OTO Legal Action Update

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In an important development, the Australian OTO has published a press release regarding the legal action in relation to online defamatory remarks.

“The Australian OTO has now achieved its first victory against some of the people who have made the baseless allegations that we are a satanic cult engaged in murder, child abuse, child sacrifice and cannibalism, and that the Book of the Law advocates these activities.”

Read More for the full text of the Press Release, which I am pleased to reproduce here in full…

July Press Release

OTO SCORES FIRST VICTORY

The Australian OTO has now achieved its first victory against some of the people who have made the baseless allegations that we are a satanic cult engaged in murder, child abuse, child sacrifice and cannibalism, and that the Book of the Law advocates these activities.

We challenged two of the authors of this material, Dyson Devine and Vivienne Legg, in a court of law by filing defamation claims against them. Devine and Legg failed to appear at either hearing, but sent in what the court described as an “embarrassing” submission in their defence.

The court found that the two had defamed the OTO as well as individual members of the Order that were named on the Devine/Legg website. OTO is now in the process of having this judgement enforced.

The issue of their religious vilification (with colleague Reina Michaelson) is ongoing, with a directional hearing scheduled for late July. OTO is committed to pursuing this action to the end, as well as focussing on other persons and business entities who have also defamed OTO and vilified Thelema in collaboration with, or subsequent to, the attacks by Michaelson, Devine and Legg.

Thank You

OTO Australia would like to thank all those who have made donations to our legal fund to date.
We are extremely grateful for the money provided as this has made the next stage of our battle easier to undertake. We also thank those who have provided assistance in other ways (including lashtal.com) and those from around the world who have sent expressions of support.

We would particularly like to express our gratitude to our lawyer Jan Moerkerke, who agreed to represent us and shared our outrage at this abuse.

Overall the understanding that this is a defence of Thelema and of freedom from religious vilification, has been shared by those that have contacted us and contributed to our efforts.

These issues will take some time to resolve. We would again appeal for your continued support and financial donations. Those wishing to donate can visit our website www.otoaustralia.org.au where you will find a link entitled “Help Support our Legal Fund.” You can donate online or by direct deposit to a dedicated Legal Fund account.

Background:

OTO Australia has filed complaints of religious vilification against a number of persons over materials published on the internet accusing us of being a satanic cult engaged in child sacrifice. A source of these claims is a person who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder and/or Multiple Personality Disorder. These claims of criminal activity have been made to police and other enforcement agencies before being posted on the internet. These posted materials have been read and copied throughout the world.

The OTO is a small religious group in Australia which promotes the religion of Thelema. OTO members are entitled to their beliefs and practices without undue interference from others. The modern OTO was re-established in Australia 23 years ago. It first had a presence here in the early 20th century up until 1930. For the past 15 years the OTO has operated successfully as an incorporated non-profit association in full compliance with all applicable obligations and duties, and has satisfied all indicia to gain religious institution status. Thelema does not advocate criminal activity. The OTO does not advocate or commit criminal acts. We consider the allegations made against us vile and heinous.

Why are we doing this?

We feel it is the right thing to do. The people we are challenging have defamed the OTO and its members and vilified Thelema.

The allegations made were passed onto police and child protection agencies seeking to provoke these agencies into action against us. These attacks pose a very real threat to OTO members with children. These vile accusations threaten to reach into and affect our families in a re run of the Satanic Ritual Abuse scares of a few years ago.

What’s next?

Since we discovered the materials we have worked to bring to account the authors and propagators of these vile and baseless lies. Our victory in the court is a first step against only one of the parties making these accusations.

We are currently exploring a range of options against others who have defamed and vilified us.

We have filed complaints of religious vilification in VCAT. In this arena we have inspiring advice from a senior QC, academics preparing submissions and others researching on our behalf. We are confident that our claims will be upheld on all points.

More news as it happens.

Public Relations and Media Contact: media@otoaustralia.org.au

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