XI° in the 'Caliphate'
A Recollection by Runar Karlsen
I am Runar Karlsen and was born 2. May 1963 in Norway and am an educated painter by diverse Fine Art academies.
I got interested in occultism during the eighties and found the OTO to be a fit place as I was appealed by Magick, Thelema, the social environment and since I am gay and just that, the XIth degree. I met the OTO people in 89 and then watched the former Oasis in Oslo "Yggdrasil" collapse as I came in the door.
In May 1990 I got initiated to Minerval and 1st, by Arild Stromsvåg. Late in 91 I received my charter to run Balt camp in Oslo and Stromsvag became then my main contact and link to the higher degrees. That I started so early with my own project in the OTO was due to that the other camp proved dissatisfactory. We were upgraded to Oasis in `94 and I then also received what should be the last degree for me; The KEW in that early autumn, together with ordination to Priest in the EGC. I finally returned my charters to run the Oasis in July 97, when I saw that it was absolutely impossible to do my will in the OTO.
During these years the OTO changed a lot. In the beginning things was I believe much as McMurtry left it, as Stromsvag had contact with him and followed his instructions untill new ones came from Hymenaus Beta. We had no contact with the caliphate and were happily unaware of them as Stromsvag represented them and provided our material.
After my 1st degree in `90, I asked if there was any catches that theoretically would hinder me in reaching the summit in OTO, considering the fact that I was only gay. No - was the clear answer from Stromsvag. But he was then only Vth. I was happy and regarded OTO as the only organisation that could satisfy my needs - even if those people I met wasnt exactly what I considered Ideal. I thought that could change as the movement caught on.
In 92 or 93, Stromsvåg told us that the Orders regulation had changed and that from now on, one have to be initiated into the IX before one can have XI. I didnt like that so much, but kept on as before.
In 93 or 94, the idea was born of registering EGC to an Official church that could get license to do Weddings from the state. The response from Stromsvag was lacking, he didnt seem to be fond of the idea, and said he thought the bureacrazy was too much. I didnt really think that was his real point, but I wasnt aware of anything else. Anyway the idea caught many fans, as we were thelemites and we lived high within the current of Thelema so we all believed that official thelemic weddings and funerals would be come reality within years, even if we had to create another church to reach our ambition. So - the rituals of the church became interesting anyway, and I thought that I could at least look at the opportunities to create a wed-rite for use for non-hetero couples. In 95 Stromsvag told me to speak with HB about this as there was coming an opportunity to meet him. And it happened, but he seemed just politely interested, which was however enough as I wouldnt expect any real interest from some het.person. But the meeting was mostly disturbing as I also got some strong impressions of his magickal identy. (And funnily - the Oasis master of Yggdrasil that left town after closing told me it was because of the meet with him that she closed - because she distrusted him.) However, life in the Oasis was fun and intense and I didnt care about this and several other signals about his illmanagement before I got the new by-laws early autumn 96. I was left to a very painful winter where I had to reconsider things anew. I had become very attached to the OTO and I couldnt simply march out on a single day, I had planned to stay within for the rest of my life !
But the day finally came, my energy just ceased to work for me and I had started to become careless about maintaining things within - I had to face what I knew was true; The cOTO had no real place for me anymore. So I wrote the following letter and left.
Balt Oasis, July 22nd 1997 e.v. Q in E, R in L Anno IVv e.n.
I had lengthy discussions with Stromsvag prior to the closure, and the same with Heidrick afterwards. These did contribute a lot developed and mature rhetorics - especially Heidrick. It were all just roundabouts that couldnt touch the real question: What did HB mean with all this ? His silence is the answer I have got and nothing that Heidrick & Stromsvag said could oppose that silent answer. Also; they were not in power to change anything, so keeping on a lengthy discussion to provide tons of argumentation to get them confirm the obvious was just some Kafka work.
Today there is just some fragments of OTO left in Oslo. The spirit has left and few believes in any thelemic society. Also the mother Lodge in Bergen has shrinked noticeable the last 3 years and there are nil activity there now.
It is evident that HBs actions and non actions have severely hurt the Thelemic movement. I think his supporters should realize. My support to Peter-R. Koenig`s site is therefore a statement, and I wish more people took the time to study it, as this is the best source ever on the OTO. Nevermind his taste for embarrassing details, the picture and the lines that he draws are true and the places where he has got undocumented details on the actions of the cOTO, I had often received confirming rumours or facts inside the cOTO.
To the c(oy)OTO.
So - due to the situation and the so many constitutional ills* of the cOTO that makes the cOTO so UNFIT for its task that it has pretended to uphold the last 15 - 20 years; That of being the Lighthouse for the Thelemic movement and Society, I just had to write another letter to the cOTO.
30 Oct 2001
To the c(oy)OTO.
I returned my charters in 97 and there said that I stay as a member. Well - There are many repectable people in the high degrees in the OTO, but you have failed completely in getting rid of His Holyness, The Superior incapacity Hyenaus Beta. That you are able to cope with this worm is beyond my vilest daydreams. The fantastic constitution of the OTO was not so well made that such a scavenger would automatically be removed. I do not want to be associated with the Order that now seems to be founded to create the monument of "The manifold bound and loathing".
The outer Order ?
Captured by a SOTO member. Expelled or not - Thats what he is.
Your guidance and protection from The Great White Brotherhood and the Secret Chiefs is duly banished.
Aka Runar Karlsen.
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