Guiding Principles of the O.T.O. 1920

Ordo Templi Orientis
Gnostic Church / Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica
Theodor Reuss

Theodor Reuss

The Programme of Construction and the Guiding Principles of the Gnostic Neo-Christians O.T.O.
published in 1920

Transcript of the German Original in: P.R. Koenig: "Der Kleine Theodor Reuss Reader" [See photo at the right]. Also in: Anthony Naylor/P.R. Koenig: O.T.O. Rituals and Sexmagick.
Partly identical with the "Parsifal"-text.
Theodor Reuss INRI Aufbauprogramm und Leitsaetze der Gnostischen Neo-Christen Ordo Templi Orientis O.T.O. Oriflamme Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica Gnostic Neo-Christians

Guiding Principles of a new Civilization and Religion.

Mankind, tortured by the World War, needs a new faith, a new Christianity, and a new civilization built upon it.

That the much praised European civilization and the Christian Church were unable to prevent the cruelties of this World War or the greed and hatred of the peace that was meant to end this world war, this alone is sufficient proof, that Christianity as it reigns to-day, and modern civilization it created, are no longer capable of living, and must be replaced by a new Christianity and a new civilization.

But mankind also demands a new faith. Because the old belief in God, which flowed from the Christian teachings as brewed by the Church Fathers, has for the great majority of the members of the Christian Church, long become a fairy-tale, because it was unable to withstand the biting criticism of modern science. And the belief in mankind (belief in brotherliness) was exceptionally thoroughly destroyed by the peace of Versailles, much more than by the events of was themselves. For the makers of the peace of Versailles had decoyed the peoples of America and Europe into the field by the slogan: "For Freedom and Humanity; For Justice and Equality" to fight a crusade against the Imperialism of German barbarity. And in the end the gentlemen Clemenceau and Lloyd George exploited the naivete of the German Michel, who, confiding in the glamour-casting and treacherous promises of the leaders of the Entente that not the German people, but only the imperialism of the Hohenzollern was to be exterminated, finally abandon fighting and resistance, in order to erect the Anglo-French world-imperialism on the deceived and enslaved German People.

For their own undoing however, Clemenceau and Lloyd George also destroyed all faith in humanity and brotherliness in their allies, through the Versailles machinations, so that millions of people, victors and vanquished alike, have lost all faith in God and man.

The Community of the Gnostic Templars or Neo-Christians, abbreviated as O.T.O., which already before the war had numerous adherents in America, Holland, Bohemia, France, Russia, Italy, etc., now steps out from the reserve it cultivated until now, in order to bring to tortured mankind the new Glad Tidings of the Gnostic Christians, and the new civilization springing therefore.

The message of the O.T.O. is: Freedom, Justice, Love.

The Freedom of the O.T.O. is freedom from Original Sin, and the freedom to execute the Will of the God-head. It does say in Liber Legis: "Do what thou wilt". But it is also said: But remember that you will have to render account for all tht deeds! That is the law of Karma.

So that not willfulness and unbridled behaviour, but strict discipline is "true freedom".

Highest self-culture, iron self-discipline, that is O.T.O. freedom. All freedom not controlled by strict self-discipline is licentiousness, willfulness, lawlessness, leading to Chaos.

"Do what thou wilt" is also in no wise identical with "Do what you like", but "Do what is thy Will, but examine, whether what thou wilt be God's will also". Only when your will is in agreement with the "Will of God", can you put it into practice. But then with intense concentration.

Justice is the second principle and refers to the purpose of man's life on earth, and the destiny of mortal man. The purpose of man's existence of earth is: faithful devotion to duty. Everybody must, whether well born or lowly, educated or uneducated, whether day labourer, peasant, artisan, professor, judge, merchant, artist or king etc., - simply everybody must do his duty to his utmost ability wherever fate has put him. That is his purpose, the fulfillment of God's law, of Justice. All is Law in the Universe. Life on earth is also subject unto it. Whoever lets this thought ripen in himself to its utmost possibility, will find the solution of many questions that worry him. The phrase is hard, but truth is always hard and encloses the duty to work of every individual.

Beautiful, of enthusiastic beauty, is only Love, and "Love is the highest law, love under control of the Will!" - Love is the reward of overcoming self, the basis of all brotherhood, the source of strength for devotion to duty; She makes us accept hard truth, leads us to conscious union with God, and enables us to approach God during this life on earth, and really to experience "at-one-ment with God."

The Master Therion says: The act of love consummated with overflowing energy, under control of the Will, is the "Act of God", a "sacramental act", is "In-God-with-God-at-onement". A man to whom it was granted to unite with God, under control of Will, in the godly, sacramental love-act, is a channel for the deity. Yet, says Liber Legis: "Although much is said in the law of highest Love, of enthusiastic, yielding, selfless, flaming, fiery, overflowing, love, there is no word about sentimental love". This also one has to ripen within oneself. Because the results are seen in a 1000 channels of earthly, daily life; they contribute to beautify it; they build a bridge to "Art". Love alone makes life bearable, Life, - otherwise so cold and often cruel.

The above mentioned principles and inferences to be drawn therefrom have been concentrated by the O.T.O. into the following fundamental canon of belief: "God and the world (Visible as well as Invisible) are an all-embracing, limitless realm, the Universe, consisting of the conscious primal energy (or creative potency), the positive force, and the unconscious primal substance (world egg or matrix), the negative force, which create through union (primal creation) new worlds with them, and attract or create creatures of similar principles. The likeness to God of created beings is shown by the fact that the primal creative potency inhabits them as well. The potency is the innate proof to the creature, of descent from God the original creator.

In this sense are to be understood the words of the Bible: and God created man in His image, in God's image he created him.

In order to find the truly complete solution of the world-riddle, one has to disregard the fundamentally erroneous but common distinction between Spirit, Soul, and Matter. The Soul is only to be regarded as a "spiritual" thing (spiritual agent) which has existed from the beginning of time as primal sensation in the primal act of creation. This primal sensation in man is the yearning of the split-off part to re-unite with the mother principle (therefore religere and religion). Because man cannot comprehend God through his intellect, but only feel him through his soul ("In the heart", one says, although the bearer of sensation is the sympathetic nervous system), which after physical death returns to God. Without the primal sensation there would be no creation or creatures.

For the practical execution of the above stated principles, the Order seeks to establish communities founded on co-operative principles of people free from sin (freed from the Christian-ecclesiastical original sin). For the creation of such communities only such people are suitable, who are convinced of the existence of a soul which enables us to approach resemblance to God; who have understood that selfish action is the source of all human ills, and that we prepare our lot after death during our life on earth, according to the law of Karma; who are filled with the truth of this saying of Man: Only he who has understood the holy doctrine concerning the holiness of the God organs, is truly free and liberated from all sin." Liberation from original sin is the "true freedom". We still wish to constitute a community of (sexually) free people, who are without (sexual) sin. We wish to create men who will not have to be ashamed of their creative organs.

Because of the Christian civilization still reigning to-day, this attempt will meet great difficulties, but a beginning has already been made, and been successful with a small circle. On a large scale such an attempt will finally succeed only when the new generation will be brought up from earliest youth according to the principles of the new moral code.

Youth must look upon the sexual organs as something holy right from early childhood. Their functions must be explained to boys and girls as "holy actions", as soon as the mother notices that the sexual forces are beginning to appear. These doctrines must be given out by parents in the most natural manner from earliest childhood. And in school, men and women doctors, instead of the present teachers of religion, will exercise priestly office and teach doctrines with scientific basis as "teachings for this life". On the foundation laid by these physiologists (priestly doctors) the "teachings for the Other life" will be then given by doctors of the soul (spiritual priests).

At the moment it is the other way around. From the earliest childhood children are crammed with otherworldly teachings and religious fables, which collapse completely which the child grows up, because the adult finds that they do not represent facts. This belated discovery produces a struggle in developed people, which brings an immense amount of unhappiness and misfortune for all that were misled in this fashion. People less advanced become liars and hypocrites, which encourages moral catastrophes and has consequences such as we now have to witness at the end of the war. Therefore new morals have become essential. In future the doctor-priest, under the parents' supervision, will teach children from earliest youth that the sex organs are holy, and that they have to be particularly guarded and protected, because in actions which later on be done through these organs, invisible God will make himself manifest to Man. Because this act, accomplished with these organs, is a repetition on earth of God's original act of creation, in which God reveals himself to us, works through us, and through whose execution we always renew our union with God, and constantly create new beings, according to His will and command, "in his image".

A youth brought up according to such principles will not only be steeled and proof against the misuse of the sex organs, but they will also begin very early to comprehend God, and to believe in this God, because they recognize a link between God and Man in the creative act, which they feel binds them to the godhead. Belief reared on this base will be so firm, so marvellous, that it will be able to move mountains.

Plan of a neo-Christian Community.

The basic principles of the construction-programme of the Gnostic Templars and neo-Christians (O.T.O.) have been condensed in the following essay as a practical political programme. Persons of the same language and same race form a closed peoples community (The State.) All toil, all means of production, all natural resources (such as coal, iron etc.) all large-scale exploitation of natural products (such as large-scale farming, vine- growing etc) all public transport (railways, shipping), all public welfare institutions, trade, communication (such as postal services, telegraph, hospitals, orphanages, schools, museums, art institutes), all available capital in paper or bare money, which exceeds a value of, say, 10,000 mark, is common property of every member of the people.

In England one called it "nationalization of property." Private property is abolished on principle, but each responsible member of the community can claim as his or her personal property everything he or she acquired through his or her own labour for personal use. (This comprises clothes, books, household utensils, but excludes objects of luxury, things made of gold, jewels, etc.) Also he may own during his present life a small piece of arable land allotted to him or her for building or planting.

Within the community bare money is not allowed. No member of the community is allowed to own money or securities worth more than 10,000 Mark, and these also return to the community after his death. Nobody is allowed to possess any securities yielding dividends. These, as far as they exist within the community, are common property for the benefit of the state, as for example, for trade with other (strange) people's communities.

Every member of the community - man or woman - over 18 is obliged to labour daily according to his capacities for the wealth of the people's community. A jury of fellow-workers, with two members chosen by the accused, will decide in doubtful cases what "according to his capacities" may mean in cases where a person protests against work allotted to him. People refusing to work will be punished by long, public, forced labour.

Work to be done for the community not to exceed 36 hours per week. Wages due for such work to be credited by the community executive to each worker with the common community account.

In return for the fulfilment of the duty to work, the community guarantees to keep every single member of the community, so that they have free of cost, controlled (rationed) means of living, including free housing, heating, light, clothes rationing, instruction, care of the sick, education of children, entertainment, like theatres, music art etc., and a free funeral.

All persons over 60, as well as the sick and permanent invalids are freed from the duty to work, but recieve the same free advantages as the fit. The right to inherit is abolished in principle. Only moveable objects of personal use, which have less value than 10 Mark, can be willed by parents to their own children.

All large-scale trade, especially with foreign countries, all industry (except for small hand production) is done on account of the community.
All works of Art are property of the community. In order to spur on each single comrade to do the best he can, be it in the field of craft, trade, industry, art, farming, cultivation of animals, household etc., or any other type of work, peoples' prize feasts will be instituted each year, whence those people who had done best during the year, will be publicly praised, crowned with laurels, and rewarded. The value of the prize consists of real and ideal values. All who have won first prize will be named as judges for the following year. Also they will have preferment, with travels for amusement, for example (which are forbidden - outside the country - to all other members of the community, in order to encourage settled habits). Journets of research will constantly be made, paid for by the community, but only prize-winners will be chosen for them.

The people (every man and woman over 20) every year elects an executive council, who has to deal with the community's business. This council is aided by experts of all sorts of work, subordinated to it, which are elected by the people direct every 7 years. Re-election is permissible.
Order in the interior to be preserved by a body (town-watch, community-watch, field-watch) elected by the community. For protection against the exterior, each man and woman has to put his/her person at the disposal of the community. For this purpose they have to undergo a yearly training from 17 onwards, lasting 6 months when 17, 2 months when 18 and then each year a fortnight's refresher training.

All lawsuits are cost free.

Persons who molest the law by unjustified complaints, make false accusations, or swear false oaths, murder, steal etc., will be punished by publicly dishonouring forced labour. The public law will be dealt and pronounced by judges elected by the people.

All relations between a man and a woman will be regarded as a marriage.
Children bear the mother's name. Each child is brought up by the community. If applied for children up to 6 can be brought up the mother at home. Every man, woman, boy and girl over 14 will be regularly examined by the medical delegates of the supreme people's health board. Persons (male or female) who have not been found capable by the supreme medical board of producing healthy children are not allowed to wed. People who produce children despite this decree, will be punished by public forced labour.

Religion will be a private matter. but as the reigning Christian Church, built on the doctrines of the Church Fathers, have abandoned the pure doctrines of original Christianity, and have proved absolutely incapable of diminishing even to a slight extent the low animal cruelty current amongst their own, externally most zealous adherents, the State will support and encourage the cult of the re-vivified original Christianity (Community of Gnostic Neo-Christians).


The above construction programme can only be realized through the means of peaceful, social development, and never through violent revolution.

The head of the O.T.O. Community.



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