Why they became member of the O.T.O. 14 Copy of statement read to Ben Fernee
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 17:04:31 -0700 (MST)
From: "AShTON VQ'QL"
Subject: FW: Manchester Inquisition Part II
------- Forwarded message follows -------
Copy of statement read to Ben Fernee, 13/9/95ev. This statement is
copyright Ian Sturrock 1995ev., but may be reproduced for non-profit
purposes. All quotes are from Equinox III:10 unless otherwise noted.
STATEMENT TO THE GRAND INQUISITOR COMMANDER
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I have chosen to read a prepared statement rather than enter into a
dialogue. I hope to answer fully any questions the inquisitor may have,
within the body of this statement. To avoid the danger of distortion or
misrepresentation, any further questions may be directed to me in letter
form c/o New Aeon Books.
Whilst the inquisitor may conduct the investigation however he feels
appropriate, the corollary to this is that the inquisitee may respond
however s/he feels appropriate. This is how I am choosing to respond.
Having experienced one blundered attempt by the inquisitor to conduct a
phone inquisition, I will not hold a discussion with him unless it be in
a large meeting where many witnesses may be present, as I recognize that
without such precautions misrepresentation is possible.
A copy of this statement will be sent to Fr. Alverda.
I have been an active and committed member of Ordo Templi Orientis for
the past six years. In that time I have seen bodies of the Order and
individuals both flourish & fail. Of the many groups of OTO that I have
encountered, worked with & visited, the three Manchester Oases, Strict
Observance, Fires of Orc, & Rosae Rubae, had seemed closest to the
ideals & principles of the Order as defined in Equinox III:10.
This was borne out time & again by the experiences & accounts of
visiting Brethren from outside the area. When the International IV' &
PI' Initiations were hosted by Strict Observance, all the candidates
seemed more than happy with the hospitality and the entertainment we
provided: the ten course banquet, the live music, & indeed the joy &
beauty with which we treated the whole occasion. Lon DuQuette, the
visiting Initiator & guest Priest, was enthusiastic in his praise of the
efficiency of our Brigantia Sacred Grove of EGC, & indeed stated that we
had the best Temple furnishings & regalia that he had ever seen.
That Temple equipment was put together with the blood, sweat & tears of
the Brethren at the time. Funds were short but ingenuity & energy were
long. After one memorable Mass, two of us *carried* the High Altar some
three miles from the Mass venue to the home of the Brother & Sister who
were storing it at the time.
This kind of attitude, of total commitment, of carrying through all that
we promise & more, of no-compromise Thelema seen not as some obscure
philosophy to read about, but as a way to live one`s life, runs through
all the various projects & bodies of the Order that have sprung from
The fact that these various Bodies have been by far the most active &
healthy in the country was obvious to any who met us. The Caliph`s
representative in the country, Fr. Alverda, seemed to think this- it was
to Fires of Orc Oasis that he frequently turned when he wanted
representatives of the Order to speak or perform in a public context.
Thus it was thatAdrian represented the OTO at the Thelemic Symposium in
1992ev with the introductory talk & reading of Liber Tzaddi. In early
`93, four of us went to London to represent the Order at the Talking
Stick Meet The Groups evening. For the 1993 Thelemic Symposium a number
of us performed a Horus Invocation with percussion, dance & ritual. In
1994 eleven of us took the OTO Pantomime on the road to the Talking
Stick Magickal Conference, the largest ever British Pagan event, & our
comic play was by far the best received of the various individuals` &
groups` pieces. In my considered opinion that performance did more for
the image & reputation of OTO among the British magickal community than
anything else had ever done.
Fires of Orc Oasis is the Body of OTO that I feel most qualified to
speak about, as I have had a very close association with it, as member,
then as Treasurer, and once I had been Chartered to run Trodden Serpent
Camp, as member once more. Within Fires of Orc I have seen the social
structure of OTO function as it should, according to Equinox III:10. We
supported each other as a close community, worked together magickally &
on business projects. We had weekly meetings: formal ones where we went
through Order business and passed on information, & performed ritual
magick, such as the Samekhs to defend the persons of the Oasis, not
against some nebulous 'magickal attack,' but against the very real
physical hazards of living in the city- the traffic accidents, muggings,
burglaries etc.; the Qabbalah workshops, where we brainstormed & added
to our knowledge of the QBL together; the Non-Western Mystery Tradition
sessions, usually runic or nordic in nature; and social events such as
The associated body of EGC, Jachin Temple, in which i am honoured to
serve as Priest, performed fortnightly Gnostic Masses, so as to
synchronize with our sister Boaz Temple, between us performing a Mass a
week in the Manchester area. I would think this is the most frequent
Mass performance outside the USA.
Trodden Serpent Camp did not have much time to flourish before it was
de-chartered. This makes me very suspicious of the motivation for taking
away the charter. Since the Supreme Council had no information regarding
the activities of the Camp other than what was on the initial
application form, they can have no idea whether or not it was in harmony
with the aims of OTO. This gives further credence to the idea professed
by GIC Br Ben Furnee in his telephone conversation with me- that the
charters were removed not because the Supreme Council considered us to
have aims different from OTO, but simply as a 'big stick' to make us sit
up & take notice, to coerce us into toeing the official line with the
threat that we will not get our charters back unless we all become nice,
safe little yes-men agreeing with everything the Caliph says. My loyalty
to the Office of Caliph & to the aims & principles of the OTO can better
be served as follows:
-By using OTO as a "crucible for the development of the social models
necessary to a Thelemic culture, as opposed to a Thelemic cult." This
experimental, alchemical side to the work of OTO has been ignored by the
Supreme Council in their actions in shutting down the bodies of OTO in
the area. I`m not claiming that the work of developing a Thelemic
culture is finished: rather that there is room for a great many
different sorts of Camp, Oasis etc, all working in quite different ways
towards that same end.
-By bearing in mind the historical material presented in III:10,
although much of this material is being ignored outright by the conduct
of this Inquisition- "even by the self-styled 'representatives' of the
Order- these papers stand as the foundation on which we must build if we
would do honour to our predecessors' vision, and lay claim to their
-By recognizing that, as a Brother, my first & greatest privilege is
"to have accepted the Law, to have become free and independent, to have
destroyed all fear"- even to have destroyed the 'fear' of not getting my
charter back, making it rather useless as a threat.
-By understanding that "The Order exercises its whole power to
relieve its members of any constraint to which they may be subjected,
attacking with vigour any person or persons who may endeavour to subject
them to compulsion"- so that I know, of course, that none within the
Order could endeavour to subject me to compulsion, so Br. Furnee must
have been wrong in his suggestion that the charters were taken from us
to compel obedience.
-By accepting the principles of self-rule and decentralization
enshrined within the constitution: "Every subordinate lodge or
association shall have the right to conduct its own affairs according to
its own wishes or bye-laws, provided that its acts and bye-laws are not
contrary to the letter or spirit of this Constitution." Before
dissolving any charters, the Supreme Council should have properly
ascertained from us what our wishes & acts were, rather than taking
charters first & requesting information afterwards.
-By having "accepted _The Book of the Law_ as the sole rule of life"
I acknowledge the Law of Thelema as being of more importance than the
letter of the rulings of the Supreme Council. Whilst these latter remain
in harmony with the former, there will be no conflict; but I am made
uneasy by the actions of the Supreme Council in suspending Sr Irene & Br
David without trial. This seems totally contrary to Thelema, common
sense & natural justice.
David & Irene stand accused by the words of one Chris Kelly. I have no
wish to launch a personal attack on Br. Chris in this statement, but I
feel bound to inform the Grand Inquisitor Commander of Kelly`s
I have known Chris Kelly for seven years, since before either of us
joined OTO. For a year I even allowed him to move into my home, as he
had nowhere else to live, and left him in possession of that Hulme flat
when I found another for myself. I consider that I know him as well as
anyone else does, & a lot better than most.
Over that time I have noticed that Chris, though having some likeable
qualities, is utterly impractical, unreliable, & incapable of living in
the real world. He spends so much of his life in the realms of his vivid
imagination that he simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Not that
he would think of it as lying- quite simply, he believes in all of his
fibs & bizarre flights of fancy. He boasts of nonexistent sexual
conquests, even claiming to have had sex with Sisters of OTO with whom
he has not; he lies of victorious encounters with street thugs.
For example, on one occasion some years ago, I was violently mugged by
three knife- and hammer-wielding crack addicts. I had gone to visit a
friend & the door was answered by a burglar with a knife in his hand,
who forced me to remain in the flat. I eventually escaped by dropping
out of the window. I persuaded about ten friends to come back to the
flat to chase off the muggers if necessary, and secure the flat so it
could not be burgled again before the owners returned. Chris insisted on
coming along, though he was out of his head on some hallucinogenic drug
at the time, and while the rest of us boarded up the flat (the muggers,
of course, being long gone), he alternately wandered around the flat
saying what he`d do if he caught the muggers, and lying or sitting down,
saying that he didn`t know what was going on.
His recollection of the above incident was that he`d singlehandedly
chased all three muggers out of the area, and they wouldn`t be back
because they were so scared of him.
This is just typical of the man`s day-to-day existence in a fantasy
world. He was then and is now so addled by drugs that he has no idea of
the realities of the world around him, and bolsters his inadequate self-
image by making up stories about himself. Over the last year or two he
has become utterly paranoid as well, seeing archenemies & master-
manipulators all around him, blaming anyone but himself for the problems
in his life.
The Supreme Council took Chris` story as gospel, then thought that Ben
Furnee would be appropriate as a choice of inquisitor. Taking the most
charitable view, these actions would suggest that the Supreme Council
have no idea what is going on within OTO in Britain.
I have encountered Ben Furnee several times in the course of my OTO
activities, and whatever else one may think of him he is worse than
useless in the office of inquisitor. After the shambles he made of the
arrangements for the National IV' & PI' initiations in York, I wouldn`t
trust him to investigate the contents of his own underwear, let alone
the state of OTO activities in the Manchester area. It also seems
incompetent to appoint as inquisitor one who has been openly
antagonistic towards Sr. Irene & Br. David for years, when they appear
to be the subject of the investigation.
Over the six years I have known, worked with & done business with Sr.
Irene & Br. David, they have demonstrated time & again their honour,
ethical behaviour, & lifelong adherence to the principles of Thelema and
aims of OTO. Without them there would likely be no OTO in this country.
To suspend them out of hand on the word of an imbecile like Kelly is
dishonourable, unethical & contrary to the principles & aims of OTO. Now
that it seems that any member of OTO, whatever their past work, is
liable to be slung out disloyally and on the flimsiest of pretexts, I
affirm my solidarity with and support of the Sister & Brother under
investigation, with the hope that such arbitrary behaviour will cease. I
am reminded of the words of Pastor Niemoller, victim of the Nazis in
"In Germany they came first for the Jews, and I did not speak out, for I
was not a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, & I did not speak out,
for I was not a Catholic. Then they came for the Communists, & I did not
speak out, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for me, and
there was no-one left to speak out."
Unless I and the other Brethren of the area speak out now against this
grave injustice that is being done to our Sister & Brother, there will
soon remain no free men & women of honour left to speak out.
Sr. Irene & Br. David should be immediately reinstated. This matter can
quite easily be dealt with by the nine members of the Rose Coix in the
area, without bringing in an incompetent excuse for an inquisitor.
Ben Furnee might have had more success with his inquisition had he
approached the matter with honour, tact & intelligence. As it is, I find
it hard to respect the Office of Inquisitor when the man holding that
office is so obviously unworthy of respect. His role as inquisitor
should be altered, as I am sure he could better serve the Order in a
Chris Kelly should be investigated for his vile slanders.
Only when these things have been done can the Order in Manchester return
to the smooth functioning & exemplary behaviour that have characterized
it since its establishment here.
I give my word under Bond of III' that this document is true & accurate
to the best of my knowledge.
Love is the law, love under Will.
A couple of historical notes of explanation WRT this document:
Chris Kelly was the Brother of OTO who brought the initial complaint
against David & Irene. He'd been a member almost as long as I had, but
was always on the flaky side. When I first met him, he was a zealous
Wiccan... but he was in his 2nd year of a Theology degree, which he'd
originally taken with a view to ordination as a Roman Catholic Priest.
He had these periodic religion-flips, I now see. Anyway, when in about
1990 he began asking about OTO, realizing that it was actually fairly
well-organized & together in the Manchester area, we just kinda thought
he was seeing sense. He joined, & worked hard if sporadically with us
for several years.
About Summer '94 he did his flip thing again & decided that Liber AL
was an opium dream of Crowley's, & no more Holy than any other drug
text. His wife, a Sister of OTO, was seriously distressed about this,
although her take on Liber AL was that it made sense as a philosophy &
ethical system- she didn't particularly care if it was Class A or not...
Anyway, the two of them split up, eventually. He moved out of their flat
& blamed all his friends, Brothers & Sisters for the breakup of his
He joined the Illuminates of Thanateros, & I have it on good
authority from another OTO Brother who ws also an IOT member, that Chris
had trouble getting advancement in IOT because the only operations in
his Magickal Diary over six months were repeated curses directed at me &
several other Brothers & Sisters of OTO (Cavalorn was happy to hear this
because the last time Chris had cursed the only palpable result was an
improovement in Cav's sex life).
Then, out of the blue, six months or so later he decided that David &
Irene were the ones who were really to blame, & he took a pack of lies
to contacts he'd been cultivating with the OTO group in York. He claimed
that his wife had been ordered by David & Irene to divorce him (anyone
who knows her will attest to her superhuman powers of stubbornness- and
to her sorrow when she did divorce him- it was clearly a last resort),
and he passed on some vile (and patently untrue) rumours that had been
spread by a commercial rival of Irene's (she is a tattooist & body
Ben Fernee, the Inquisitor, made no secret of his dislike for David &
Irene over the years leading up to the Inquisition. I don't know what
was the cause of this. I'd been fairly open-minded about him, & gave him
hospitality when he took his 4th & PI in Manchester. Years later my
opinion of him plummetted when he organized 4th & PI initiations in
York, and I (and about ten others from Manchester) travelled over to be
initiated. The temple venue was a squat. Now, I've done Masses &
initiations in squats before (those occupied by Brethren, though), so I
had no objection to that in principle, although I felt that for National
4th & PIs it might have been more appropriate to hire a hall. After a
two hour drive from Manchester, we were greeted with, "I'm afraid
there's no electricity, and no furniture. I think there are some broken
sofas downstairs that you could drag up if you like."
I felt quite insulted by this. Hell, I've lived in worse places- but
I expected more from such a major Initiation, especially given the fees
we were paying. And I felt particularly insulted that Ben just didn't
appear to have considered our comfort. One of the Candidates from
Manchester was a Sister in her sixties. She had a five hour wait for her
Initiation, on a cold floor, without even a cup of tea.
I asked Ben why he couldn't have let us know a couple of days before
that there was no electricity- we could have brought along camping
stoves, and tea & coffee of our own. He hadn't thought of that.
No food or drink was provided until after all the Initiations were
over (thirteen hours). Then at last we were fed- a takeout meal had been
delivered by one of the local curry houses. No options for vegetarians,
vegans, or people who disliked spicy foods had been considered.
"I am a free prince, and I have as much authority to make war on the whole
as he who has a hundred sail of ships at sea, and an army of 100,000 men
field, and thus my conscience tells me." (Capt. Bellamy. A Pirate. From Defoe)
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