Ordo Templi Orientis - Lawyers, Historians and the 'Caliphate'

fahrenheit 418 information

Lawyers and Historians: The 'Caliphate' versus the Truth?

Grady Louis McMurtry - Ordo Templi Orientis - Caliphate

Writing History is a difficult thing, the truth is often not necessarily the same as the Law as written in the conclusions or by decisions of a Court.
In the context of the O.T.O. Phenomenon, a new O.T.O. group founded in 1977 and (still) calling itself 'Caliphate' has put the methodically researched facts and findings befor the conclusions of a Judge. In 1985, a rather uninformed American judge ruled in favour of the 'Caliphate', thus making way for thousands of dollars from the Aleister Crowley copyrights to roll into the bank account of this new O.T.O. group.
Obviously, this 'Caliphate' not only declared itself to be 'the real OTO' from 1985 on, but also openly put the historical facts into three categories of historical truths:
  1. Legally protected historical truths. The Truth was defined by a Court itself. Everyone openly querying or denying it finds himself in Court (be it a mundane Court or the Inquisition room of the group in question).
  2. Officially privileged historical truths. When only a handful of selected and chosen faithful and favoured people have access to the sources the public has to rely on their findings.
  3. Ordinary historical truths. Every other historical fact without any reference to legally protected or officially privileged historical truths, e.g. what they call distorted facts by enemies or critics.

These categories have nothing to do with methodical academic research of history but nourish the bureaucratic levels of legally introduced hierarchy of 'truths'.


Court Decisions

1) Maine 1984. To the disadvantage of the 'Caliphate': The court wrote that Crowley had transferred the copyrights of his writings by his Last Will to the O.T.O and concerned itself with the question, whether the 'Caliphate' could be the legal successor of the O.T.O. The court came to the conclusion that the 'Caliphate” cannot be a legal successor, because there never was a O.T.O which existed as a body, as a legal entity: "There is no evidence that the O.T.O was ever incorporated during the lifetime of either Crowley or Germer.” Therefore the 'Caliphate' can only be regarded as a reestablishment of an order, which called itself O.T.O. There is no legal succession, because, as mentioned above there never was an O.T.O. with “legal status to own property”, never a body of that name which could have possessed rights and assets. Therefore the 'Caliphate' did not acquire such rights and fortunes as a successor of a “O.T.O.-body”.

2) California 1985 to the favour of the 'Caliphate': This court in California came to the opposite conclusion and regarded the 'Caliphate' as a legal successor, therefore the name, trademarks, copyrights could be taken over. This decision is basically wrong regarding the copyrights. Crowley died bankrupt. If the copyrights belonged to the bankrupt's estate, then they no longer belonged to either Crowley or the O.T.O. With the opening of the bankruptcy alone the official receiver benefits of the rights.

3) The 'Caliphate' bought all possibly existing copyrights (so far as subsisting) from the official receiver in 1991 (= English Crown). For £3000. - An English court confirmed in the year 2000 that the O.T.O. (i.e. the 'Caliphate') had bought all copyrights (so far as subsisting). This decision and the acquisition of the copyrights do not have anything to do with the question whether the 'Caliphate' is the legitimate O.T.O.-successor and whether at all a “O.T.O.”-body existed in a legally relevant sense. Anyone could actually have bought the copyrights (so far as subsisting). The acquisition business is crucial to their claim. The copyrights (so far as subsisting) were bought by contract from the official receiver.

The opinion of the 'Caliphate': "According to the court in L.A. we are the successors of the O.T.O and therefore owners of the copyrights. Even if one should come to another result than the court in L.A, we are in any case copyright owners, because we acquired the copyrights from the official receiver."

There has been a project to microfilm the so-called Warburg-Collection of Crowleyana in London, the results of which has been published as: "Yorke Collection", microfilm edition New York: Ordo Templi Orientis; London: Warburg Institute, 2002. This collection does not contain the entire unpublished material in the Gerald Yorke Collection (which was inspired by Ellic Howe), only the portions which are copyrighted (so far as subsisting) by the 'Caliphate’ since winning the lawsuit against Anthony Naylor [see below]. Consequently it chiefly includes material authored by Aleister Crowley.
The public can try to obtain a copy via inter-library loan. WorldCat lists three university libraries in the United States who have copies.

Warburg-Collection of Crowleyana, Aleister Crowley, Warburg Institute, Gerald Yorke, microfilm, microfiche

Some background information

Lawyers and Historians: The 'Caliphate' versus the Truth? — Introduction

the Maine decision 1984   [to the disfavour of the 'Caliphate']      |      the California decision 1985  [to the favour of the 'Caliphate']
Purchase of the copyrights on Aleister Crowley from the Official Receiver (OR)
The 1999 Particulars of Claim ['Caliphate']
Financial Reports 1996-1999 of the 'Caliphate'
Erraneous opinion on the International Copyright Situation. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
What the 'Caliphate' does not want you to know . Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
Crowley's Probate. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
'Caliphate' Capers. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000. Based upon a draft by James Graeb
Structure, Constitutions and Money. Partly written by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
Library of Congress, letter dated September 6, 2000
2000, July: An analysis of the Bylaws of the 'Caliphate' and its Board of Directors. By James Graeb
2000, July: Incorporation of O.T.O., Argentum Astrum and E.G.C.
2000: "Caliphate-O.T.O. Win" and the The Writing on the Wall. Text by Anthony Naylor before he lost his case against the 'Caliphate' in 2000
Court Order of October 2000
James T. Graeb, co-founder and IX° of the 'Caliphate', a lawyer, calls the 'Caliphate' a "Puppet Show Piece" and files suit vs William Breeze, William Heidrick, Marcus Jungkurth et alii in 2001
The 2002 Ruling
The Summary so far

Ordo Templi Orientis - Trade Mark - Starfire Publishing Limited

Kenneth Grant Aossic Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis
Kenneth Grant
John Symonds Aleister Crowley The Great Beast King of the Shadow Realm
John Symonds
Francis King
Francis King

Some Things

Court Case H.J. Metzger vs Walter Englert in the 1970s
1991 Opinion of a German prosecuting attorney's office on the body of the 'Caliphate' Erfahrungsbericht eines O.T.O.-Mitglieds im Zusammenhang mit dem Gerichtsprozess 'Caliphat' gegen Hänssler-Verlag, 1990 Unsuccessfull attempt in Yugoslavia
Censorship in the UK
The "Caliphate" Book Patrol: Fahrenheit 418
Paul Joseph Rovelli versus the 'Caliphate', New York January 2000
1998, July 17 - 2000 October Austrian situation on Copyrights     [German and English]
Trademark O.T.O.. By Leslie Anne Childress
2007 'Caliphat' Kasino in DeutschlandEnglish translation: 2007 'Caliphate' Casino2008: Honesty is the best Policy: 'Caliphate' O.T.O. / William Breeze lost in a legal case Deutsche Version: Ehrlich währt am Längsten: Warum der O.T.O. gegen P.R. Koenig verlor

Items of Historical Interest

In 1930, Karl Germer sent a description of the Aleister Crowley LTD. to Fernando Pessoa
Karl Germer, L. Wilkinson and Lady Harris

Other Background

The 'Caliphate'
Discussion about the  instrument of succession. An introduction to the background, followed by a transcript of such discussion
National Grandmasters and OHOs of the O.T.O.
Minutes of the 11 IX°s 'Caliphate' election in 1985 where it was clearly said that the 'Caliph' is not the juro OHO
Playgame of an O.T.O.-Fatamorgana — Statistics, Censorship, Name Dropping. 2011. Gaps in the Script of Esotericism: Hypocrisy and Hypercrisis – Oscar Wilde: Ambition is the last resort of failure
Fetish, Self-Induction, Stigma and Rôleplay. 2011.

More about all this in: Andreas Huettl and Peter-R. Koenig: Satan - Jünger, Jäger und Justiz

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