Phantoms of the Ordo Templi Orientis

background information


Peter-Robert Koenig

Updated paragraphs of earlier articles (eg All We Want Is A Caliph) plus news on William Breeze, Christopher Hyatt, William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Israel Regardie, the Falcon Press copyrights, L.M. DuQuette and others — 2005.
Anonymous 2021: Burning Down The House. 'Caliphate', Argenteum Astrum, James Wasserman, Donald Trump.

Phantoms of the Ordo Templi Orientis

The O.T.O. has its origin as a pseudo-masonic organization founded in 1906 by the German collector of Masonic and fringe-Masonic orders, Theodor Reuss (1855–1923). Approximately in the year 1910 Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) became a member of the O.T.O. and from 1912 onwards, was he Head of the British Section. Crowley used this mundane organisation as a vehicle for the propagation of Thelema and re-wrote the O.T.O.-rituals accordingly.

Because Spencer Lewis (1883–1939) (leader of the A.M.O.R.C.) threatened Theodor Reuss (founder of the O.T.O., in 1906) that A.M.O.R.C. would stop paying its O.T.O. subscriptions if Aleister Crowley remained a member of the O.T.O.; and because at the same Crowley was upset at Reuss granting (on 13th June, 1921 Charles S. Jones the highest U.S. degree (the X°), in the autumn of 1921, Reuss distanced himself from Crowley, turning towards the A.M.O.R.C. and to Arnoldo Krumm-Heller’s Rosicrucian organisation, the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (F.R.A.). After receiving his honorary diploma from Reuss, Lewis sent a telegram, dated 24th August, 1921, asking “What connection has Crowley with your organization”? to which Reuss replied “Dissolved.” In October, 1921, Reuss informed Lewis that he had cut the O.T.O. connection between himself and Crowley, adding that whatever Crowley might happen to do about it in the U.S.A. was now his own business and no longer any concern of the O.T.O. On 9th November, 1921, Reuss wrote to Crowley: “the ‘O.T.O.’ is not in any way an annex or even in any way connected with the ‘AA’ [Crowley’s Argenteum Astrum, A.·. A.·.] and [...] the Teachings of these Two independent Bodies must rigorously be kept separate and distinct.” To which Crowley replied (on 23rd November, 1921) that it was his “will to be O.H.O. and Frater Superior of the Order and avail myself of your abdication — to proclaim myself as such.” Several days later, on 27th November 1921, Crowley noted in his diary: “I have proclaimed myself O.H.O. [Outer Head of the Order] Frater Superior of the Order of Oriental Templars.”

From this time onwards, in Rosicrucian circles it was considered that “During the last two years of [Reuss’s] life he was not active in teaching the Crowley doctrines and practices and regained the respect previously ac­corded to him in occult and fraternal circles.”

Reuss continued his own original O.T.O. and removed all thelemic references from the rituals and his Order magazines. Crowley on the other hand ignored Reuss. After Reuss' death in 1923, the use of the logo and the Order name was used by various groups and claimants.

This article focuses on the American version, nowadays known as the 'Caliphate'.

Charles Manson and the Solar Lodge

The tabloid press blurb tells the story of Charles Manson's contact with Jean Brayton's 'Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.'. The 'Caliphate' often claims that Brayton's group was irregular in O.T.O. terms, but Phyllis Seckler, a protagonist in the founding of the 'Caliphate', has admitted that it was a genuine O.T.O. lodge. To exaggerate for a moment, you might say that without Manson the 'Caliphate' would not even exist.

During Crowley's lifetime there was only one active O.T.O. lodge in the USA, the so-called 'second' Agapé Lodge in California. An insight into the prevailing spirit at the Lodge in the 1940s was given by Harry Hay, the founder of the modern gay movement in California: during their performance of the Gnostic Mass, he was present sitting at a piano playing the tune "Yes, We Have No Bananas"; he remembered thinking to himself that anyone who hadn't belonged to the O.T.O. would have had a very hard time not bursting out laughing at such a comical Mass.
One of its members Grady Louis McMurtry, received some special instructions from Crowley which stated that in "case of emergency" McMurtry was to take over this lodge, subject to the approval of Crowley's heir insofar as the O.T.O. went, a German called Karl Germer. Germer did not think much of McMurtry (calling him a "Minus" and saying that the US was a "spiritual desert"), and he closed Agapé on 7 September 1953. Germer now favoured Hermann Joseph Metzger from Switzerland as his own O.T.O. successor. With that, McMurtry completely lost interest in the O.T.O. When he heard of Germer's death (1962) and the question of his successor arose, McMurtry stated on 25th October 1963 that "there is nothing I can do at the moment."

In the 1960's, a former member of Agapé LOdge called Mildred Burlingame "initiated" Jean Brayton with some of Crowley's O.T.O. rituals; Brayton's resultant group was something like a motherless satellite of a defunct lodge. Neither Burlingame nor McMurtry (who only later decided he was interested in the O.T.O. after all) had permission either to initiate or found a new lodge of the O.T.O.; indeed it was explicitly forbidden in the O.T.O.'s statutes to initiate candidates or establish new lodges without a superior officer's permission.

Brayton's Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. existed well before the 'Caliphate' did, but McMurtry felt he had to somehow to dispose of this unwanted rival, and proclaim himself as the head of the O.T.O. with worldwide supremacy while flying in the face of the historical facts. He therefore founded a new Agapé Lodge, called it a 'Grand Lodge' 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 he 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 and authority denied, but also the likes of Kenneth Grant (England), Marcelo Ramos Motta (Brazil), and Hermann J. Metzger (Switzerland and Germany), 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 wishful thinking.

The fact is that either both Brayton's Solar Lodge and the 'Caliphate' are 'regular' O.T.O. offshoots — or orphan satellite offspring of a defunct O.T.O. group dissolved in 1953 — or neither are legitimate. During McMurtry's time, some 'Caliphate' protagonists 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 but none have appeared to specify just what these activities were.

So what exactly did Manson do in the Solar Lodge? As witnesses have reported, 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 have been Manson (if he really was there), who, like Brayton, believed he was the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley.

When Manson became involved with Jean Brayton's Solar Lodge, McMurtry informed on Brayton to the FBI to avoid the FBI investigating him. He also provided the journalist Ed Sanders with material about the affair — and in return Sanders made no mention of McMurtry in his book "The Family" about the Manson murders. Now McMurtry, together with his wife Phyllis Seckler founded a group called 'The Continuum', and started publishing Crowley material. The Continuum was the nucleus of the 'Caliphate' a new O.T.O. founded in 1977 for the purpose of receiving tax-free status as a religious body, and to benefit from the royalties generated by supposed Crowley copyrights worldwide. An intriguing sidelight is cast on these pretensions 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.

The scandals surrounding the Solar Lodge occurred around 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 Solar Lodge scandals — 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 Beausoleil lived together with celebrated underground filmmaker and occultist Kenneth Anger. 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. Anger was also instrumental in founding Anton LaVey's 'Church of Satan' — and a common rumour is that 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.

Karl Germer had refused to accept Anger as an O.T.O. member. But because today Anger is a close friend of William Breeze, the 'Caliph' or leader of the 'Caliphate', he is a IX° and as a member of the VIII°-Areopagus has a say in this Order's fate.
Breeze gave Anger the IX° for his knowledge and services, that is his so-called art and Crowley collection.

Birth Of The 'Caliphate'

Germer died in October 1962 and in January 1963 Hermann Joseph Metzger was elected OHO in Switzerland by his brethren.

McMurtry was under the assumption that he was the last surviving member of the US Grand Lodge after Germer's death. McMurtry believed (as does his successor, Breeze) that Grand Lodge O.T.O. doesn't have an actual 'location': just chartered individuals. Wherever these individuals lived, that's where their office was and they acted accordingly.

In January 1969 Phyllis Seckler told McMurtry about what had been happening in California. In 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."

Nevertheless, McMurtry played around already in 1969. Llee Heflin: "Now about what I said about the OTO not existing as an active organization at the time Grady initiated me and my friends. Absolutely nothing was said by either Grady or Mildred Burlingame [!] about the existence of an active OTO organization. Sure there were Grady and Mildred, and a few other individuals left over from the old Pasadena/LA days of Agapé Lodge. But to the best of my knowledge they did not themselves constitute an active organization or Lodge. It was my very strong impression from everything that was said during that period, and from the ludicrous nature of the actual initiation 'ceremony' (Grady was so nervous he could hardly talk) that that was quite likely the first time he had ever 'initiated' anyone. Afterwards he conferred the IXº on us and that was that. I don't remember that we really ever talked about the OTO after that. It was my impression that Grady had done nothing about trying to reactivate the organization until that time when he initiated us. And as far as I was concerned we had not formed an active Lodge of the OTO by virtue of that initiation. As far as I was concerned that event was a 'non-event'. It was a charade, a travesty of a Magickal initiation. There was nothing Magickal about it at all, as far as I was concerned."
Heflin was instrumental in the Publication of the Crowley Tarot cards now so popular and which have played such an important rôle in the birth of the 'Caliphate' because one of the cards displayed McMurtry's address.

In July 1974 McMurtry clearly stated, "There is at present no Outer Head of the Order for Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis." But in 1977 the "Caliphate" self-styled itself to be the worldwide "Grand Lodge" when McMurtry signed a paper: "Let all Telemites know that I, Hymenaus Alpha, 777 IX° O.T.O., 9=2, Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis of Aleister Crowley, Baphomet, 666, do hereby Charter Thelema Lodge as Grand Lodge of O.T.O." and began celebrating the Gnostic Mass for the first time in the US since the Agapé Lodge had been closed in 1953.

The 'Caliphate' under McMurtry died with his death in July 1985. His successor would be Breeze who turned the 'Caliphate' (now 'OTO Inc' or 'OTO International') into a "marketing and sales opportunity directed towards all Thelemites".

Regarding Crowley's antidemocratic, racist and misanthropic writings, followers point out: "The reason [...] aspects of Thelema are omitted 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.

A Wholly Mundane Thing

The line of succession is vitally important, as it is believed that the leader is the repository of the Order's magical power, and also has a claim on various copyrights and royalties, especially of the works of Crowley. Therefore, one particular group in the United States, founded in 1977 had to find other ways and means to support their claim for true leadership. They resorted to using Crowley.

In 1985, an American judge ruled in the favour of the 'Caliphate' in America only thus making way for thousands of dollars from the Crowley copyrights rolling into the bank account of this rather young version of the O.T.O. This decision was made on incomplete evidence — having only two claimants summoned and none of the European leaders called or required to give evidence.
From then on the 'Caliphate' immediately declared itself to be 'the real O.T.O.'. This is historically not true: there had been many O.T.O. groups that existed and were active before the 'Caliphate' came into existence. There is no single parent O.T.O. organization but only rivalling groups. Some of them deriving from Crowley, others from an even earlier leader.

In 1991 the 'Caliphate' bought the copyrights (so far as subsisting) to Crowley's work in England and went on to sue Anthony Naylor and John Symonds (who had conferred his Rights given by Crowley to Naylor).
In 2000, a UK Court has found that from 1935 the owner of Crowley copyrights as subsisted was the Trustee in Bankruptcy of Crowley. The Trustee did not authorise any publication of works after that date or otherwise dealt with the copyrights until the 'Caliphate' bought them on 28th March 1991.
On 19th October 2000, the UK Court determined that the 'Caliphate' owns the copyrights. On Wednesday 2nd May 2001, the Judge ordered that "an inquiry shall be held before the Master as in whether copyright subsists in all or any of the works identified in the said substituted schedule [list of Crowley books to be copyrighted] to the claimant's particulars of claim". On 9th June 2001, Breeze countersigned an additional assignment agreement between his 'Caliphate' and the Trustee that gives him legal title to the non-literary works (including accrued rights of action) which means that he now has title to all works in which copyrights subsists.
Eventually, Symonds and Naylor agreed, faced with the Court telling them that the 'Caliphate' bought the copyrights, that any copyrights that they (Symonds and Naylor) may or may not have held as Literary Executors would be passed to the 'Caliphate'. Symonds and Naylor did not 'admit' that the 'Caliphate' is the 'real' O.T.O. Fact is: the 'Caliphate' bought the copyrights (so far as subsisting) — they did not inherit them.

The "O.T.O. is just a club. A simple club. A wholly mundane thing. Its fate is in no sense tied into that of the Aeon itself..." — or so said James Eshelman in April 1997. Eshelman was formerly the representative for the 'Caliph', Breeze. And about the 'Caliph': "he is willing to sacrifice the spiritual development of the present generation [of members] (since it's impossible to reform the post-Grady version of the Order anyway in order to lay the best foundation for the spiritual growth of humanity for the next couple of thousand years." And how will Breeze accomplish this miracle? By selling exclusive and pricy 'Caliphate' editions of Crowley's books?
The 'Caliphate' is little more than a commercial concern that allows its managing director to live off the royalties generated by Crowley's writings. It isn't really the membership-fees that are carved up as a rich income for the organization's chiefs, but almost entirely these royalties. Thus the 'Caliphate' must continue as a withered legal appendix living parasitically on the body of the publishing of Crowley's works. Membership is needed only in order that the chief can say, "I have a legal body that owns copyrights."

Crowley titles don't need the 'Caliphate' to sell. A lot of publishers like Weiser and Falcon, King, Skinner, Symonds, Grant, Spearman, Naylor and others (eg like Metzger, Motta, and many others throughout the world) have profited from their publications. Insofar as that almost every member of the 'Caliphate' helped purchase them, the expenditure was just a sort of addition to the ordinary dues. 'Caliphate' sub-groups like Camps, Oasii and Lodges are financially self-supporting, so all monies obviously end up at the top, with the heads of the Order.

A Christian Copy

While the 'Caliphate's initiatory system is a sort of Kafkaesque bureaucratic club game, it has a religiously associated section under its obedience.

Today's organised Crowleyan occultism as found within the 'Caliphate' provides a user-friendly method of handling occult material, abilities, knowledge, rules, and procedures. The present-day leaders of the 'Caliphate' reinterpret Crowley to suit their own needs, and generate new rituals, dogmas and teachings — like their VII° ritual, ceremonies for adopting children, or healing by laying-on of hands. The "Caliphate"-"Gnostic Church" openly copies some Christian traditions in introducing offices like "Patriarch", Archbishop", "Bishop", (Novitiate) "Priest"/"Priestess" and "Deacon". Nowadays, they offer services like: Baptism Ceremony for a Child, Baptism Ceremony for an Adult, Confirmation Ceremony, Ceremony for Ordination of a Deacon, A Wedding Ceremony, A Ceremony for a Greater Feast for Death, A Basic Exorcism Rite, A Ceremony for Visitation and Administration of the Virtues to the Sick; they have a Saintship (no woman appears on this list) and Animal Benedictions. Christian prayers are attached also to the "Caliphate"-V°-ritual: "The Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus", "The Litany of St. Joseph" and "The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary". These prayers (that is, also the initiation rituals) are accompanied by music of Mozart, Holst, Strauss, Mahler and the like. Not that they wouldn't look lovely in a self-made bishop gown and Ozzy Osbourne wig. But why not go mainstream at full speed?

They Love A Bit Of Hyperbole, They Do

The 'Caliphate' has extended its sphere of activity far beyond that of a suburban secret Order. It may be found not just in cities, but also in geographical suburbs and villages, and has also blossomed on the internet with a considerable presence in recent years.
As to the effect of the internet, it seems to be an accelerated form of the implosion of world cultures, which has been going on since, as they say , "the year dot". Ancient Alexandria was just as eclectic, infatuated with bogus or regurgitated orientalism, etcetera, as we are.
Some Protagonists of the 'Caliphate' think that decentralization is fine with one element of shining paranoia thrown in. There has to be a way to make sure that essential operations, and by that they also include taking care of people's rights in the field, aren't entrenched or broken down in the outer world. As long as they decentralize, they're going to be able to do more, and there's a bigger scope for the Order to expand. There's also a bigger scope for a local tyrant to set up. Some of the members are so far away from each other they can't tell whether anything has happened or not, hence in 2005 they created a new office, called Ombudsman, whose principal purpose is to facilitate communication between members towards the resolution of problems.

The 'Caliphate' consists of various branches, with names such as the 'Mysteria Mystica Maxima,' 'The Esoteric Rosicrucians,' 'The Home of the Order of the Oriental Templars,' and the 'Hermetic Science College.' Sometimes the ruling body of the 'Caliphate' tries to borrow high-sounding names from other organizations, like that of the 'Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua,' the 'Illuminaten Orden,' the 'Hermetic Brotherhood of Light,' 'Memphis Misraim,' or 'Academia Masonica.' They have an "Exo-Psychology Guild," "Drama and Thaumaturgy Guild," "Alcoholics Guild of O.T.O.," "Translator's Guild", "Thelemic Writer's Guild," "Psychology Guild of O.T.O.," an "Order of the Lion" giving out "Orders of the Golden Watch" and "Orders of the Eagle." The leaders nevertheless are, of course, aware that such sub-groups make for a rather pathetic organization and who wants to be part of that? Moving Order activity away from homes and bedrooms is the most important challenge facing the current generation today. They encourage everyone to lend an air of seriousness to the Order. And so they propel sub-groups like "Information Technology", "Health Sciences", "Visual Arts", "Financial Services", "Culinary Arts", "Educators", "Artisans", "Real Estate and Property Management", and many more into the limelight.

The 'Caliphate' claims that it is performing an educational task, with its 'Colleges' of Thelema, its 'Schools of Hermetic Science,' its 'Seminars on Gnosticism,' and through the order structure as well. That's where their reactionary revisionism emerges. They want to adapt to Society at large and tame illuminating revolution with a safe mainstream tie-in. Their report on the "First National Conference" in the ballroom of the Hilton in Akron, Ohio boasts: "How many of us, when we joined the O.T.O., imagined over a hundred initiates dancing and drinking in formal evening-wear beneath two-ton chandeliers to big-band, disco and rock? The O.T.O. had come of age that evening."

Contrary to popular belief, neither Carl Kellner, Franz Hartmann or Rudolf Steiner had been members of the O.T.O. But the greed for mainstream acceptance still demands satisfaction. Many artists, musicians, writers have been attracted by Thelema. Jack Parsons, Ron L. Hubbard, Robert Heinlein, to mention some.
More recently: apart from Jimmy Page and David Bowie: Simen Midgaard, Carl Abrahmsson, the Hafler Trio, Current 93 (David Tibet meandered through several O.T.O. versions), ABSU in Texas, Boris Polonski in Germany; while in Italy the label Musica Maxima Magnetica published Alberto Moscato, Philippe Pissier. There also are Diana Orlow and Mathieu Léon, and certainly there are more but let's now focus on Breeze.

Should I Kiss The VIPers Fang?

— William Breeze (born August 12, 1955) is an American, the son of a US Army man whose family travelled with him; Breeze simply happened to be born in Paris. His father is dead, while his mother lives in Wintergreen, Florida. Breeze spent six years at Harvard University in Boston, his education being paid for by his father's G.I. Bill provision for the children of U.S. servicemen. He stretched his university schooling out as long as he possibly could without graduating, since that would have meant the end of the government funds. He studied music and spent six years as an undergraduate at Harvard, making his 'living' as a career student at that stage. In 1979 this existence came to an end, but he had already made contact with Grady McMurtry. He went to Montréal, and started an O.T.O. outfit based on McMurtry's 'Caliphate'.
He became a computer designer founding his own firm in the early 1980s. In 1985 he co-founded 'Mystic Fire Video' which he left in 1993 to solely concentrate on his firm "O.T.O. Inc." or "O.T.O. International" although he still owns '93 Publishing'.

William Bill Breeze Mystic Fire Video

Musically he worked with Angus Maclise (poet-percussionist and Velvet Underground co-founder), and played on PTV's "Trip Reset" and "Cold Blue Torch" as well as Splinter Test's "Fractured Garden" and "Spatial Memory". PTV are Psychic TV, Genesis P'Orridge's band. Breeze has been a member of Coil as an electric viola player since 1997, although he also plays guitar, bass and electronics. Coil are Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and 'Jhon' (sic) Balance (now deceased). Breeze played electric viola on some Coil albums and accompanied them on various live tours, like Barcelona in 2000.

— Filmmaker, anthropologist, painter and folklorist Harry Smith, born 1923, a friend of Karl Germer began A.·. A.·. work with Charles Stansfeld Jones (the man who was Theodor Reuss' head of the O.T.O. for the US). From 1978 on, Breeze living part-time together with the 'American Magus' Smith, admired him as "my guru, friend and guide" (similarly did James Wasserman, a member who came in from a rivalling Brazilian O.T.O. branch.).

— Robert Williams had arranged with Dr Christopher S. Hyatt from the Golden Dawn and owner/operator of New Falcon Publications to initiate William S. Burroughs into the 'Caliphate'. Breeze gave Hyatt a "special charter" to do so though Hyatt was supervised from a distance by James Wasserman (now a dedicated 'Caliphate' member) from Falcon. Williams and Hyatt discussed this with Burroughs and it was decided to decline the 'Caliphate' offer.

— As to Timothy Leary a similar situation arose, although Hyatt was not going to be the initiator. Leary was also not interested.

— Israel Regardie didn't care that much about the 'Caliphate'. He was supportive and provided suggestions. McMurtry offered him the IX°, real and honorary and Regardie refused, saying he could do more good for them out of the Order than in the Order. On the other hand, Breeze did not want Regardie in the 'Caliphate' not even posthumously, because Crowley had kicked out Regardie from the O.T.O. Breeze regarded Regardie as a traitor to Crowley and that he psychologized the 'prophet'.

The Falcon And The Snowman

Hyatt was initiated in the 'Caliphate' by Lon DuQuette. He was "seduced" by him, his wife, and James Wasserman. Eventually he joined because of his friend Regardie, a few years after his death. As Hyatt recalls: "they wanted my name, my money, and my influence... and they got it."
Hyatt had one meeting in the Areopagus (that is the VII° meeting, the circle who has the say in the Order). In regards to later meetings they didn't even ask for his proxy. Hyatt gave his archives to the 'Caliphate', as a non-profit so they would have a place to live after his death. Breeze traded them for some Crowley material to a Golden Dawn group, and informed Hyatt only after the event which aroused Hyatt's anger even more as he had bought a German collection of books, numerous other items for the archives, donated 10's of thousands of dollars, stipends for writing books, helped pay rent, paid for lawsuits etc.
Falcon and the 'Caliphate' could not stand each other any longer. Falcon found it very unpleasant doing business with them and couldn't tolerate the never-ending delays and stories. In February 2003, Hyatt was suspended as an Souvereign Grand Inspector General, as well as his charter to initiate to the V°.
Breeze did everything in his power to buy Falcon's rights back; he did not want a suit there. So, in about April 2003 they agreed to sell them back the copyrights plus any inventory they had on hand. Breeze gave Falcon almost complete permission to quote almost anything in the future.

Christopher Hyatt (*1943) died on 9 February 2008. Previously, he had told me about his dealings with the 'Caliphate': a piece called Who is Peter-R. Koenig?

— There has been a project to microfilm the so-called Warburg-Collection of Crowleyana in London, the results of which has been published as: "Yorke Collection", microfilm edition New York: Ordo Templi Orientis; London: Warburg Institute, 2002. This collection does not contain the entire unpublished material in the Gerald Yorke Collection (which was inspired by Ellic Howe), only the portions which are copyrighted (so far as subsisting) by the 'Caliphate’ since winning the lawsuit against Anthony Naylor. Consequently it chiefly includes material authored by Aleister Crowley.
The public can try to obtain a copy via inter-library loan. WorldCat lists three university libraries in the United States who have copies.
Warburg-Collection of Crowleyana, Aleister Crowley, Warburg Institute, Gerald Yorke, microfilm, microfiche

— In Spring 2005 Breeze visited London. The ostensible occasion was to make the existing head of the British 'Caliphate', John Bonner (a teacher) a Tenth Degree, which they did in the course of a 'Gnostic Mass' in Conway Hall, London. The existing secretary, Stephen Scofield who works for a chemical company, producing shampoo, was made 'Grand Secretary General', whilst Rodney Orpheus (lead singer of The Cassandra Complex and Sun God) was made 'Grand Treasurer General'. Breeze was having Frieda Harris's Thoth paintings re-photographed at the Warburg Institute.

Double-Headed Eagles Have Landed

The one time lodge master of the 'Caliphate' in London, Simon Kane, belonging to the United Grand Lodge of England was kicked out of the SRiA Metropolitan College of London (eg Robert A. Gilbert, expert on Golden Dawn and Chairman of Quatuor Coronati) after a long investigation that also involved the United Grand Lodge of England and some of its most distinguished members (eg John M. Hamill). At the moment there is turmoil also among the masonic brethren in London, as there popped up an irregular body styling itself the "Regular Grand Lodge of England" which is governed by something called "the Masonic High Council for England and Wales".

Lon Milo Duquette was initiated in Freemasonry in California at the end of the 90's and reached the 32° degree of the A.A.S.R. apparently after just two years in 2001 ("typical US superficiality in handing out these degrees and getting you in the Rite after two minutes as a mason" complained some London masons) with one of those A.A.S.R. mass initiations where you can watch everything on stage and become a great initiate in a weekend. Duquette asked and obtained the permission to use Liber AL instead of the Bible as VSL for his initiation.

© Peter-R. Koenig, May 2005

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