Watson, not Charles Manson.]
Ed Sanders Jean Brayton Solar Lodge Grady Louis McMurtry The Family



Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Grady L. McMurtry Riverside Lodge of the OTO Grady Louis McMurtry's list of alleged members of the Solar Lodge



Letters between Grady McMurtry, the Braytons and the FBI, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, list of alleged members of the Solar Lodge Other letters between Grady McMurtry,
the Braytons,
the FBI and the Riverside County Sheriff's Office




Exploitation of this and other correspondences in the essay on the History of the 'Caliphate'Ordo Templi Orientis — Mysteria Mystica Maxima — The 'Caliphate' — The Swiss O.T.O.: Theodor Reuss, Spencer Lewis, Aleister Crowley, Phyllis Seckler, Karl Germer, Jane Wolfe, Jean Brayton, Grady Louis McMurtry, Helen Parsons-Smith, Oscar Schlag, Marcelo Ramos Motta, Euclydes Lacerda de Almeida, Gerald Yorke, Israel Regardie, John Symonds, Kenneth Grant, Martin Starr, William Breeze, William Heidrick, James Wasserman, James Grαeb, Hermann Joseph Metzger, Annemarie Aeschbach, Anita Borgert, Olaf Raederer, Ernst Graf, Adalbert Schmid, Martha Kuentzel





Summary


Two crimes came to be connected with the Brayton group:

  • Allegations of child abuse surrounding the Solar Lodge, which brought the police into the picture. Eventually, McMurtry was contacted by Detective Sergeant Henry C. Hayes (of the Riverside County Sheriff's Office) and spoke to a newspaper reporter called Arthur Lyons, with whom he shared what little he knew about the rival O.T.O. lodge (including accounts from S.L. members Glenn Hughes and Jerry Kay, plus the newspaper stories of the so-called “Boy in the Box” incident and its subsequent trial). The journalist and musician, Ed Sanders (b. 1939), got hold of this material from Lyons, who was then helping the Riverside County Deputy District Attorney in his investigation.
  • The depredations of Charles Manson’s ‘Family’, which mostly consisted of girls around 20, murdered at least seven people in the summer of 1969, among them the film director Roman Polanski’s wife of barely a year, Sharon Tate (b. 1933).


Although the Solar Lodge was active in the same area that Manson (b. 1935) was staying, the F.B.I. files dealing with the lodge mention neither Manson nor anyone from the ‘Family.’ Nonetheless, the cultic characteristics of the Manson murders plus allegations about the Solar Lodge’s own cult crimes led the authorities and media to suspect links. In 1971 Sanders’s book ‘The Family’ was published. In this he claimed at least five separate sources informed him that Charles Manson was involved with the Solar Temple Lodge; both at the Lodge’s desert ranch and also at one of their houses in L.A., lo­cated near the U.S.C. campus. Also, Sanders asserted that a house owned by the Braytons (1251 West Thir­tieth Street, Los Angeles) was supposedly frequented by Manson.

The Braytons sued Sanders in a civil case. Glenn Hughes testified at the hearing that McMurtry had given him information about the Braytons and the Solar Lodge. The case concluded with a settlement and the Braytons withdrawing their complaint. While Sanders didn’t actually mention McMurtry in the first edition of his book, all subsequent editions of ‘The Family’ omit all mention of the O.T.O., after the ‘Caliphate’ threatened to sue.

In sequence, the events of this affair were:

  1. Georgina (Jean) and Richard Brayton founded the Solar Lodge in 1965.
  2. The Braytons were supposed to be linked with the robberies of Israel Regardie’s (1907–1985) collection of Golden Dawn material (on 18th February, 1969) and Crowleyana, as well as the burglaries of Sascha Germer (on 03rd September, 1967) and Mildred Burlingame (in January and October, 1966). These incidents were the trigger for Phyllis Seckler to resume contact with McMurtry, and for their joint decision to found their version of an O.T.O. in the U.S..
  3. On June 10, 1969, a young boy who was living at the Solar Lodge set fire to his bedroom; the fire got out of hand and allegedly “all of Aleister Crowley's written diaries […] had been destroyed in the fire” (McMurtry to Lindstrom, May 12, 1971, to Lt. Thomas Grammer, May 13, 1971 and to Henry C. Hayes, May 14, 1971). (“no loss, [Germer] sent [Gerald Yorke] copies of everything before he died,” McMurtry, Notes on the Brayton Case, 13 June, 1973). He was punished by being locked in a box out at the lodge’s desert ranch. Police and FBI were called in and scandal in the yellow press ensued, resulting in the Braytons going on the run for eighteen months. Charges against Richard Brayton were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence, while Jean Brayton pleaded no contest to one count of felony child abuse, placed on three years probation and fined $500.
  4. Phyllis Seckler wrote to Grady Louis McMurtry.
  5. McMurtry came to California.
  6. McMurtry started suspecting Georgina and Richard Brayton because of what Mildred Burlingame told him. "A Mr. Jerry Kay […] has told us that it was within a week or two after that date [the robbery of Sascha Germer at September 3, 1967] that the Baytons dragged a trunk or box of material […] into […] both [their] library and temple […] and exhibited, among other things certain ceremonial robes that, from the description, appear to be the Golden Dawn robes of Aleister Crowley.” McMurtry to Lindstrom, October 17, 1970. The “Boy in the Box” case was linked to the Solar Lodge and further implicated the Braytons.
  7. McMurtry talked to the press.
  8. Ed Sanders got that material from the press.
  9. Sanders’s book was published.
  10. The Braytons, as the ‘Velle Transcendental Association’, sued Sanders and others in a separate, civil trial.



Brayton's large Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. existed well before the small 'Caliphate' did and McMurtry would now need some way to dispose of this unwanted rival and proclaim himself as the self-styled head of the O.T.O. with worldwide supremacy, all the while flying in the face of the historical facts. He therefore founded a new Agapé Lodge, called it a 'Grand Lodge' in 1977 with an implied superior status, and set about silencing or activating other O.T.O. lodges or memberships according to their willingness to accept his claimed supremacy. Thus, he described Brayton's group as "irregular", stating that the Burlingame's original powers to initiate had been invalid — yet at the same time conveniently accepting the "powers" of those other former members of the defunct 1950's Agapé Lodge who supported his claims — people like his own wife Phyllis Seckler, and Helen P. Smith. Not only were the Burlingame's powers denied, but also those of key figures like Kenneth Grant, Marcelo Ramos Motta, and H.J. Metzger, who undoubtedly had some prior claims and seniority in the O.T.O. A carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign of disinformation did the rest of the work in upholding McMurtry's fairy-tale.

The fact is that either both Brayton's Solar Lodge and the 'Caliphate' are 'regular' O.T.O. offshoots — orphan satellite offspring of a defunct O.T.O. group dissolved in 1953 — or neither are anything of the sort. Since McMurtry's time, some of the more discriminating 'Caliphate' authorities have acknowledged the existence of this uncomfortable dilemma, and now admit that the Burlingames performed limited O.T.O. activities to get themselves off the hook — though they don't specify just what these activities were.




'Caliphate' and Solar Lodge: Irregular?


K = Koenig
S = David Scriven, Xth of the "Caliphate", email correspondence in late 1996

K: I also would like to see any such paper [= charter to initiate] for
  individuals like Seckler, H.P. Smith and the Burlingames (who, according to
  Heidrick, did initiations in the late 1960s) (Heidrick to me194@delphi.com).
  If you can't show such paper I would like to hear your explanation why any
  initiations done by above mentioned individuals should be "real"
  initiations? (the "emergency" argument does not count because it does not
  mention/assert "initiations"!)---
    S: By McMurtry's recognition of them.
    K: Therefore, the Solar Lodge is a "real" OTO lodge or is McMurtry's
      recognition haphazard or selective?
K:---Heidrick told that some members of the Solar Lodge now are members of the
  "Caliphate". (Heidrick to me194@delphi.com, 9 Oct 1994) Is that true? If
  yes: Since when? And why? I thought that members with a criminal history are
  excluded ...
S: I am aware of the initiation of the son of a former Solar Lodge member. We
  also have members who were once members of the "Order of Thelema," a later
  successor organization to the Solar Lodge. I do not believe we have any
  members who were members of the original Solar Lodge who would have been
  involved in the Germer/Regardie/Burlingame thefts or the "boy in the box"
  scandal. People with criminal histories are not _necessarily_ excluded from
  membership. The nature of the crime, the age of the individual when the
  crime was committed, and the individual's behavior during and after civil
  punishment are taken into consideration. Brayton's initiation occurred
  before McMurtry's implementation of the Caliphate, which was, according to
  my current reckoning, in 1969; or according to your reckoning, in 1977.
K: In other words: there is uncertainty as to why Mildred B's initiation of
  the Brayton woman should have been not valid because Mildred had no charter
  to do initiations — while McMurtry's initiations should have been valid
  although he never had such charter.
S: This is a good point, but I believe I have answered it above.
K: But M.Burlingame's initiation of Brayton is not denied!
S: She did perform the initiation, but we do not recognize its validity,
  because it was performed in 1963 or 1964; both after Karl Germer's death and
  before McMurtry's activation of the Caliphate. McMurtry could have
  recognized it retroactively, but he did not do so.





Nevertheless, Phyllis Seckler openly admitted: "They were an O.T.O. Lodge". (Phyllis Seckler: 'In The Continuum' Vol. II;2, p. 12.)
In 1971, Richard Brayton acknowledged McMurtry as 'Caliph' and suggested they unite their forces. [See scan at the right.] McMurtry refused.

After the "boy in the box" scandal McMurtry tried to put as much distance between himself and the Solar Lodge as possible in the FBI's eyes! It begs to the question: does 'Caliphate'–recognition of an initiation rest upon moral grounds, i.e., can it be retracted later if the 'Caliphate' doesn't like / approve the initiate? Another double standard is operating in the emails from David Scriven: according to S's own criteria, Burlingame was actually entitled to be performing limited OTO activities alongside McMurtry, Seckler and Smith. Otherwise the 'Caliphate' would simply have been McMurtry by himself holding it in trust, just as Motta could have been said to have done with Motta's SOTO. ]
Solar Lodge Richard Dick Brayton Grady Louis McMurtry Mildred Burlingame Ordo Templi Orientis Velle



And the Swiss O.T.O. ?


In 1971, with the newspaper clip from the 'Washington Post', "Boy Tells Of Chaining By Cultists", for October 31 1969 (see above) Hermann Joseph Metzger from the Swiss O.T.O. travelled to the American Embassy in Berne which reported to the Director of the FBI: "He stated that he was afraid that these people were giving his organization a bad name in the U.S., and he wished to emphasize that they had nothing to do with his society." Swiss Ordo Templi Orientis Hermann Joseph Metzger FBI Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.




Charles Manson and the O.T.O. ?




Before Charles Manson (b. 1935) possibly visited the 'parties' open to outsiders held at Solar Lodge meetings, he already had a rather chequered occult history. He is supposed to have first become interested in Scientology while he was incarcerated at the McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington (Scientology has prison recruiting programmes). There it is said that Manson received about 150 hours of Scientology counselling. After his release from prison, he went to Los Angeles, where it is claimed that he attended several Scientology events where Hollywood stars were guests, including possibly the dedication ceremony for Scientology's first 'Celebrity Center'. Manson was undoubtedly eager to meet celebrities to further his musical ambitions and find someone to produce his guitar-playing. It is known that he contacted one of the Beach Boys, and Doris Day's son Terry Melcher.

There are hints that not long after this he may also have had links with 'The Process', a Satanic-oriented group which had originally broken away from Scientology. Scientology itself had early connections with Crowley's O.T.O. via L. Ron Hubbard's association with Jack Parsons.More on Parsons in Nikolas and Zeena Schreck: Demons of the Flesh

As witnesses have reported (see above), Brayton began putting on "profane parties" to draw in recruits from the public, attracting people to the idea of a special, semi-secret organisation which performed magical rituals, and which involved "sex and strange doings and good drugs and groovy people." About fifty outsiders were involved, including Hollywood figures like Jerry Kay, who had been the art director on the film 'Easy Rider'. Kay left the Solar Lodge around August 1967, having done little more than take the 'Oath of a Probationer' [an A.·. A.·. "degree"]; the one thing he took with him on his departure was a copy of the 'Book of the Law', which he decorated with illustrations, and later sold.

The most famous guest at Brayton's parties may well have been Manson.

But there is NO definite evidence whether Charles Manson really ever visited the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Although Manson's group also used drugs and sex in order to achieve more than simple carnal satisfaction considering he regarded sex as a religion, there is no proof whether he or his followers were ever interested in Aleister Crowley or his work.

The scandals surrounding the Solar Lodge happened at the same time as the Manson 'Family' was committing the murders of Sharon Tate and her friends — seven people in all — in August 1969; and both sets of events took place within a few miles of each other. This and the similar occult backgrounds of Manson and Brayton made the tabloid press leap to the conclusion that there must be a direct connection between the Manson murders, and the O.T.O.'s 'boy in the box' scandal — a highly tenuous connection, to say the least.


But there is one more dependable, if unusual link between the characteristics of the 'Family and Brayton's Solar Lodge, and other O.T.O. groups. One member of Manson's 'Family' called Robert (or Bobby) "Cupid" Beausoleil once lived rent-free together with the celebrated underground film-maker and occultist Kenneth Anger although he did not share his interest for magic. Before he became embroiled in the Manson affair, Beausoleil had acted the rôle of Lucifer in Anger's film 'Lucifer Rising'. While imprisoned as a result of the murders, Beausoleil occupied his time in composing a musical score for the film. Kenneth Anger was also instrumental in founding Anton LaVey's 'Church of Satan' — and allegedly LaVey played the rôle of Satan in Roman Polanski's film 'Rosemary's Baby' (which is in fact not true). Sharon Tate, one of the Manson murder-victims was Polanski's wife.

Today, Kenneth Anger is a close friend of William Breeze, the 'Caliph' or leader of the 'Caliphate', the new O.T.O. group that was founded largely as a result of the Solar Lodge and Manson affairs. Anger is a member of the 'Caliphate' IX° and as a member of the VIII°-Aeropagus has a say in this Order's fate.


[ Photo at the right: Bobby Beausoleil ]
Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. Robert Bobby Beausoleil Kenneth Anger




Material on Charles Manson and the Solar Lodge:

  • Ed Sanders: "The Family", New York 1971
  • Phyllis Seckler's magazine "In the Continuum", Oregon
  • Court transcript Marcelo Ramos Motta vs. Samuel Weiser Inc. 1985
  • Marcelo Ramos Motta: "Oriflamme" VI;5 Rio de Janeiro 1987
  • Sandy Robertson: "Aleister Crowley Scrapbook", London 1988
  • Vincent Bugliosi: "Helter Skelter", New York 1988
  • Frater Shiva: "Inside Solar Lodge — Outside the Law", York Beach 2007.

    Read also about the Solar Lodge:

  • Memories of an ex-IX°
  • David Scriven
  • Jerry Cornelius: Myths of the Solar Lodge Revisited




  • This is an outline from the German/English "Der O.T.O. Phänomen RELOAD" (2011) and from the English "O.T.O. Rituals and Sexmagick" (1999).

    Regarding Crowley's antidemocratic, racist and mysanthropic 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.

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


    © Peter-Robert Koenig









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