Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua — A Gnostic Inflation
The reader should bear in mind that there is almost no documentary evidence regarding the history of the O.T.O.A. There is absolutely no trace of L.-F. Jean-Maine or his Gnostic Church, Memphis Misraïm or his O.T.O. version (O.T.O.A.) in any of the old French Gnostic periodicals. Apparently, the history of the O.T.O.A. and its tangle of related organizations was developed by Marc Lully, Michael P. Bertiaux, and Manuel C. Lamparter, and perhaps Kenneth Grant, in the late 1960s. Bertiaux admitted to me that his draft history was written based on notes by Marc Lully; these notes are said to have been lost since then.
The following article is a reconstruction of the O.T.O.A.'s self-styled draft history (available in articles by Bertiaux and Lamparter, e.g., in "The Occult Digest" Vol. 3 Nº 1, Chicago 1973; extracted from endless correspondence with the two, and several audio tapes by Bertiaux, e.g., "The Gnostic Church and the Rites of Memphis-and-Misraim", "Sexual Magic and the Rite of Memphis-Mizraim", "History of our work in the Gnosis", 1-3.), and my own research.
==> Please note that many documents related to this area can be found in the F.R.A. gallery.
Every entry regarding the O.T.O.A. dated earlier than 1966 or so is of dubious nature: "Whether or not the Jean-Maine lineage was linked to the OTO of Reuss probably can't be ever proven" (Bertiaux, letter dated 4 April 1990). Nevertheless, there is an obvious parallel between the O.T.O.A. and Reuss' OTO: a nebulous fog of interwoven organisations.
Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua in former Yugoslavia.
- 13 July 1865: Gérard Encausse (Papus) was born in La Corogne,
- 1890: Jules Doinel (Valentin II) founded the Gnostic Chuch (Église
- 18 September 1892: Doinel consecrated Encausse a bishop (this was
without the apostolic succession of the Vilatte line).
- When John Yarker died in 1913 it was Encausse who inherited the
Memphis Misraim Rite.
- 11 January 1869: Lucien-François Jean-Maine allegedly was born in
Leogane, Haïti (he died on 30 April 1960 in Boston).
- 1899 he was consecrated by Doinel's successor Emmanuel Fabre des
Essarts (Synésius, allegedly consecrated by Encausse, Paul Sédir
and Lucien Mauchel, although there exists no evidence of such). There are
no documents for this.
- 15. August 1899, in Paris Jean-Maine (Ogdoade-Orfeo I) was made a
bishop of the Église Ophite des Naaseniens (Ecclesia
Cabalistico-gnostico de Memphis-Misraïm) by Paul-Pierre de Marraga
(Orfeo VI), a spanish bishop drawing back his line to the Albigensian
and who was allegedly initiated into Memphis Misraim by Manuel Lopez de
Brion on 2.2.1860.
De Brion (Orfeo V) had become a bishop of a mysterious Église Gnostique
d'Albigois on 2 February 1875 in Albi/France.
- In about 1900 Jean-Maine allegedly made the acquintance of Encausse
in Paris. Soon, Theodor Reuss was made Encausse's representative for
Martinism in Germany.
The Voodoo tradition of the family Jean-Maine allegedly went back to
the French slave owner Martinez de Pasquales living in Leogane, founder
of the Order of the Elus Cohens, who died in 1774. A prominent member
of the Elus Cohens was Louis-Claude de St. Martin (1743-1803), founder
of Martinism in France.
Hermetic Brotherhood of Light
Of course, the History of the O.T.O.A. also includes the mysterious
"Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica" (FLH) of the afro-american P.B. Randolph
(born 1825). Allegedly, Jean-Maine worked with disciples of the FLH
between 1899 and 1910.
It is said that the famous Maria de Naglowska studied Voodoo by
Jean-Maine's disciples from 1921 until 1930. In 1931 she eventually
published Randolph's "Magia Sexualis".
O.T.O. and O.T.O.A.
- 1910: In Paris, Encausse allegedly forwarded his Reuss-X° over to
L.-F. Jean-Maine "for Haïti and the French Indies." Jean-Maine
incorporated his branch of the FLH, while he counter-consecrated
Encausse into some high degrees of P.-P. de Marraga's Ecclesia
According O.T.O.A. History, Encausse's death in 1916 allegedly splitted the
French OTO. One wing was led by Joanny Bricaud (1881-1934) in Lyon,
approved by Reuss, while Jean-Maine headed the original Parisian
version which allegedly followed the constitution of Encausse and
Synésius (Fabre des Essarts, 1848-1917).
Influenced by O.T.O., Martinism, Gnosticism, FLH and Voodoo: the
Spanish and Haïtian branches of MM dispensed with their masonic
character and developed magical circles. "The Gnostic and Esoteric
Order of Misraïm" (or Egypt) and "The Gnostic and Esoteric Order of
Memphis," had been created under the roof of the "Ancient and Primitive
Rite of Memphis-Misraïm."
- 1919: Jean-Maine moved from France to Spain.
- 22 September 1921: Jean-Maine consecrated his European successor of
the Spanish Gnostic Church "Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis" (Église
gnostique d'Albigeois et des Naaseniens) and Memphis Misraïm "para
todos los paises latinos": Martin Ortier de Sanchez y Marraga
(Ogdoade-Orfeo II) now was leading headquarter of the Ecclesia Gnostica
and MM in Madrid. Marraga allegedly was heading a mysterious "Monastery
of the Seven Rays" in Spain.
Not only there is no documentary evidence for all this: the regular MM
does not accept above mentioned new versions of MM. In order to
differ between the MM of O.T.O.A. and the original MM, the O.T.O.A. version is
written with a " ï ".
- In 1921 Jean-Maine returned to Haïti in order to marry.
- 22 December 1921: Founding of the Haïtian "Ordo Templi Orientis
Antiqua" (O.T.O.A.) with 16 degrees.
- 18 January 1925: birth of Hector-François Pierre Michel
La Couleuvre Noire
- 1922: L.-F. Jean-Maine founded the magical Order "La Couleuvre
Noire" (LCN) with six degrees, affiliated with the O.T.O.A.
- 1930: LCN, O.T.O.A., FLH and Gnostic Church became associated
affiliations of the pertinent MM in Spain and Haïti. Only in 1968 these
territories had been expanded unto the US and the "French West Indies".
Between 1948 and 1949, the 16 degrees of the O.T.O.A. were adapted
according the lycanthropic cabbalah which was developed in the
- On 5 January 1949, Hector-François opened the temple of the "Two
Yggdrasill (The Solar-Legbah and the Stellar-Legbha)"
- On 27 January 1949, the O.T.O.A. and the LCN were ceremonially
O.T.O.A. and Gnostic Church
In 1955 Hector-François and Lucien-François transformed the O.T.O.A.
gnostic and ophidian church.
- 30 April 1960: J.-F. Jean-Maine died in Boston. His successor
became Martin de Sanchez y Marraga under the condition that
Hector-François was to inherit the succession at due time.
- 2 November 1963: H.-F. Jean-Maine (Ogdoade-Orfeo III) became bishop
and Patriarch of the Ecclesia Spiritualis (Église
Ophitico-Cabbalistique d'Haïti) through Martin Ortier de Sanchez y
Choronzon Club and QBL Alchemist Church
Michael Paul Bertiaux was born 18 January 1935 in Seattle. He learned
Voodoo between 1953 and 1975. While visiting Jean-Maine in
Port-au-Prince (Haïti) on 15 August 1963, Bertiaux was informed about
his future career.
- 2 November 1963: H.-F. Jean_Maine was made Gnostic patriarch.
Eventually M.O. de Sanchez y Marraga died.
- 18 January 1966: In Chicago, the American Martinist Michael Paul
Bertiaux (now Ogdoade-Orfeo IV) was made a bishop of the MM (affiliated
with the Eccleisa Gnostica Spriritualis) through H.-F. Jean-Maine and
the astrally active M.O. de Sanchez y Marraga.
- On 1 March 1966, at the train station in Chicago, Bertiaux met Marc
Lully. At this time, Bertiaux was President of the local Theosophical
Society and teaching astrology at the William Davidson Library.
- 18 January 1967: Lully, a member of the Choronzon Club (CC)
was consecrated into the "Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis de
Memphis Misraïm". He assisted alias Tau Ogdoade III in the
consecrations and successions of R.M. Shreves (Tau IX or Lucifer II, a
CC offshoot in California and archbishop of William W. Webb's group called "QBL Alchemist Church"/"Philosophic Gnostic Hermetic Society" in Joshua Tree, California) and Bertiaux on 10 August
1967. Shreves was made a Grandmaster of the O.T.O.A. Bertiaux was leading
a so-called "Applied Lattices Research Institute" in Chicago. At this
time, Bertiaux considered the thelemic Order of Webb as the one and
only real OTO lodge.
- 4 November 1967: Marc Lully was made a bishop of the "QBL
Alchemist Church" through Shreves, accepted by Webb.
- 25 December 1967: Lully consecrated Bertiaux. Until the mid-1980s
it was wrongly assumed to be a consecration into the Vilatte-line — to
the chagrin of William Breeze who based his claims of being a 'real'
bishop with 'apostolic succession' upon this error. See the complex
nature of this in the article on the Wandering Bishops.
Only later, Bertiaux allegedly received the Vilatte-succession via
Wilmott-Newman, Powell and Barber, as he claims.
- Jack B. Hogg Jr. was consecrated on 2 June 1968 by Bertiaux
assisted by Lully. On 24 July 1970 Hogg was re-consecrated by Bertiaux,
Frank Lopez O'Brien and Antonio Paez. Eventually, on 12 August 1974,
Jack B. Hogg Jr. consecrated his housemate William Breeze (Tau
Silenius: as "Caliph" of the "Caliphate": Hymenaeus Beta). Eventually
Breeze identified himself to William Heidrick of the 'Caliphate' as the
representative of the Franco-Haitian O.T.O. (that is, Ordo Templi
Orientis Antiqua). Bertiaux: "Bill Breeze does have valid initiation
but it is irregular.". Heidrick on the other hand considered this
to be a Magical Battle and since then tries to ridiculise the OTOA.
Hogg was again re-consecrated on 27 July 1980 by Bertiaux and Jean-Maine.
The Gnostic Catholic Church Boast or How William Breeze lost his Apostolic Succession
Gnosis in Haïti
- 31 August 1968: in Haïti, Bertiaux consecrated Pierre-Antoine Saint
Charles (born 21 Juli 1934, Eon III, Ogdoade-Orfeo IV) into the
Episcopat of the Ecclesia Gnostica Cabalistica. Thus combining
following lines of succesion in the eyes of their beholder:
- the Encausse sucession of the Superieur Inconnus of Martinism
- the O.T.O. Ecclesia Gnostica Hermetica and the Choronzon Club
successions via Shreves
- the wrongly believed Vilatte succession
- the Memphis Misraïm succession, the Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis
and the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua successions via L.-F. Jean-Maine
- the Voodoo succession of the haïtian tradition via
Saint-Charles as he exchanged his consecrations with Bertiaux
- 1970: H.-F. Jean-Maine made Bertiaux a Souvereign Grandmaster of
- 27 July 1970 Bertiaux consecrated Jean Padern Leconte (Ogdoade
V/Tau XV, a famous scientist born 27 July 1930 and grand nephew of
Haïti's president Michel-Cincinnatus Leconte and North Alexis)
into the episcopate of the Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis.
- Between 10 and 17 April 1973 was a meeting (a synode) of 16
pertinent meaningful organisations in Liège, Belgique:
Nothing was heard before or after of most of above mentioned 'organisations'.
- The Monastery of the Seven Rays
- The Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis
- The Memphis Misraïm Rite
- The Ecclesia Gnostica Ophitica
- The Universal Martinist Federation of Initiates
- The Albigensian Gnostic Rite of Haïti
- A group of gnostic and magic christians
- A group geared towards gnostic and theurgic Ontology
- The Esoteric Rite of the Rose-Croix
- The Church of Mandala of Giordano Bruno
- The Fraternitas Hermetica
- The American Synod of Gnostic Bishops
- The QBLH Alchemist Church
- The Martinist Order of the Rose-Croix and Aleph-Initiates
- The Interior Synctuary of the Elus COhens
- The Naasenian Gnostic Brotherhood of Initiates and Adepts.
- On 15 August 1973, several members of the "Monastery of the Seven
Rays" adopted Crowley's Law of Thelema.
- In 1975 Bertiaux was made Grand Hierophant Conservateur of the Rite
of Memphis Misraïm through Jean-Maine.
- On 8 and 9 August 1975, Bertiaux and Lully held common lectures
about the "Unveiled Mysteries" and "The Voice of Revelation". In
November, Kenneth Grant's two chapters about the Couleuvre Noire
appeared in his "Cults of the Shadow" (1975, Frederick Muller, London).
- In 1976, the Canadian Ken Ward became Grandmaster of the O.T.O.A. The
O.T.O.A. became an affiliation of the Monastery of the Seven Rays.
- On 20 February 1976, Manuel Cabrera Lamparter was made Bertiaux'
representative for Spain and Portugal. Lamparter was born the son of a
Spanish father and a Cuban mother (whose father in turn was German) on
15 June 1942 in Sevilla. At his side, apart from his wife: Jose Castro
(Fellicisimus), Ramon Vasquez (Armenius), Pedro Perez (Aureolus) and
Luis Asensio (Atanasius).
[From: Der O.T.O.A-Reader.]
At the time of writing (1991) Lamparter worked as an ear nose and
throat specialist at the University Clinic and Medical School in
Seville. With his first wife, who is now married to a surgeon in
France, he had two daughters who are presently 18 and 19. With his
second wife, a 35 year-old physiotherapist, who works in the same
hospital, he has had three sons, now 10, 12 and 13. Señora Lamparter is
the Gnostic Bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostica Latina.
[From: Der O.T.O.A-Reader.]
- In 1978, the Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis consisted of: H.-F.
Jean-Maine, P.-A. Saint-Charles, Bertiaux, Shreves and J.P. Leconte.
[From: Der O.T.O.A-Reader.]
Ken Ward about the structure of the O.T.O.A., 1978-12-22.
[From: Der O.T.O.A-Reader.]
- In December 1981, Ken Ward gave his office over to to Lamparter
(documents dated 1.1.82, 6.11. and 20.12.1981).
Ward: "Marc Lully appeared to be an arrogant and rude person and I only had one contact with him, that was enough!" Ward, email to P.-R. Koenig dated 6th September 1996. "I had so very little to base anything on [...] after years of trying to use and understand the very abtuse [sic] and complex MSR system without much success, I decided enough is enough and left it all behind me," Ken Ward, email dated 24th October 1996.
[From: Der O.T.O.A-Reader.]
- 25 December 1982: Lamparter was consecrated by the
Most Reverend Rosa Miller in Sevilla.
- In 1983 Lamparter re-organised the Spanish Gnostic Church under the
name "Ecclesia Gnostica Latina" (Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis)
according the O.T.O.A.-Struktur and the teachings of the "Monastery of the
- Also in 1983/84, a certain Courtney Willis founded the "Technicians of the
Sacred", legally recognized as a Church in California. Until May 18, 1999,
they collected 51 members.
- In 1988 Lamparter was made Sovereign Absolute Grandmaster
(S.G.M.A.) via Bertiaux. But on 27 October 1988, Lamparter proposed
Courtney Willis as a Sovereign Grand Master. And so, in December 1988, Lamparter
declared Willis (Ogdoade-Orfeo VIII) a SGM of the O.T.O.A. approved by
Bertiaux. Nevertheless, Willis' authority is not accepted by all
members of O.T.O.A. and pertinent Orders worldwide.
should remain as Sovereign Grand Master Absolute, the advicer of
Meanwhile, Bertiaux considers the "Caliphate" as "passé." Also Manuel Lamparter thinks it "not possible to join."
Bertiaux uses a strong language:
"Our Purpose is to Exploit Every Avenue of Thelemic Opportunity in Order to Take Advantage of it — by hilarous — deed, deceit, cunning + sheer diabolic Genius! [...]
We are out for sheer power + good times — I say — CHORONZON!
The purpose of the CHORONZON CLUB is to destroy the OTO + make sodomized mutes out of its members!
[...] OTO groups are too religious + use religious terms entirely too much — i.e. "supershakti," "goddess," "MAAT," etc. In fact they belong in the long disconnected romantic movement. So they are very unconnected with reality. We, on the other hand, are "scientists" + NOT poetic bull shiters!
[...] At the present time the C.·.C.·. is interested in [...]
- Time-travel — past, present, + future explorations.
- SEX-magic of a horrific type -
- Elemental Explorations + work with very low energies
- attacking any body who get too close to it -
- magical mathematical formulae to blow up our enemies!
- a secret method of control of the Quantum mechanic world of physics via fellatio -
- getting more Energies out of our XVI° System -
- making friends with like minds in other countries -
- eating + drinking -
- fucking + sucking -
- organizing gnostic Systems or Kliphotic exploration -"
(Bertiaux, letter dated
10 January 1989 — Ceská verze: Dopis
Michaela P. Bertiauxe Garymu M. Kelly/Martinovi)
More from Bertiaux' black humor: As soon as when you have become a member: "Taxes must be paid in acceptable euro-currency of XI° issue — Nice big Nazi cock Meisters! Paid to fat, dirty, perverted Bricaudian (sun) French underground (plutonian) captors of Germanic Gods. Macho-Hunk-Stud-Officers held captive by dirty French Gnostic perverts." (Bertiaux to P.R. Koenig, letter 1989-01-10, fac-simile: My Own O.T.O.A.)
M.P. Bertiaux' was consecrated on
- 15 August 1963: by H.-F. Jean-Maine and Carlos Adhémar
- 18 January 1966: by H.-F. Jean-Maine and F. Lopez de Brion
- 25 January 1966: by H.-F. Jean-Maine and J. Marraga y Adhémar
- 10 August 1967: by R.M. Shreves
- 25 December 1967: by M.A. Lully
- 31 August 1968: by P.A. St. Charles
- Mathew, Arnold H. (28 April 1908)
- Willoughby, Frederick S. (28 October 1914)
- Gauntlett, Rupert (26 September 1915)
- King, Robert (26 September 1915)
- Wedgwood, James I. (13 February 1916)
- Leadbeater, Charles W. (22 July 1916)
- Cooper, Irving S. (13 July 1919)
- Arundale, George S. (4 August 1925)
- Hampton, Charles (13 September 1931)
- Spruit, Hermann A. (22 June 1957)
- Barber, Forest G. )15 June 1971)
- Bertiaux, Michael P. (16 June 1979)
- Kowalski, Jean-Marie Michael (5 October 1909)
- Fantome, Marc-Marie-Paul (4 September 1938)
- Maas, Paulus Helmut Norbert (9 October 1949)
- Fusi, Ephem Maria Mauro (24 May 1953)
- Marchese, Clemente Alfio Sgroi (26 May 1954)
- de Willmott-Newman, Hugh George (18 September 1954)
- de Palatine, Richard (25 October 1953)
- Barber, Forest E.G. (9 April 1967)
- Bertiaux, Michael P. (16 June 1979)
Michael Paul Bertiaux speaks about the Choronzon Club, Kenneth Grant and Hermann Joseph Metzger.
This is an outline from the German "Der OTOA-Reader" (1994) and "Das O.T.O.-Phänomen.
To the other chapters of the English online version of "The O.T.O. Phenomenon" book.
More about all this in: Andreas Huettl and Peter-R. Koenig: Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz
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