Personal Statement of|
Paul Joseph Rovelli
I joined the Caliphate O.T.O. in 1986 ev; quite surprised that the ‘O.T.O.’ even existed. A year earlier, I was in the once famous Magickal Childe bookstore in New York City and I asked Herman Slater to tell me how to contact the O.T.O. He told me that the O.T.O. no longer existed. So you can imagine my surprise when I attended a Gnostic Mass in Brooklyn; finding the O.T.O. very much alive and kicking.
To this time, I had been reading a lot of Crowley’s writings and was also seriously interested in the A.’.A.’. I would start pursuing contact with this organization through James Wasserman and Kent Finne of Tahuti Lodge with whom I was developing a working relationship. I was also concurrently working hard at establishing my own encampment in New Jersey. And I was dismayed by the fact that they kept insisting to me that the A.’.A.’. no longer existed.
Eventually, I saw an ad in an occult or newage magazine (I can’t remember which one) inviting those interested in the A.’.A.’. to write to a certain address. This I did so; immediately. I would receive a letter from David Bersson (a.k.a. Frater Sphinx). I signed an Oath of Probationer and wrote to him describing my studies thus far and the impressive library that I had built. He returned a letter to me asking me to photo-copy my entire library.
This was quite disturbing to me as I felt that he didn’t have any of these books and that he couldn’t be much of a teacher for me. I then consulted with Wasserman and Finne regarding my dilemma. Their faces became horror-stricken when they saw with whom I was in contact. They warned me that David Bersson was in their opinion, a ******* and not the real A.’.A.’. at all. I sensed that what they were trying to tell me was that the A.’.A.’. could not openly reveal itself; but that they were dropping me a hint that I could earn my way into contact with the A.’.A.’.
I trusted these characters and even revered them in my naivete. And I studied the constitution of the O.T.O. as found in Equinox III.10. This I took to heart; believing that I was in a real spiritual organization with noble and lofty ambition. However, a while later, the woman that I was living with decided to leave me. Our relationship had been troubled for some time and I was eventually relieved to see her go. But it wouldn’t be long before new troubles with her would begin.
As her and her newfound boyfriend decided that they wanted to live in my apartment, I was contacted and naturally refused. This set off a couple of weeks of having my vehicle vandalized in the middle of the night. As if this wasn’t enough, I was eventually falsely arrested due to her accusing me of locking her out of her apartment. The police handed her my keys and chained me to a rail in the police station. She naturally proceeded to loot my apartment.
The police were successfully sued for false arrest; along with my insurance company which refused to pay on my renter’s policy. And knowing the constitution of the O.T.O., I appealed to Wasserman and Finne to have my now X-lover excommunicated from the order as per the constitution, for having me arrested. They came back at me and said that as CampMaster, it was my fault that the police came to my home. Wasserman told me that he and Bill Breeze had interviewed my X-lover for several hours and became c onvinced that she was telling the truth when she said that she was not responsible for my arrest nor the vandalism to my vehicle.
I pleaded with Jim and was astonished that the outcome was working out the way that it was. He told me that I should consider becoming an homosexual as I had no knowledge of how to handle women. That would be my last contact with him. And a short while thereafter, Wasserman then proceeded to revoke my camp charter.
About this time, I met a man named John Sorrentino. We spent an evening together talking about Thelema and he lent me a long sought after book by Frater Achad called Liber 31. However, when I attempted to return it, he simply did not find the time to be able to receive me and we fell out of contact.
Several years would pass, I would make contact with the A.’.A.’. again through Ray Eales and would eventually become a major player in his then forming Holy Order of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. I would establish a temple and later a lodge for that order and would again be contacted by John Sorrentino. I was then able to return his book to him and invited him to join our group; which he did. He also joined the Caliphate in New York City.
We became friends. I met his wife and son. I also met a rather attractive woman named L... (a.k.a. Soror Agape) from Texas with two children that he and his wife were harboring. She claimed to be the victim of an abusive husband and was quite grateful for all of the Sorrentino’s generosity. As well, the Sorrentino’s were quite interested in fixing me up with her and we went on a date.
She was sweet and kind, even a bit shy; yet I didn’t like her children and something was quite amiss with her. But I really couldn’t put my hands on it. But I developed a friendship as my instincts were telling me to proceed quite slowly. And by this time, lodge meetings were now being held in her new apartment; which I was told was being partially financed by John Sorrentino.
As a very early morning riser, I was in the habit of falling asleep on L...’s couch after these late night meetings and during the after-meeting social. One evening, I was awoken by her; finding myself to be the only person there…everyone else had left. She told me that she was going to engage in sexual intercourse with me as she needed to prove to me that she was a woman. Another gentleman named B......, emerged from the bathroom as she was laying a mattress on the floor in her living room and she in vited him to join us, which he declined.
The next morning I awoke several times as John Sorrentino was ringing the phone every 15 minutes from approximately 5:00am and until I left the house at 8:00am to have breakfast with my parents. I may not be too accurate with the times as my memory has faded a bit in the last few years. But as I was leaving, L... begged me not to tell John what had happened; which I was confused about as it seemed to be none of his business.
So I drove home to shower and found my then good and dear friend David Stein waiting for me. I remember telling him how impressed I was with L... as she seemed to be coming out of her shell. And just as I was saying that, John called me; threatening to kill me for copulating with his girlfriend. Well, you can imagine my surprise at this point.
I would dismiss this incident as the result of my getting involved with a couple of n******* and hoped that it would just blow away. However, it didn’t. I was told that John was speaking to both James Wasserman and Ray Eales about this incident and he was making a private situation in A/OM Lodge a very public incident. I then proceeded to excommunicate him from the lodge and eventually from the order.
It wouldn’t be too long after that and for other reasons, that I would break contact with Ray Eales and H.O.O.R. And I was quite surprised to see that immediately upon my leaving, the order took John Sorrentino back into its ranks. But it was no longer my affair and I let it be as I was going about my own work; which was to do a lot of studying and writing. I produced several books and started to organize my own church; known as the Gnostic Church of L.V.X.
My now four completed manuscripts were sent to Llewellyn publishing and within two weeks I received a rejection notice. That was alright; even though I was surprised at how fast they were rejected. Was their reading team that hasty? Oh well I thought, I’ll just have them return the manuscripts and I’ll send them out to another publisher.
Well, you can imagine my surprise when I found an email from the O.T.O. in with the manuscripts (see below document 1); saying that I had broken with a lover while a IIIrd degree initiate with their order due to a falling out with an X-lover. And then that I had proceeded to write racist literature and was holding to an axe-grinding agenda. I thought my writing career, that I had been working in for well over a decade to be in shambles due to a false reputation.
I then consulted with an attorney specializing in slander and libel cases. And we proceeded to inaugurate a lawsuit against Llewellyn, the Caliphate O.T.O. and specific individuals including James Wasserman that were/are seemingly a part of both these organizations. And just as this was getting started, a student of mine contacted me; asking me who was this enemy of mine on the internet. And she gave me a web address to investigate.
Well, there I found John Sorrentino’s website and a message from a ‘Paula Jerk Rovellski’ (see document 2 below) wherein I apparently was taking pride in being a rapist and egotist; amongst other immoral character traits. And I realized that I was being attacked on two fronts and forced to now include John Sorrentino in my lawsuit. And that’s how it stands at this moment with the only developments being regular email threats from John Sorrentino.
The process is only just beginning. And there is a long way to go before I can begin to clear my name and reputation that I might again be able to engage in the writing career that I so much want to establish. I really feel that I have something to contribute to the canon of Thelemic literature, thought and experimentation. And I greatly desire to do this. It is hoped that by posting this information as I’m now doing, that for the first time, there might be testimony in my defense as even some of my closest and dearest friends abandoned me in light of the character assassination that has befallen me.
Case Number: MID-L-11327-99
Court: Middlesex County Superior Court (New Jersey) Tel: 732 981 3322
Plaintiff: Paul Joseph Rovelli
Defendants: (1) Jim Garrison (2) Brad Burroughs (3) Nancy Mostad (4) Bill Heidrick (5) James Wassserman (6) Ordo Templi Orientis Inc. (7) Llewellyn Worldwide (8) John P. Sorrentino (9) John Doe (10) Richard Roe (11) Jane Doe
Lawyers for the Plaintiff: Milton Diamond, 1 Kettle Creek Road, Freehold, N.J. 07728, USA. Tel: 732 431 3979
Update 20 February 2000
My attorney has been contacted by lawyers for Llewellyn...and they say that both Jim Garrison and Brad Burroughts "were not employed by Llewellyn Worldwide at the time of the service of the original summons and complaint or the amended complaint." And I am in the process of trying to find their addresses.
The Caliphate has refused to pick up the certified letter...and so my lawyer sent them one via first class mail.
John Sorrentino has been served by the Sherriff's (sp?) office.
Update 20 April 2000
Defendants William Heidrick and James Wasserman have refused to accept service by certified and regular mail. Therefore, they automatically lose by default. And the same goes for John Sorrentino who also hasn't responded to the suit.
Defendants Llewellyn Worldwide and Nancy Mostad first deny the allegations (alleged defamation, libel, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional harm). Second, in the event that they are found guilty, they want that the cost of the award to Rovelli be spread over all the complaintants. [Dated March 17, 2000]
Update 22 March 2001
"I am writing you to let you know the final results of my lawsuits. I have reached settlement agreements with Llewellyn Publishers and John Sorrentino. And as per the agreements, that's all I'm allowed to say about that. I lost against the Caliphate on Jurisdiction and Statute of Limitations grounds. By the time they won on Jurisdiction, it was too late to refile. I'm going after my first lawyer for a partial refund as he was the one who botched the case."
An objective researcher will benefit from these Court conclusions.
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