Ordo Templi Orientis
Ed.: For corrections of Germer's factual errors [marked *], the
reader is referred to the other articles and books on the O.T.O.
Phenomenon. Facsimile reproduction of the original of this letter to Carl Heinz Petersen
in: P.R. Koenig: Materialien
Letter to Carl Heinz Petersen
January 6, 1954
Care Frater F.T. [Fines Transcendam]
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Yours of Dec. 24 received. I'll answer some of your paragraphs at once.
The 2 Reuss pamphlets came. Thanks!
The Reschke-Washington money: don't worry overmuch. What is likely to
make me mad at times is their unbusinesslike way. But that is not your
Magick Without Tears, will, so God will, be ready for mailing in 2
weeks. It'll probably be 2 vols., one is too thick. That means $2.00
per volume, and $4.00 for the book. The binding will be better than
cloth, but you'll see for yourself. (I could send you, if you needed
them, a parcel of unbound sheets of a stated number of books.)
Translations: — I suggest you keep on working without lust of result.
Events may be shaping in invisible spheres wich may demand suddenly the
availability of German texts. Martha Küntzel had the same problem.
Suddenly a printer was found. Berhard Sporn, Zeulenroda, a friend of
mine, and we made that contract. Nobody could know that the Nazi-threat
was so near.
At this time it is the Catholic Hierarchy. But beyond that it is the
Old Aeon with whom we shall have to, and at this end are waging the
most vicious, cruel, relentless war, the elements and methods of which
I presume you have so far no notion. A.C. had been exposed to it for
many decades. He knew their tricks. He warned me often when I showed
ignorance, incredulity, scepticism. Now we know. Since 1942 every one
of my telephones is tapped. The house in which we lived in New York was
wired. Microphones had been installed in the walls. We left N.Y. but in
this house it is the same. (It is, of course, an excellent magical
training, in a way.) All activities of mine or my wife's are interfered
with, and/or destroyed. Friends, partners, business clients become all
sooner or later enemies, or worse, spies or traitors who report to the
directing power which pays well, aynthing one has said or is doing. 3
weeks ago I had an appointment by telephone with a man from Europe. The
meeting was in a hotel. Microphones had been installed and the
conversation recorded. It had lasted 2 hours on matters of the Order. I
got the evidence too late, woke up too late. — Morbid imagination? Only
until you yourself become a victim of inexplicable happenings. For that
reason I don't mind using our experiences as a lesson to others who are
in the Work. What I have not yet found out is how the extremely clever
agents succeed in persuading even good friends to become informer. Do
not refer to this matter in a letter. Enough that I mention it once.
What I try to show by these few hints is the odds against which we are
working here, and that only the confidence that the Gods know all about
it, and also know the moment when They decide to push the button and
give the command "GO!" All this was provoked by your sense of
frustration, of futility in your letter. What I exepct from you is that
you keep working on translations. Try where you can get this or that
published. Some day there may be a big splash, and then publishers may
be looking for you. -
No further from Metzger about Liber Legis: no word about financial
difficulties. So I won't evoke them. Does he expect you to be
responsible for the cash! I'd be very surprised!
Metzgers' translations:- so they were from him! I expct you have
meanwhile received the ones he sent me with some corrections. — I agree
with you that it is silly to operate the way he does. It should all be
concentrated in your hands. I'll write him, as he just sent me a book
of 135 pages by airmail, cost 9 Franken, and a small parcel with
Abramelin oil, also by air, which is clearly a waste of money, and it
does not impress me, except that I respect the sentiment.
The book is
LEBENSKUNST IN YOGA UND MAGIE, by Dr. Henry Birven, Origoverlag,
soeben erschienen. Ich weiss nicht, ob Sie informiert über diesen
Birven sind. Er hasst A.C. bis aufs Blut, und wir werden noch manches
von ihm hören. Ich rate Ihnen es zu lesen oder zu kaufen. Das Kapitel
über Träume besteht aus dem Abdruck der betr. Kapitel des Liber Aleph.
Das Kapitel "Wie A. Crowley seine magische Berufung begründet" ist
lediglich ein Abdruck einiger Stellen aus den "Confessions".
Money transfer: Don't worry about this point either. This would only
arise if an Order or Lodge on a solid foundation were flourishing. To
answer your positive question: the bigger need is at this phase to get
things started and done in Germany. You would have to use any fees or
constributions for your part of the Work.
I have obtained the release of a number of sets of the Collected Works
(3 vols. paper cover). I suppose you have this, otherwise I could get
some to you.
I cannot answer your questions: "why give the title Sacred Magic of A.
The Mage" to the last 4 vols. of the Confessions? I suggest this: that
operation loomed as the decisive in A.C's mind from the beginning.
There is no end to this operation. The higher you rise the more it, the
object of the apparent goal, recedes. These Confessions, or records,
end in 1923. After that we have nothing except letters, diaries which
have then become bery brief and sketchy. Some day somebody will have to
search all the material we have (here or in London) and write a sequel
to A.C.'s personal work. If I publish these 4 vols. I may well stick to
the title "Confessions" and add the present as sub-title.
As to the list of A.C.'s works you sent (I use arabic numbers)
623, 106, were published in "The International"; all we have to do is
to get them copied, I have only one copy.
73, The Urn, all we have is what is in the last vols of the Confessions
(material which you don't have. We get the complete record of this
work, which so far is lost; if we do, it shall be published.)
60, The Lost Continent is lost [*]; I may know one copy which still
exists. It is not too important. I had read it when we still had it.
I'm surprised Martha K- had no copy?
66 The Beast. Your query: no! It does not survive.
1264 Was never written.
49 I have this, one copy only. I have with it some further Yi King (or,
as Wilhelm writes, I Ging, material. I have asked if a sister would be
prepared to type it. — Do you know the Yi King? Do you use it?
After you have received all or most of the Lekve material, I suggest
you make up a complete list: books, Typescripts, English, German, and
translations, and send me. I'll then see what else I can send.
Lekve: — Yes, let me bury the matter for the time. It is my habit
before I do so, to condense the salient facts and points of a case into
a statement. Once this is done I have a record, and I can forget the
O.T.O. You must have realised that my heart and soul are not very
deeply in this. A.C. knew this. He suggested to me that after his death
I may either drop this form or system of working, or devise my own
entirely independent method.
The fact is that there are 3 (possibly more) groups in the world who
claim some sort of right to run the O.T.O. There is Tränker in Germany
who had a charter from Reuss, which A.C. acknowledged.- There [are]
several groups in Sweden or Denmark (Grunddahl Sjallung, Copenhagen):
in Switzerland (as you know): in France, where at time Jean Bricaud
was Grandmaster, now dead); there was a man in Italy, whose name I
don't know at the moment; the Self-Realisation Fellowship, of whom you
probably have heard from Metzger; and finally Frater Achad who had a
Charter from Reuss for North America. Then Spencer Lewis of the
A.M.O.R.C. has an O.T.O. Charter from Reuss.
It is true that Tränker and Achade elected and acclaimed 666 as O.H.O.
[*], a position which, as you know from the O.T.O. international
statues (Verfassung) makes the O.H.O. Sovereign King, who cannot be
deposed etc. But friction had developed and Reuss grew in the last
years very skeptical about Thelema, which he had accepted for the
O.T.O. to some extent, as you know from many translated publications in
the Oriflamme. Reuss had some acid correspondence with A.C. around 1921
or 1922 where he denounced the Book of the Law; there was a conference
in that year in Palermo where Reuss and A.C. met [*]. We have no record
of the result. A.C. maintained that Reuss appointed him as his
successor after his death! We do not have any papers, documents,
letters, or diaries of A.C.'s on this fact. The only fact that we know
is that Reuss died and the above two elected A.C. as O.H.O. [*] A.C.
never good at organisation, kept no records, evidently never kept up
with the brethren in France, and other countries.
After Reuss' death his widow kept the Golden Book with all the
addresses, correspondence, etc. etc., Charters and what not. In 1922 (I
think) Tränker went to München, saw Mrs. Reuss and extracted from her
all this material. He lived in the house of Barth (Otto Wilhelm Barth
Verlag). He stayed one day too long, for Mrs. Reuss got fright,
obtained T.'s address, rushed over, and succeeded in forcing T. to
return the documents. — In 1930 I was often with Krumm-Heller (father)
who also held a charter from Reuss (though only for a limited degree
[*]). He knew Mrs. R. and and we went ot her one day to get the
documents, but she wanted too much money and A.C. did not consider it
worth it. — Now the Self Realisation Fellowship in California claims to
have all those documents including the Golden Book. They sent a man to
Europe, and the boss came even himself and claim rights as heads of
the International O.T.O: Metzger told me they were very active; I
obtained documents showing that they contacted all existing groups of
the O.T.O., checked their Charters, and, if approved by them, demanded
confirmation for a ridiculously high fee in dollars. There are the
facts as far as I know them.
We have nothing to compare or compete with them. We do not know to whom
Reuss issued charters and for what grade. A.C. said that at the end of
his life Reuss got panicky and issued charters right and left to
whoever paid, worthy or not. This S.R.F. is a pure swindle, as are all
this American occult societies, Orders, and what not. We have checked
and evidently nobody has incorporated (registered) the O.T.O., at least
not in California. The plan was to Incorporate the O.T.O the [missing
part?] And we may yet do this. (It was never done before, as the law
requires in such a case annual, very complicated supervision, books,
etc., and there is only a very small group at present.)
There are two other angles: Tränker has stated that he had the
exclusive jurisdiction in Germany. Achad had his Charter from Reuss "ad
vitam". He expected me after A.C.'s death to come pater peccavi and
plead with him for transfer of for a new Charter — for a high fee, of
course. (He himself had been converted to Romanism in 1931, and was
leading in the U.B., thus hostile to O.T.O. and had declared that he
was not running the O.T.O.) — It is quite possible that, in order to
get his money back that he probably paid Reuss for the Charter, he may
have conferred a Charter to the S.R.F., and helped them buy the
documents from Mrs. Reuss, or someone did so himself. (The link 666:
Achad was completely broken since 1936.
You can see the state of utter confusion that exists in matters of
organisation of the O.T.O. We have, of course, the papers, rituals, and
the knowledge. But I have never been active in lodge work. For A.C. did
not operate a lodge, not even during the period of the 3 years in
Cefalù. There was only a lodge in California operating and the leading
man was deposed by A.C.
With Metzger I took the stand that he had been in the O.T.O. through
his old master Pinkus, so I viewed my authorisation only as a
continuation of his previous O.T.O. work, with the exception that he
had been working the old Reuss rituals (which did not accept the Law of
Thelema), and that he now adopted our rituals.
In your case it would be an entirely new charter. I do not know whether
2 Grandmasters can operate the O.T.O. at the same time in one country
(Tränker still being alive), despite the fact that A.C. appointed me
Grandmaster X° of all the German-speaking peoples as far back as 1938
[?] or so. And A.C. as O.H.O. had evidently the power to override any
claim of Tränker's [*] In 1941 A.C. appointed me as his successor after
This is the situation. I though I owe you an exposé of the facts in
order to explain the situation in which find myself. If in the face of
this, you feel the will to build up somnething new in Germany, I think
there is no hesitation on my part to give you a Charter. Think this
over, and then let me know.
I have a hunch that new developments are in the breeding process, even
such an idea for me to sell this house, and move either to California
with all the material, or — believe it or not — of setting up
Headquarters in Europe, Germany, Switzerland, or? All this is
speculation for the present. Constant, calm, productive work under the
present climate generally and personally, is not easy here.
I will now close this endless letter, and will only add that you will
find much on O.T.O. matters when you received Magick Without Tears.
Love is the law, love under will.
See also Germer's letters to Mellinger about
Metzger, Reuss, Traenker and the question of the OHO
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