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 
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
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
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
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
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
Frater Shiva, Email 16th March 2011.