Why they became member of the O.T.O. 6 Steve Englehart
To: Peter Koenig koenig @ cyberlink.ch
From: Steve Englehart
Date: Aug 1997
Sehr geehrter Peter--
I don't have much to tell you. I was the first guy to join the OTO in
April 1977, and was already planning to travel through Europe starting
in June of that year.
I was living in Berkeley at the time, and knew people who knew Grady,
so when he decided to initiate people, I wanted to be initiated. I'm
afraid I'll have to maintain confidentiality on your other questions,
but I'm certainly no big wheel in OTO.
At the time, the Swiss OTO was somewhat dismissive of Grady McMurtry's
credentials, so Grady asked me to deliver a message of conciliation
when I was in the neighborhood. My trip spent June in Scotland, July in
England, August in Scandinavia, and arrived in the Germanies (there
being two at the time) in September. I then wrote to the Gasthof
Rose--in German, since it was twenty years fresher in my mind--asking
if I could come by. They agreed that I could, I did, and delivered the
message (again, in functional German). They were not particularly
impressed with it, but they were friendly enough to me. I spent the
night, attended a gnostic mass the next day, and left.
They just felt that *they* [the Swiss] were the OTO and he [McMurtry]
wasn't. I believe they did show me their charter or whatever, but I
don't actually remember. I was brand new to the OTO and very intent on
not screwing up relations between the two branches by doing something
out of ignorance, so I stayed calm and professional, delivered my
message, and let everything else roll off my back. Again, as someone
newly entered into the world of Aleister Crowley, going to another
continent to meet long-time members of a magickal order who claimed to
be Crowley's heirs, I could imagine all sorts of scenarios as I lay
down to sleep in their domain. Grady had talked of them as just people,
and so of course they were, but I had read "The Magus," so I didn't
*want* to get too involved. In the end, though, I thought they were
nice people who treated me, personally, with complete courtesy.
So instead of "travelling through Europe on behalf of the OTO in the
80s," I made one call as a go-between in 1977.
After I returned to California in late 1978, I grew apart from the OTO,
though I still regard my time with them as both seminal and pleasant.
It's my understanding that relations between the two branches are much
My interests led me away from a structured organization, but I still
run into people who deal with the OTO, and I have been told that the
distance between the two groups has narrowed. That may or may not be
true (though I don't know why I'd be told that if it weren't true), but
as always, I am not really in the know.
Find Englehart in the context of the 'Caliphate'