Carl Kellner — Ordo Templi Orientis — Theodor Reuss

Ordo Templi Orientis
Carl Kellner
Theodor Reuss
Rudolf Steiner
Memphis Misraim

Ordo Templi Orientis, Carl Kellner, Theodor Reuss, Rudolf Steiner, Martinism, Memphis Misraim, Illuminaten Orden, A.A.S.R., Alter Angenommener Schottischer Ritus, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Martinismus, Cerneau, Swedenborg

This chapter cannot help but be a patchwork of quotations from often unreliable sources, as there is very little to go on for this early phase in the O.T.O. phenomenon, apart from 'official' material produced by Theodor Reuss and John Yarker, and Nazi propaganda written years after the events. Rather than try to construct a connected narrative from these documents, I have thought it better to let them speak for themselves. See also the detailed documentation on Carl Kellner.

Theodor Reuss . Ordo Templi Orientis . Memphis Misraim . Alter Angenommener Schottischer Ritus . Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite . Martinismus . Cerneau . Swedenborg. See charters, magazines, photographs and many more.

On Carl Kellner: Excerpt from the 1965 edition of "Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950":

"KELLNER, Karl. Chemist and industrialist, born Vienna 1.9.1851; died Vienna 7.6.1905. Studied in Vienna and Paris. While working at a private laboratory in Vienna by the age of 22 he had already made certain crucial observations; after his entry into Baron Hector von Ritter-Zahony's factory (at Podgora, near Görz) in 1876, these findings eventuated in the Ritter-Kellner Sulphite-Cellulose process, which was soon in use in many paper-mills [...] (Electro-chemical bleaching processes) [...] The Castner-Kellner Alkali Company built in England what was then the largest plant for chlor-alkaline electrolysis in the world [...] Kellner occupied himself with technical inventions [...] among which were discoveries in spun fibres, electrical lighting, photography, synthetic gem-stones, etc."
(Text provided by Dr. Walter, in Volume III, p.290)

On Carl Kellner: Jean Paar: White and Black Magic

"On the 7th of June there died in Vienna one of the better-known figures in the wider worlds of science and industry, Doctor Karl K; it was a sudden death, occurring only six months after one of his assistants met the same fate. Dr. K was possessed of a lively and ingenious mind, from which emerged many inventions, among which the Sulphite-Cellulose process takes pride of place. He made his fortune, and was able to extend his enquiries in ever widening circles, until eventually he fetched up in the field of Black Magic. Initially he took instruction from the Arab Soliman ben Aisha, from whom he learnt how to make your eyes pop out of your head, and how to pierce your tongue. Then he fell into the company of the Indian Bheema Sena Pratapa, from whom he learnt the art of putting oneself into a state of trance, in which condition many Fakirs have had themselves buried alive. Finally he devoted himself under the Indian Sri Mahatma Agamya Guru Paramahamsa, to the deepest secrets of Hatha Yoga. [1] Consequently he attracted to himself a horde of infernal spirits which he could not escape, and which were ultimately his ruination. He was haunted in his laboratory by quite incredible ghostly manifestations, and the unfortunate man discovered that despite being fully conscious of his deeds, he no longer had the strength to escape their results.
In one of his letters to Dr. Franz Hartmann, he wrote: 'I fear the guardian legions, yet they open the knowledge of the subject'.
Six months after his laboratory assistant died suddenly, he himself fell prey to a mysterious illness, which no doctor was able to diagnose. He shrank to a skeleton, and died an even more puzzling death after he had been to Egypt, from where he returned in a stretcher, after making a slight recovery."

J. Paar, Berlin 1912.
Paar became a supporter of the Nazi Ludendorff, and 24 years afterwards published more on Kellner under a pseudonym. Regarding the many factual errors and hostile misinterpretations: see my articles.

On Carl Kellner: S. Ipares: 'Secret World Power'

"Blavatsky's pupil and founder of the 'International Theosophical Fraternization', Dr. Franz Hartmann (33°, 90°, and 95°), belonged to the 'Order of Ancient and True Rosicrucians' as 'Frater Emanuel', while Dr. Rudolf Steiner was initiated into a separate branch of the Order, the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis, Order of Oriental Templars) working 97 (=33) degrees [wrong]. This Order, which we accuse of being the darkest chapter among modern secret societies, was the Masonic creation of Dr. Karl Kellner (1851-1905) [wrong: the O.T.O. was founded after Kellner's death], a prominent Austrian inventor and chemist. The young Kellner, who at barely 22 years of age had made a name for himself in the scientific world through his work, soon fell into an addiction to occultism, and was introduced to Freemasonic groups. In 1887 he allied himself with the Theosophical Society, and was bedecked with high offices and honours in international Masonry. As an initiate he was part of the Freemasonic world conspiracy plan, and the occult entrapment of Germany, which did not reveal its political nature until 1902, in which year, on the 17th of January, Steiner himself was read into [sic] the Theosophical Society...
Dr. Kellner's letters give a shocking picture of someone in the shadowy realm of occult brotherhoods, and his training therein is revealed as a battle for the human soul plain and simple. One of his statements illuminateshis desperate state: 'I have finally found what I have spent my whole life striving towards — I perform my exercises, I ascend a little way; but then I fall from a great height. I fear the guardian legions.'
Dr. Franz Hartmann believed that Dr. Kellner's progress in occultism was "like Icarus, whose myth tells that he tried to fly to the sun on wings of wax — but the wings melted, and he fell."
When these 'guardian legions' of the West recognized that Dr. Kellner with his own weapons and those of the Indian secret societies — or whatever select alliances he made before his death — intended to annihilate them, while spinning an ever thicker web of doom over Europe, exposing the Austrian and German public to damaging cosmopolitan influences, they managed to strik Kellner 'dumb' at the right moment.
Next they struck terror into Kellner associates — it was their favourite method — by means of accidents, and then through the death of his assistant, a perfectly healthy young man, who suddenly dropped dead on the laboratory floor, without any cause that the doctor could find in his post-mortem. Then Kellner himself fell victim to an utterly mysterious illness, for which the doctors could find no explanation, and which put him in the sick-room for six months. Persistent weight-loss, lameness in the limbs, ad complete numbness were the symptoms of this illness, for which he sought relief in the sun of Egypt. From there, Dr. Kellner returned to Vienna, the city of his birth, on June 6th 1905, and died after a visit to the 'alchemical' chamber of his laboratory the following night. The unseen hand of the guardian legions had performed their fearsome and dangerous task, sent from the 'innermost' East, extinguishing a lamp of Rosicrucianism, and sending the O.T.O. down a road where none of its succeeding Grand Masters General achieved any honour."

S. Ipares, Munich 1936.

On Carl Kellner: Jubilee Number of the "Oriflamme", 1912

Theodor Reuss: "The spiritual Father of the newly-organised Oriental Order of Templars was the late Sovereign Honoured Grand Master-General in Germany and Great Britain, Bro.·. Dr. Carl Kellner, 33°, 90°, 96°, X°. On his numerous and extensive journeys in Europe, America, and Asia Minor he came into contact with an organisation called 'The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light'. The influences that were transmitted through his contact with this organisation, (allied with others, which will not be detailed here under these circumstances), engendered in Bro.·. Kellner the wish to found a species of 'Academica Masonica' in which Brothers might be facilitated in seeking acquaintance with all existing Masonic.·.Degrees and Systems. In the year 1895 Bro.·. Kellner had long conversations with Bro.·. Reuss in Berlin, so that these ideas might become a practical proposition. In the course of these conversations Bro.·. Reuss told Bro.·. Kellner for the first time of the aforementioned title of 'Academica Masonica', and gave the justification and basis for adopting the designation 'Oriental Templar'. These negotiations completed, 1895 however brought few positive results; at that point Bro.·. Reuss was preoccupied with his reactivated Order of Illuminati, but as soon as Bro... Reuss appointed more active persons [Leopold Engel] to leading positions, Bro. Kellner fell out of sympathy with them [that January, 'Number 0' of the Oriflamme appeared].
As by July 1902 the final split between Bro.·. Reuss and his student Leopold E
[ngel] had become known, Bro.·. Kellner immediately put himself into close association with Bro.·. Reuss, and brought about the acquisition of a licence for the introduction of the Rites of Memphis and Misraim into Germany, since Bro.·. Kellner held sole rights to these Rites with their respective degrees of 90th & 95th, as most suitable to his idea of introducing a 'kind of' Masonic Academy. The Rosicrucian, esoteric teachings of the 'Hermetic Brotherhood of Light' would be reserved for the few initiates of its occult 'Inner Circle'. The grades of knowledge of this inner initiatory circle ran parallel to the highest degrees of the Memphis-Misraim Rite, and these 'Initiates' comprised the root of the Order of Oriental Templars.
No-one may become an 'Initiate' of the O.T.O. who has not first received the three Craft degrees of Freemasonry."

Caption to a photograph of Kellner dating from 1896: "Received into the Order of Freemasonry in the 'Humanitas' Lodge, Or.·.Neuhäusl." [3]. Written by Theodor Reuss, Berlin and London, 1912.

English: Theodor Reuss and the Brothers of Light in the Seven Churches of Asia. The origins of Brotherhood of Light of Theodor Reuss.
Deutsch: Die Brueder des Lichtes der sieben Gemeinden in Asien. Theodor Reuss' Hermetische Bruderschaft des Lichtes.
Français: Les Frères de Lumière dans les Sept Églises d'Asie. Les origines de la Fraternité de Lumière de Theodor Reuss.

Reuss to Crowley, 1917

On Carl Kellner: "Oriflamme" of July 1914

Regarding a quote from A.P. Eberhardt's "Winkellogen Deutschlands" [English translation: On German Irregular Lodges], (Leipzig, 1914), Theodor Reuss wrote: "Members challenged Reuss, particularly the well-known occultist and Freemason of Vienna Dr. Kellner, challenged him to produce the licence of a recognised association for them!
Dr. Karl Kellner was never a member of the Swedenborg Rite or belonged to any of the Masonic lodges founded by me between 1900 and 1902. Neither was Dr. Karl Kellner a member of the Illuminati-Order re-activated by me, so long as Leopold Engel was associated with it in any manner whatever. Nor was Dr. Karl Kellner ever in a position to claim membership of the Swedenborg Rite.
I was certainly associated with, and a friend of Dr. Karl Kellner long before the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry appeared in 1902; since when in agreement with him (after the separation of Leopold Engels from the circle of my colleagues) a Warrant (licence) was requested from John Yarker of Manchester in August 1902, which was then accepted."

(Theodor Reuss, Berlin and London, 1914).

Constitution, Statutes, and Precedents of the Grand Orient of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish 33° Freemasons, and the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Ancient and Primitive Rite 95° of Memphis and Misraim, in and for Germany in the Valley of Berlin, also of the Supreme Council and Grand Council of the Scottish Chapter of Rose Croix, including their subordinate Chapters and Symbolic Lodges (Craft Lodges).

"Patron: Sovereign Honoured Grand-Master General for Germany, and Sovereign Grand Commander, A. & A. 33°, for Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland; Br... Dr. Carl Kellner, of the Kellner-Partington Co. Ltd., the Castner-Kellner Alkali Co Ltd., of Manchester, Barrow-in-Furness, Runcorn, Borregaard (Norway), St. John (Canada), Hallein near Salzburg, member of the Royal Industrial Council in Vienna, etc."
(Berlin, 1903).

"Historical Number of the Oriflamme", 1904

"Peace, Tolerance, Truth [...] Manchester, London, Vienna, and Berlin, on the 27th Dec. 1903. Dr. Carl Kellner, 33°, 90°, 96°, S. Honoured Grand-Master General in Great Britain and Germany [...] Theodor Reuss, 33°, 90°, 96°, G.M.G. ad vitam for the German Reich."
[there follows 'On the Secrets of the Occult Higher Degrees of our Order. A Manifesto of the Grand Orient [...] Kellner & Reuss."]


G r a n d f a t h e r    of    the    A n t h r o p o s o p h i c a l    S o c i e t y ?

The following paragraphs contain outlines of the "voelkisch" Jew-baiting "Der Judenkenner" of 1936. Anti-Semitic attacks are omitted in the transcript — but not in the following photo reproduction of the corresponding illustrations from one of my books.
Comments in [brackets] by P.R. Koenig. This regrettable article is partly reproduced for documentary reasons only.


Rudolf Steiner: Not a member of the O.T.O.

Der Judenkenner: Der Grossvater der Antroposophischen Gesellschaft

Der Judenkenner Ulrich Fleischauer Theodor Reuss Rudolf Steiner Aleister Crowley Der Judenkenner Ulrich Fleischauer Theodor Reuss Rudolf Steiner Aleister Crowley Der Judenkenner Ulrich Fleischauer Theodor Reuss Rudolf Steiner Aleister Crowley

Der Judenkenner: "Mysterien" des Aleister Crowley

Der Judenkenner Ulrich Fleischauer Theodor Reuss Rudolf Steiner Aleister Crowley Der Judenkenner Ulrich Fleischauer Theodor Reuss Rudolf Steiner Aleister Crowley

[From: 'Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader'.]

Edited Transcript

"Karl Theodor Reuss was born [on June] 1855 in Augsburg. He attended the Gymnasium, was apprenticed as a druggist but soon got an education as a professional opera singer. As such he contacted [in 1883] Richard Wagner and his protector King Ludwig II of Bavaria. [Reuss claimed to have taken part in Angelo Neumann's English tour in 1882 and to have sung the role of the god "Donner" in "Das Rheingold" and to have subsequently performed at Amsterdam, Munich and Quedlinburg.] Suddenly his career came to an end when Reuss lost his voice (there was a rumour that he had syphilis). As regular correspondent of several major newspapers he went to London where. [on 9 November 1876] he was initiated in the German-speaking "Pilger-Loge" Nr. 238 [and expelled on 1 October 1881 maybe because he had not paid his subscription. It is possible that he had been proposed for membership by Heinrich Klein, a dealer in sheet music, who had become a joining member in 1872 and was Director of Ceremonies in 1872-3. He was to become involved in Reuss's later masonic activities.]
In 1878 he was sent by the "Times" (London) [?] as a well-paid war-reporter to the Balkans and in 1882 he went to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 1880 Reuss spent a longer period in his home country, in Munich. Together with descendants of the "Order of the Illuminati" he attempted a revival of this anti-government order originally founded by Professor Adam Weishaupt of Ingolstadt.
We find Reuss again in the year 1885 in London, in the executive committee of the anarchist "Socialist League."

[His first] pamphlet, "The Matrimonial Question", was not warmly received. (4) On May 10 he was expelled from the "Socialist League" because of defamatory actions.
The unveiling of his activities as a spy for Germany through the anarchists of London forced the traitor to leave England.
In 1888 Reuss re-appeared in Berlin and joined the actor Leopold Engel in order to re-found the "Order of the Illuminati".
[An article by Reuss on "Pranatherapie" can be found in the June 1894 issue of the occult periodical "Sphinx". It was published under the pseudonym "Theodor Regens" and described how he had cured an old lady's insomnia by applying his hands to her head.]
The German Grand Lodge firstly ignored Reuss and his allies. Only when Reuss in 1900 propagated his own "Johannislogen" under his business enterprise "Grosse Freimaurerloge fuer Deutschland" did the "most honorable Grandmasters" become furious against the unfair competitor. As a result, in 1901 Leopold Engel separated from Reuss, accusing him of fraud. The Majority of the members of the "Order of the Illuminati" stayed with Reuss, while Engel tried to run his "Weltbund der Illuminaten" independently from all the other Grand Lodge offices.
[The ex-mason and collector of masonic titles John Yarker was willing to sell Reuss a warrant for the Antient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim, also for the Cerneau (New York, 1807) version of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. In connection with his prospective "high grade" operation Reuss recruited two gentlemen who had not previously been associated with his masonic manoeuvres in Germany. They were his old friend Heinrich Klein and Dr Franz Hartmann. In order to give them the necessary status in or about September 1902 Yarker appointed all three of them to high office in his Sovereign Sanctuary, the body which ostensibly controlled all the variegated high-grade rites in his possession. The warrant, dated 24 September, followed immediately. It authorized Reuss (as Sovereign Grand Master General), Hartmann (as Grand Administrator General) and Klein (as Grand Keeper of the Golden Book) to establish a Sovereign Sanctuary in Berlin.]
[the Ancient and Primitive Scottish Rite and Memphis-Misraim] Reuss collected the most reliable members into one particular group: the Order of the Oriental Templars (O.T.O.).
One can detect the spiriti of the
[pertinent] Church from what is written in one of their brochures. "The Isrealites would not have to give up a lot in order to belong to us. The Gnostic Church supports the parliamentary-liberal republic." (Le Reveil des Albigeois, No. 1, 1900) [5]

The first head [of the O.T.O. ?] was not Reuss, but the Vienna manufacturer Dr. Karl [sic] Kellner.
[Carl Kellner was Austrian paper chemist and industrialist who had profitably exploited a number of patents connected with paper-making processes. He was one of the few contemporary Europeans with a detailed knowledge of yoga theories and techniques and in 1896 distributed a privately-printed paper on "Yoga: a summary of its psycho-physiological connections" to those who attended the Third International Congress for Psychology held at Munich in 1896.

In "Was ist Okkultismus und wie erlangt man okkulte Kräfte?", published under the pseudonym "Hans Merlin" at Berlin in 1903, Reuss referred to his friendship with Madame Blavatsky and mentioned that he had been present at a memorial ceremony at her house a few days after her death in May 1891. As an "occultist" Reuss seems to have been mainly interested in yoga and the theoretical connections between certain chakras and sexuality.]
In 1905 Reuss was living in Hamburg. In the summer of 1906
[24 June [6]] he went to Munich in order to initiate some "Novizen" in the secrets of the O.T.O. These "Novizen" were so disgusted by these "revelations" [the mutual touchings of the phalli as yoga- meditation] [7] that they alerted to the police to arrest the libertine Reuss, who only just escaped arrest while dining in the hotel "Metropol", and fled to his crony, John Yarker in England.
In Germany, sorting out the business of the Order became rather complicated after General Grandmaster Reuss' ignominious retreat. Although Herr A.P. Eberhardt of Leipzig had already received the leadership of the "Johannislogen" on 11 November 1906, Reuss kept the higher degrees for himself until 1909. Now he transferred authority to his most faithful squire, Dr. Carl Lauer of Ludwigshafen
[who published the "Andreas-Blaetter" from 1908]. [8] Only the highest floor of his headquarters, Memphis-Misraim or O.T.O., was still rentable.

A suitable tenant was soon found in Doctor Rudolf Steiner, who acquired the complete form in the winter of 1906/07 for the trifling sum of 1500 Marks. Steiner himself always told his faithful that the highest degree of his masonic system should be only the lowest degree of another occult system on whose peak was a Rex summus maximus.
[Ed.: This is nonsense. Steiner NEVER was member of the O.T.O.. See documents in "Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader",

In order to support himself in London, Reuss founded there a "High School of Hermetic Sciences." At the end of 1913 he settled in Paris.
Six months after Reuss settled down in Basel, war broke out. After the war, Reuss stayed another two years in Basel
[Der Judenkenner now mentions E.T. Kurtzahn, a leading member of the Gnostic Church, in connection with Reuss since 1922]. [The events between 1916 and 1920 are dealt with in: "Consider the O.T.O. non existent"].
Reuss removed his residence to Munich where he became an employee of the municipal travel agency. He still held his O.T.O. meetings [for example, with Arnoldo Krumm-Heller]. Krumm-Heller nowadays [1936] still spreads his cancer as an agent in Rosicrucian societies in Brazil. We beg all our friends to watch his activities closely and to report to us. Brooding over new plans to stultify Aryan scientists, Reuss died in 1923 in his 68th year in Munich."

[End of edited transcript]

Note by Karl Germer:

Some of this is new to me. The 'Judenkenner' was, of course fed by the Nazis who had seized in 1934 [?] the whole of the Archives of Secret Societes, Lodges, Masons. etc. etc. and occult organisations. On top of that I presume that they got hold of people like Birven, Schlag and others, even Jesuits, who have a grudge against anything that is not of the standard Christian or masonic approved tradition. In the case of Birven I know that he has a tremendous literature of the background of O.T.O. etc. and was in touch with French leading circles. He was called to the Gestapo to testify for questioning, but I am sure not seriously molested. He and Traenker threw it all on me, the wicked Germer. B. may, to save his skin, have supplied the Gestapo with additional information, not usually found in literature.

Ed. Koenig:

These texts, and pieces in Reuss's "Oriflamme" between July and December 1906, had seemed to be the sole foundations for any would-be biographers of Reuss. There is however a long-neglected article called 'Les Missionaires du Gnosticisme' [10] by Leslie Fry ('Paquita Shishmarev'), which was published in the "Revue Internationale des Sociétés Secrètes"; but unfortunately it does not add any decisive facts to the present study.

Der Judenkenner was published every week for almost two years during 1935-1936. Heydrich ordered the Security Service (SD), and the Secret Police (Gestapo) to seize documents from, and suppress, occult organisations on 20th July 1937, and the freemasonic lodges on 23rd April 1938. Although it is certain that the SD and Gestapo did acquire important documents before these dates, there is the question whether they really acquired the most interesting information until after the suppression dates. For this reason, Ulrich Fleischauer's vast sources for Der Judenkenner remain a mystery, as does the nature of Heydrich's and Dr Francis Six's relationship with Fleischauer. Fleischauer later worked for Alfred Rosenberg, after Heydrich closed down Der Judenkenner in late 1936 (reason unknown). [11]

Cont. of Reuss' Diplomas etc

"First Deed of Foundation: [the] Secret Areopagus of the Order of Illuminati... has resolved from January 1900, by means of its Order rights, legitimately acquired from the founder of the Order of Illuminati Adam Weishaupt, [12] to found Lodges of Freemasons, whenever it shall have need. To this end, the secret Areopagus herewith confers membership of its Order upon Brother Theodor Reuss... the sole right to found and consecrate Lodges of Freemasons of the Scottish Rite of Ancient and Accepted Masons... Dresden, the 1st of Dimeh 1900... Theodor Reuss, Leopold Engel..."

[Wording according to the "Oriflamme" of July 1914 [13]. The licence was issued on the 6th of May 1901 according to Reuss.]

"Martinist Order. Theodor Reuss — by these presents Brother Theodor Reuss of Berlin is authorised to represent the ORDER under the title of: Inspector General (I.M.) with his seat at Berlin... 24th of June 1901 ... Papus."[14]
[Transcribed from the original. In the summer of 1901 'Papus' was in Russia, where he possibly installed the Czar as the head of a Martinist lodge [15].]

"The Swedenborg Rite of Masonry. The Supreme Grand Lodge and Tempel of Great Britain and Irteland. To All Whom it may concern! Greetings! Be it known by these Presents, that our worthy Brother Theodor Reuss a Master Mason who has signed his name in the Margins hereof, was duly elevated on the 25th day of July AD 1901 [...] to the Degrees of Enlightened Sublime and Perfect Freemason in the Emanuel Lodge and Temple No. 1 of London (England) [...] 26th July AD 1901 [...] William Wynn Westcott. [original in P.R. Koenig: "Materialien zum OTO", ARW, Bavaria 1994]

Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica (FLH) = Hermetic Brotherhood of Light (HBL)? [16] "the truly active members of the O.T.O. were called Hermetic Brothers of Light or Illuminati, which has been historically determined by Fra. Peregrinus X° O.T.O. (Theodor Reuss) and Baphomet XI° O.T.O. (Aleister Crowley)."
(H.J. Metzger's testimony, January 9th 1963) [17]

"From the East of the Supreme Grand Council of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33rd and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry in and for Great Britain & Ireland... Know Ye that we the undersigned Sovereign Grand Inspector General do hereby certify, acknowledge and proclaim, our Ill. Brother Theodor Reuss of Berlin to be an Expert Master Mason, Secret Master, Perfect Master, [...] Grand Elect Knight Kadosh, 30°, Grand Inquisitor Commander, 31°, Prince of the Royal Secret, and a Sov. Gd. Inspector Gen. 33° [...] Signed and delievered by us Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Thirty-third and last Degree with the Seal of our said Supreme Council affixed in the Valley of Manchester this [...] 24th day of September A.D.1902. John Yarker 33°..."
Note: this is a transcription of the original. Aleister Crowley received a document from John Yarker that is identical in almost every word, on the 29th of November 1910. Issued on exactly the same day in 1902, there is a supposed licence for Reuss from Yarker for which no original has been brought to light; only transcriptions have been found:

[...] do [...] issue.. this our Warrant empowering our Illustrious and Enlightened Brothers: Theodor Reuss 33.° 90.° 96.° to act as Most Illustrious Sovereign Grand Master General, Franz Hartmann 33.° 90.° 95.°, Thrice Illustrious Grand Administrator General [...] with power to oppoint [sic] the other necessary officers of a Sovereign Sanctuary etc. to be holden in the Valley of Berlin or other German city, aforesaid by the name and title of the Sovereign Sanctuary 33.°-95.° in and for the Empire of Germany [...] [here follows the permit to establish lodges, chapters, etc., and to confer all degrees] 24th day of Sept. 1902 E.V [...] John Yarker 33.° 90.° 96.° Gr. Master Gen. _ad vitam_..." [18]
The notes to the German version of this charter cite other degrees in "The Cerneau (New York 1807) Rite" [19]: Theodor Reuss: 33°, 90°, 95°: Franz Hartmann 33°, 90°, 96°. The "Constitution, Statutes, and Precedents" [20] admittedly confer the same degrees, but leave Hartmann's pompous title out.

"33° and last degree SUPREME COUNCIL [...] Sovereign Grand Inspector General — Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masonry sitting in the Valley of New York, where abideth Peace, Tolerance and Truth: From the Grand Orient of HIERODOMON [in Greek characters], at New York, in the State of New York, near the B.B. and under the C.C. of that Zenith, which answers unto 40° 42' N. Lat. I, Max Scheuer 33° by the authority in me vested as Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander, do appoint the Most Illustrious Brother Theodor Reuss Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Thirty-third degree, Deputy as Representative of the Supreme Council of the United States of America, its territories and dependencies, to the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient of Germany, Thirty-third degree Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite [...] this twenty-first day of Sivan A.M. 1663. Max Scheuer 33°..."
[Transcribed from the original.]

"In the names of the Grand Orient of the Scottish Rite and the Rite of Misraim and Memphis [...] Herewith it is declared that the Most Honoured and Most Worthy Brother JOHN YARKER, 33°, 90°, 96°, Sovereign Grand Master General ad. vit. of the Antient and Primitif Rite of Masonry of the Scottish Rite, Ancien et Accepté 33° (Cerneau New York 1807), and the Oriental (Egyptian) Rite of Misraim in and for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, by virtue of his Offices and by reason of his Licence of the Sovereign Grand Orient de France of the 21st of July 1862 [illegible] of the rights delivered by M[ost] Ill[ustrious] Sovereign Grand Master General of America Brother Harry J. Seymour to the [illegible] Brothers Theodor Reuss, 33°, 96°, Dr. Franz Hartmann, 33°, 95°, Heinrich Klein, 33°, 95° and their associated Brethren, has granted a Licence to constitute a Sovereign Sanctuary for the German Empire, to work the complete degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite 33°, the Oriental Rite of Misraim 90°, and the Rite of Memphis 95°, from the first to the 33° (90°-95°) and last degree, and to institute and conduct symbolic Lodges, Chapters, Senates, Councils and Grand Councils in Germany [...] [here follows the foundation of the 'Phoenix of Truth' Orient in Hamburg.] In confirmtion of which the present certificate is prepared, sealed, and signed... First day of the Month of July 1904 E.V. John Yarker 33° 90° 96° G.M.G. of Gr. Britain + Ireland Theodor Reuss 33° 90° 96° Grand Master General for the German Reich ad Vitam..."
[transcript from a photocopy of the original. Some say that this paper is a forgery made in the 1970s by a newly founded MM-lodge]

An additional version of a charter granted to Reuss especially for establishing MM lodges was published as the text of a 'Vademecum for Seekers of Light' by the Symbolic Grand Lodge of the Scottish Rite in Germany:
"Herewith it is declared that [...] John Yarker, 33°, 90°, 96°, Sovereign Grand Master General ad vitam of the Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, the Scottish Rite, Ancien et Accepté 33° (Cerneau-New York 1807) and the Oriental (Egyptian) Rite of Misraim [...] by reason of a Licence of the Sovereign Grand Orient de France of the 21st of July 1862 [...] of the rights delivered by Harry J. Seymour to the Most Honoured Brethren Theodor Reuss 33° 96° etc., has granted a Licence to constitute a Sovereign Sanctuary for the German Empire [...] 24th day of the month of June 1905."
On page 108 of Eberhardt's "Winkellogen Deutschlands" this licence of 1905 is also printed, with the difference that straight after "Theodor Reuss 33° 96° etc.," the names of Franz Hartmann and Heinrich Klein (died June 26th 1913), are inserted. This begs the question of whether the authors could have exhibited any original document.

"Edict: We, Albert Karl Theodor Reuss, 33.°, 90.°, 96.°, Sovereign Grand Master General ad Vitam of the Orders of the United Rites of Scottish, Memphis and Misraim Freemasons in and for the German Reich, Sovereign Grand Commander General, Absolute Grand Sovereign, Sovereign Pontiff, Sovereign Master of the Oriental Templar Freemasons, Supreme Magus Soc. Frat. R.C.S. 33.°, Termaximus Regens etc., etc., do hereby make known [that Our] three Freemasonic Rites are separated from each other, and the three Rites are raised up as three independent Freemasonic institutions.
From the 24th of July 1907 E.V. there will subsist under Our highest jurisdiction in Germany:
The Highest Council of the Scottish, Ancient and Accepted 33° Rite for the German Empire.
The Grand Council General (90°) of the Egyptian Rite of Mizraim.
The Sovereign Sanctuary (95°) of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis..."

Theodor Reuss, 10th of September 1906. [21]

On the 33° Rite:
"Through Bro. Reuss were constituted Our Symbolic Grand Lodge on the 24th of June 1905, and the Highest Grand Council on the 20th of November 1906. The Foundation of the Grand Chapter, dated on the 24th of September 1907."
Carl Lauer [22].


Notes to Chapter Three of "Das O.T.O. Phänomen" (1994)

  1. Dr. Carl Kellner: _Yoga. Eine Skizze über den psycho-physiologischen Teil der alten indischen Yogalehre. Dem III. Internationalen Congress für Psychologie gewidmet_, Munich 1896. On-line version
  2. Josef Dvorak, a self-styled expert on Kellner, believes this refers to Edward Bulwer Lytton's novel Zanoni (first published in German, Stuttgart, 1867). "Vom Wiener O.T.O. zum modernen Satanismus", lecture given in Zurich, 5.4.93.
  3. "In the 'regular' Viennese Grand Lodge's archive there is virtually nothing about Kellner" Josef Dvorak, letter of 13.7.92.
  4. Frick, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 462 _ff_. Reuss later used the same ideas about women in his "Aufbauprogramm der Gnostischen Neo-Christen O.T.O.". Original reprinted in "Der Kleine Theodor Reuss Reader", Muenchen 1993
  5. The magazine of Jules Doinel's church
  6. June 24th.
  7. "Wiener Freimaurer Zeitung", Vol. 9, Nº 10, of October 1929, p. 26.
  8. Carl Lauer issued the "Andreas-Blaetter" after 1908 in Leipzig; it carried a similar sigil to that on the "Oriflamme".
  9. The members of the X° OTO, a purely administrative grade, though entitled to elect the OHO, were called 'Rex Summus Sanctissimus.'
  10. Nº 19-20, Paris 1931, pp. 461-547. Extract in AHA, June 1992, p. 6.
  11. Paul Sturges, letter dated 8.7.93.
  12. Frick, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 465, and Howe & Möller _op. cit._, p. 305 _ff_.
  13. Berlin and London 1914, p. 7.
  14. According to Karl Brodbeck (IO), the foundation-year of Martinism; "Freimaurerlogen", Bern 1948, p. 108.
  15. James Webb: "the occult establishment", Illinois 1976 (3rd ed.) p. 168.
  16. Frick _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 429. Clymer, Book of Rosicruciae Vol. II, p. 70, and "Rosicrucian Fraternity in America", Vol. I, Quakertown 1935, p. 411. Also Joscelyn Godwin in "Theosophical History" (_ut supra_).
  17. Also in "Oriflamme" 23, Zurich, January 1963, p. 266.
  18. "Oriflamme" Nº 1, January 1911, p. 4.
  19. W.C. Archard, Zurich 1925, p. 18ff. Facsimile in Koenig/Materialien zum OTO
  20. Berlin 1903, p. 6.
  21. "Oriflamme" Nº 2, Munich 1906, p. 49.
  22. "Andreas-Blaetter" 1, Leipzig 1908, p. 5.

© Peter-Robert Koenig — 1994 / 2000

Because Spencer Lewis (1883–1939) (leader of the A.M.O.R.C.) threatened Theodor Reuss (1855–1923) (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 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 Reuss 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.”

[see also "Ein Leben Für Die Rose" and Der O.T.O. Phaenomen RELOAD].

Translated and adapted from a chapter on the O.T.O. Protagonists in "Das O.T.O.-Phänomen" by Mark Parry-Maddocks German original online.

Theodor Reuss — a sort of biography.

Consider the O.T.O. non existent.

Two letters from Theodor Reuss concerning Franz Hartmann / Rudolf Steiner.

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