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jamie barter
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08/11/2013 12:51 pm  

As requested, I am uploading here parts of Chapter 11 “The O.T.O. After 1973” (the date of the first edition) which I have written as part of the sequel to Francis King’s historical introductory section to his The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O.

At the forefront on the book, on the very first page, is the following on its own.  To do it Truth by the feather, and Justice by the scales, it deserves a post all on its own:

”There is nothing
mysterious [secret] or Oriental
about anything”

(1st Lecture [1],
Mahatma Guru Sri Paramahansa Shivaji (1938 E.V.)[/align:129397hf]

I think this encapsulates the entire matter in a nutshell.
Norma N. Joy Conquest


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jamie barter
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08/11/2013 1:06 pm  

This extract is just under half way through the chapter in question, Chapter 11 (“The O.T.O. After 1973”): I thionk at the moment I’ll just concentrate on the C.O.T.O. aspect without uploading the sections on Motta’s, Grant’s and Metzger’s recensions (which appeared earlier on.  If demand is particularly keen, however, I could always do them next.) 

This extract comprises about one-fifth of the total regarding the C.O.T.O. and is all about Fr Grady McMurtry; the second measure which follows has already appeared on {INSERT Thread details} to which the reader is directed afterwards.  Meanwhile, the fourth instalment is that featured in the “Gnostic Mass & Catholic Church” thread [q.v.], to which the reader is also cordially directed.  The fifth is slightly longer than any of the others.  (Sorry about all these directions, btw – I am not at all adept at posting posts from elsewhere.:D)

(There is one more Chapter (12) after this one, too.  It is headed “The O.T.O. – Its Relevance Today.”)

from
CHAPTER 11
The O.T.O. After 1973:[/align:n3xkfe0q]

Out of all of the groups under discussion in the period since 1973, it is the “Caliphornian” or “Caliphate” O.T.O., led by claimant Grady McMurtry (Frater Hymenæus Alpha 777, 1918-85) from 1977 until his death which has been the most proactive in pursuing a high public profile.  John Symonds has written that it was Lieutenant McMurtry whom Aleister Crowley drily referred to as the army officer displaying “such a distasteful face” when he prepared himself for his wartime daily syringe of heroin; so much so that the old man was driven next dooer to his bathroom and there played a most wicked prank, afterwards reporting:

I left the bedroom door open, and from behind the bathroom door I bent down to the keyhole and began to squeal like a stuck pig.  When I came out I found that my poor friend had almost fainted with horror.([sup:n3xkfe0q]FN[/sup:n3xkfe0q])

([sup:n3xkfe0q]FN[/sup:n3xkfe0q]) The King of the Shadow Realm by John Symonds (Duckworth: London, 1989) p. 576

Leaving tales of McMurtry’s wartime heroism aside, “special activities” with which he was engaged in relation to Crowley’s Order may be viewed in a sinister or machiavellian light (by those inclined to do so) in connection with a confession which posthumously appeared in the July 1986 edition of C.O.T.O.’s newsletter The Magical Link:

I’ve had a career as a management analyst with the federal government and the state government in which I would learn how to take organizations apart and put them back together again.

Crowley’s tolerance of McMurtry’s temperament was particularly remarkable in view of the usury carried out whereby he provided Crowley with loans at 25% interest, and by a similar stratagem got his hands on 25% of the net royalties for Magick Without Tears.  And yet the main reason that McMurtry came to be made Crowley’s provisional representative and “Caliph” in California in the first place was through circumstantial coincidence more than merit.  As a result of Allied army manoeuvres during 1943, the young lieutenant found himself in just the right place and at the right time to encounter Crowley at a critical juncture when, apart from Wilfred T. Smith and his mainly A’.A.’. contact Jane Wolfe, he was unfamiliar with any of the personnel of a volatile Agape Lodge at first hand.  Since the tenor of these times was uncertain and McMurtry appeared to be outwardly capable and not otherwise insane, Crowley made him his envoy for Agape Lodge.  The matter was as simple as that: it could equally have well been Jack Parsons or Roy Leffingwell or Ray Burlingame who qualified at that time, had either one of them managed to get across the water to England before McMurtry did.

During the 1950s, Germer became increasingly suspicious of McMurtry’s behaviour.  With good reason: according to McMurtry’s own later testimony, he had attempted to become the leader of a conspiracy to unite the survivors of Agape Lodge against Germer in order to express a general unhappiness with his (non-) policy regarding initiation procedure, whereby Germer was not prepared to continue to use the old Crowleian rituals since he regarded them as “lower magick”.  (The reason for this appears to be not because he did not believe in the efficacy of the rituals of his former master per se, so much as he considered the Agape Lodge at the time to be an imperfect and unworthy vehicle to act as a continuation of the O.T.O.).  Whether Germer actually knew of McMurtry’s disloyal mutiny in person or not, it was certainly the case that in general McMurtry’s practices were so much disliked by his senior officer – despised would not be too strong a word – that the last known communication he received from Germer was a terse letter written in 1959, less than three years before he died in which he fumed:

… I have and had told you that 666 discussed with me to keep you for a prominent position in the Order.  I was only too willing to accept this.  What have you done in the last twelve years to justify and earn this position?  Instead of a Plus you have been a great MINUS.  Others have at one time or another helped the Work financially and otherwise.  Your “help” consisted of sponging on the Order, and, very probably did other damage. [sup:n3xkfe0q]37[/sup:n3xkfe0q]

[sup:n3xkfe0q]37[/sup:n3xkfe0q] See page xxx.  It was peculiar, to say the least, that the August 1984 edition of The Magickal Link saw fit to declare (without producing any corroborative evidence) the misinformation that “Germer did review, and did agree with each direct use of these later mandates [in the “Caliphate” correspondence from Crowley] by Grady.  In a letter from late 1959 e.v., Fr. Saturnus assigned Grady the right to ‘form a nucleus’ under report to him.”

It has quite rightly been suggested that this letter may not even have been the final one which Saturnus sent to Hymenaeus Alpha.  Quite possibly, another letter could have been written at some later date as a follow-up, purporting to expel him for the crime of being like Brother Grant, in bad standing with Brother Germer.  If this happened to be the case it is equally probable that being the canny political animal that he undoubtedly was, McMurtry would by no means have wanted this to become public knowledge and so would have not only destroyed the original letter but also taken pains to remove any copy or incriminating evidence relating to it from the Crowley-Germer archives (assuming it had not already been removed or destroyed) at the earliest available opportunity.  It is not without significance that during the McMurtry-Motta legal action the court established that McMurtry was suspected of being involved with the robberies of the archive at one time, the same as he was also at one time on fairly friendly terms with Jean Brayton, the mastermind behind the initial burglary; although in strict fairness his direct complicity in the matter has yet to be firmly established one way or the other.

Ten years after Germer’s death, McMurtry contemplated the idea of suing Germer’s widow to gain official custody of the remainder of the valuable archive but heeded “expert” (police) advice to wait until she died.  Following her death by what appears to be starvation and malnutrition, in course of which which no O.T.O. members came forward to assist her plight, in court McMurtry then proceeded to dismiss her earlier sanction of Metzger’s claim to be O.H.O., strongly insinuating that she herself had been senile, therefore mentally ill and incapable of rationally using her faculties.

In The Magickal Link for January 1983, McMurtry quoted from one of the “Caliphate” letters in which Crowley had written to him:

“1965 e.v. should be a critical period in the development of the Child Horus!”  And we all know what came down in 1965 e.v.: Acid & Rock.  The Haight Experiment.  Those of you who went thru [sic] it have some foggy idea.  Those of you who are still around much more so.  For it was not just a life-style that changed, but a radical new approach to human engineering.  A whole new pattern, a different way of looking at things.  A way so different we had forgotten it is as old as Mankind.  The use of psychedelics for Sacramental purposes.  There were some heavy Magick trips went down in the Haight.  There is still that solid circle of yew around a redwood log ampitheater in the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. …

All well and good.  But where would McMurtry himself have been from 1961 to 1969, for almost the whole duration of that “critical” decade?  Why to be sure, far from being in “The Haight”, or even in the state of California, according to the “Caliphornian”’s version of “The Equinox” (III.10, page 96) he was thousands of miles away in Washington D.C., teaching “Political Science at George Washington University while working as a Management Analyst for the Government.”  Very Acid Rock!

After learning of Germer’s death, McMurtry tried to kick-start the Order after returning to California around 1969 when, using what he viewed as the “Emergency” authorization given to him from over a quarter of a century earlier, he brought out the Lady Frieda Harris “Thoth” Tarot deck.  He then proceeded to shamefully relinquish the rights to this in the O.T.O.’s name which was not even his to sign away, Lady harris herself having previously remarked that:

“I don’t much care if [Crowley] wants the copyright [to the Thoth Tarot] but I do care if it gets into the hands of the religious body he mis-conducts in California, and that is what he imagines is his duty to do.  They are a collection of exotic idiots…” [my italics.]

The “thirty pieces of silver” McMurtry got paid for it – around five hundred dollars in real money, a mere pittance compared with the hundreds of thousands of dollars the deck has since generated – was apparently soon frittered away on selfish and idle pleasures – it has been disparagingly referred to by some as “Grady’s beer money”; and indeed nothing of any lasting note came from the Caliph’s first effort which sank rapidly without trace.  Apart from an obscure informal group called ”The Continuum” based around McMurtry and his then spouse Phyllis (known before and afterwards as Phyllis Seckler), no further organized activity took place for another seven years.  According to the “Grand Lodge Report” of The Magickal Link dated July 1984, Sascha germer during this time appeared to have realised her predicament and worst nightmares as that of an old lady being terrorised and surrounded by vultures waiting for the feast: she

“became very hard to reach.  She was elderly and in poor health.  For reasons that have to do with isolation, the honor of racial and political persecution and just plain old fashioned gossip, Shasha [sic] had decided that every Thelemite within 300 miles was out to get her.  She simply could not protect the material.  She had tried to recognize Metzger as the one to come after Germer, but had been legally stopped in her attempt to disclose the Order’s property in that direction by Mellinger. […] Later [in 1975] she passed away.”

Following its earlier false starts California’s provincial Agape Lodge was “re-founded” (and named “Thelema” Lodge this time around) during the occasion of a solar total eclipse on 12th October, 1977.  For a Thelemic order whose own name and number were deliberately intended to honour The Sun,[sup:n3xkfe0q]38[/sup:n3xkfe0q] this was hardly an auspicious or well-chosen moment – or so one would have thought.  With Sol/Ra functioning at less than full Strength, Force, Fire and Light, it was if anything more like a silly (if done unintentionally) and disrespectful insult.

[sup:n3xkfe0q]38[/sup:n3xkfe0q]  “The meaning of masonry has either been completely forgotten or has never existed at all, except insofar as any particular rite may be a cloak for political or even worse intrigue. […]” (Crowley – Confessions, Chapter 72) the solar-phallic symbolism of the letters represents the erect male genitalia with testicles, shaft and foreskin, in contrast with the female vagina as depicted by the vesica piscis of the O.T.O. lamen.  Also, the Hebrew letters for O, T and O (Ayin, Tau and Ayin; or 130, 406 and 130 spelled out in full) added up together form the number of The Sun – 666.  (This “secret meaning” was not conveyed by initiation but by cabbalistic deduction on the part of the author.)

The “Caliphornian” O.T.O. started modestly – if that is the word – with eight members.  Apart from the McMurtry’s, they included the “Caliphornian”’s now long-standing treasurer William (Bill) E. Heidrick, whom according to Phyllis Seckler by 1979 “is the power bhind the throne and manipulates Grady” – presumably on account of the politician’s increasing frailness due to ill-health.  This seemingly opportunistic newcomer, when it came to the question of belonging to magical groups, was later to aver that

If the OTO were to change that drastically [by abandoning its initiation rituals, etc], there would be nothing left but the name.  Even the bloody name is part of our Masonic heritage.  Yes, we could offer to change into something else; but what’s one more pack of innovative, iconoclastic neo-pagans?  Fine as far as it goes, but it ain’t the OTO.  I don’t mean to leave this House and go and live in a ditch![sup:n3xkfe0q]39[/sup:n3xkfe0q]

[sup:n3xkfe0q]39[/sup:n3xkfe0q] From a letter from W.E. Heidrick to Gerald Suster dated 10th June, 1992 and reprinted with the latter’s kind permission.

This is eloquently put.  However, just why it was that everything else apart from C.O.T.O. should have an insubstantial, ditch-like quality, and just what was so special and solid and magnificent about his own particular “House” was never revealed.  It is (for example) quite patently absurd for the “Caliphornian” O.T.O. to boast of having a long-running “uninterrupted” legitimacy when it is a short-term motley collection of internally self-governing groups known as “camps”, “oases”,[sup:n3xkfe0q]40[/sup:n3xkfe0q] and the occasional lodge.  These are literally linked together by just the Link newsletter and, whenever it is considered time by them to call and collect, the personal administrations of the “Caliph” and Mr. Heidrick themselves.  The much-vaunted, actual overall “continuity” of C.O.T.O. in real terms has lasted for rather less than twenty years! {N.B., it should be borne in mind that this particular segment was written in 1995.}

[sup:n3xkfe0q]40[/sup:n3xkfe0q] Formerly called “chapters”; McMurtry’s successor [William Breeze] reputedly changed the name because he didn’t feel comfortable with the “hell’s angels” connotations.  The Magickal Link for March 1983 reported that “Back in ’77 e.v., when the present administration of the Order began to take form, we only thought of Lodges.  Then Chapters and study groups came along.  Finally we reached the present point of Lodges, Chapters and Camps.  The camps [or “Encampments”] were the creation of Br. [James] Graeb, the first G[rand] S[ecretary] G[eneral] of the Thelema Lodge-based form of the Order.  It was a fine idea, and has allowed a form of growth not otherwise possible to the plan of the Order.”

This reactivated, initially low-key, third Agape Lodge has since mushroomed exponentially along quantitative rather than qualitative lines to become the “Caliphate” O.T.O., and most recently “Ordo Templi Orientis International, Inc” (sic!).  In June 1979 McMurtry’s ex-, Plyllis Seckler, had cause to remark to the social commentator G.M. Kelly upon the

… various liars, alcoholics, thieves and what not now cluttering up the O.T.O. …

… I keep wondering when this mess will be cleaned up – as I can not do it alone.  Or do we have to wait until the signs of incompetence and bungling are even stronger? …

… It would have been better, I think, to let the O.T.O. grow vERY slowly and train people to be of higher Grades truly, instead of thrusting this stuff on them which they have no idea how to live up to…  The slow growth was my idea but Bill [Heidrick] seems to think rapid growth aids his own power and Grady likewise. ….

McMurtry also claimed the grade of 9[sup:n3xkfe0q]o[/sup:n3xkfe0q]=2[sup:n3xkfe0q]□[/sup:n3xkfe0q] or Magus in the A.’.A.’., and whose “Word” was “OTO”, which was treated with considerable scepticism by almost everyone except his most devoted acolytes, including Phyllis Seckler (whose opinion on the matter can be gauged from her comments regarding the addition of Saints to the Gnostic Mass in Footnote 41, q.v.)

© reserved but flexible, 1995/6, 2013  Norma N. Joy Conquest


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 Anonymous
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08/11/2013 4:10 pm  

A rather biased account.


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jamie barter
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08/11/2013 4:21 pm  
"uranus" wrote:
A rather biased account.

Please, please!  There is a phrase, “you ain’t seen nothing yet…”  Let me put the whole thing up first before the carping starts! 

If anyone is inclined to cavil, please point out where I have gone factually wrong first.

For wasn’t it Lord Beaverbrook himself who said: “Facts are sacred, opinion is free”?
N Joy

P.S.,  Do excuse any typos, I am having to type it out fresh rather than scan it for various reasons (don't ask), but do not have time to properly proofread it.  This will, of course, be stringently monitored cum the final edition.


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jamie barter
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08/11/2013 4:52 pm  

To save possible confusion and stumbling around between posts looking for it, here is the second instalment which follows immediately on from the previous:

In October 1984, a full seven year cycle after C.O.T.O. began and just nine months before McMurtry’s own death, the head of the Twin Star Encampment [minor [C.]O.T.O. body, smaller than an Oasis or Lodge] in Massachusetts, U.S.A.,, had this to say in [their internal periodical] The Magickal Link about the effects of the Caliph’s marvellous system of “management analysis” and organizational legacy:

In the Introduction to the Book of the Law we are taught that political systems are falling into extinction and how the new Aeon of Horus will develop.  Yet throughout our Order we have spoiled children who keep playing politics.  These brats vie for power and prestige in our Order by political manipulations, lying, and basic back-stabbing.

I, as Campmaster of the Twin Star, am not the only Brother bothered by all this political B.S I’ve had contact with Brothers and Sisters in other states [at this time [C.].O.T.O. was hardly an international corporation] who have grown tired of it.  Some one has to stand up against this flood of political garbage…

Throughout this term as “Caliph” McMurtry was inordinately fond of treating the front page of The Magickal Link as his personal mouthpiece, filling out two to three pages in each issue with a written-up version of his notion of a presidential “fireside chat”.  Interspersed with homespun magical and philosophical homilies, nostalgic reminiscences of long-gone meetings, and military anecdotes and escapades were passages of quite incomprehensible ramblings contrasted with occasional shafts of luminosity that indicated the one-time promise which Crowley might have seen.  These set pieces were often written in an unusual, surprisingly immature telegrammatic English style complete with (or more accurately, complete w/) “individualistic” spelling.  Meanwhile his published poetry, adored by acolytes, has been summarily dismissed by more than one others as being, for the most part, “crap”.  McMurtry also used the pages of the Link to broadcast bogus “honours” to [C.].O.T.O. personnel in a tawdry effort to bewitch and bedazzle the credulous.  Here he aped the trinklets and titles dangled by Scientologists before the eyes of their own lowly members.  As McMurtry indeed found himself saddled with the title of “Caliph”, “privileged” initiates all of a sudden might fight themselves being bestowed with a hollow dignity thus becoming a Knight Templar Castellan Warden of the Temple”, “Knight Templar Castellan Scribe of the Temple”, “Knight of Baphomet”, or “Knight Templar Castellan Order of Cerberus”: grand-sounding but ultimately meaningless awards given out and dispersed like choc-drops for otherwise routinely ‘well-done’ type of acts such as showing initiative or ‘excellence of office’.

In his later years McMurtry was seen by Phyllis Seckler to be a “slave" to alcohol "and other things”, and when for health reasons he was forced to give up alcohol other communicants at Gnostic Masses which he attended found themselves obliged to give up also, whether they wanted to do so or not.  This unexpected ‘ordeal’ which they were forced to undergo – the institution of the novel if pleasure-denying “grape juice communion” – was a blatant affront to the spirit of Dionysus.  It was also a negation of the context of celebration, not only of the Mass itself but also the exhortations of The Book of the Law to “drink sweet wines and wines that foam” and to “take wine… and be drunk thereof!”

Gradually Grady became increasingly unwell, developed a congestive heart condition, and died on 12th July, 1985 E.V. just hours before word of C.O.T.O.’s victory in the California court was able to reach him: a sign which was soon construed by Motta’s supporters to constitute but a pyrrhic victory for the Caliph and to represent the Secret Chiefs’ disfavour at his “foolish presumption”.  There is something ludicrously bathetic and unintentionally hilarious about the Caliph’s deathbed speech: reported to have gnomically stated “I think my path is more the Sufi path”, he was naturally enough asked what, in his opinion, the Sufi path was.  “I don’t know,” came back the reply to this; McMurtry’s (famous) last words.  Since his departure, Grady’s disciples have indulged in a certain amount of ridiculous beatification – a practice which might usefully be labelled ”the debased cult of McMurtryanity” – characterized by the addition of his name to the C.O.T.O./ E.G.C.  Gnostic Mass “Collect of Saints”,[sup:2s4gmiq0]41[/sup:2s4gmiq0] the institution of McMurtry’s birthday (18th October) as “Gradymas”, and a tacky general whitewashing of the man’s track record which this chapter has so far attempted to redress.

[sup:2s4gmiq0]41[/sup:2s4gmiq0] On this subject, Phyllis Seckler, McMurtry’s widow and ongoing mistress of C.O.T.O.’s “418” Lodge, had this to say in The Magical Link dated January III.xvi [1987 E.V.]: “The list of Saints in the Gnostic Catholic Mass (Liber XV) mentions those men or Gods who attained knowledge and illumination at least beyond the sphere of Tiphereth.  The great majority of them were classified as Exempt Adepts or Masters of the Temple.  They became known either as leaders of new religions when as Magus they uttered a word applicable to the state of attainment to be achieved in the particular place and time, or as gods as the mists of antiquity made mysterious their origins and even their works.  Others invented a system of thought which bolstered the word and work of the prevailing aeon, often appearing some five or six hundred years later than the Magus. […] without exception, these saints were all persons of very high attainment indeed. […] Why, then, considering the spiritual attainment of these saints, should the persons responsible for a rightly performed ritual of the Gnostic Catholic Mass add other names when none of those newer persons can be said to have added to the body of knowledge through great illumination so that all of mankind is benefitted in the struggle towards Light?  Those newer names are of persons who were only adherents to the Law of Thelema, thus men of earth.  They are names of those who were simply drawn to the work of the Master Therion and who could more or less try to apply the knowledge in The Book of the Law.  (Mostly less as not enough is known by us today).  There are thousands of such persons who have similar attitudes and who will add to the general spread of Thelema all over the world.  But this does not make them saints for none of them have provided a system of their own which would bolster The Book of the Law and aid humanity’s progress to the Light.  Indeed, many of those new names added are of persons who magically never left the sphere of Malkuth.  Perhaps we have had enough of the ignorance of persons who add unwarranted names to the list of saints in the Gnostic Catholic Mass?”

"Although McMurtry did not actively appoint him (or even desire for his appointment) he was nevertheless succeeded after his death by William Breeze, a Canadian video entrepreneur by profession who was then, as Frater Homo Homini Deus, a IV[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0] member of [C.].O.T.O.’s man of Earth “Triad”.  He was very much a third-best solution – arrived at by an unconstitutional assembly of “Caliphate IX[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0]s”[sup:2s4gmiq0]42[/sup:2s4gmiq0] only after Bill Heidrick, effectively Grady’s deputy as C.O.T.O. Grand Treasurer-General, found it impossible to gather enough support for his own candidacy.  Many of Hedirick’s opponents instead favoured his main Californian rival Lon Milo “Daddy” DuQuette, which effectively resulted in a stand-off between the two until Helen Parsons Smith (the widow of the disfavoured ex-Agape Lodgemaster) and Phyllis Seckler (the widow of the deceased McMurtry) proposed Breeze as a compromise candidate who would hopefully unite both wings.  This he has since managed to do by the simple expedient of stroking each rival’s feathers in not opposing their pet publishing projects, thereby generating a simmering and unsteady peace within the Order."

[sup:2s4gmiq0]42[/sup:2s4gmiq0]  Despite the fact that Grady McMurtry seems to have imagined further instructions to Aleister Crowley’s Last Will and Testament (i.e., “Had [Germer] followed the instructions in the private codicil…and called the convocation of IX[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0]s he would have been de jura {sic} Outer Head of the Order and beyond challenge.” – The O.T.O. Newsletter No. 4, p.3), this “private codicil” does not appear to have any basis in reality. (And even if it did, such a document would have completely ignored the existence and greater rights of Reussian X[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0]s still living: Hermann Tränker, Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, Hans Hilfiker, Wilfred Smith and Charles Jones.  An earlier edition of the O.T.O. Newsletter (No. 2) also discussed details of the matter and stated that Crowley “instructed Karl that “a year and a day” following his death he was to summon a IX[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0] convocation [my italics- j.b.], but surprisingly the Newsletter contained no reproduction of such an important document, especially in view of the fact that other photocopies of far less significant “Caliph-ornian” letters from Crowley to McMurtry appeared in the same issue.  Equally of relevance the December 1984 issue of The Magickal Link reproduced a quite different “codicil” from Crowley, charging members of the Order to ensure the welfare of his son Aleister Ataturk after his death.  Heidrick contradicted McMurtry’s own opinion on the procedure of succession in the September 1985 issue where he wrote that “When the O.T.O. was incorporated forty years after Crowley ordered it done, the IXth Degree elective process became established… In [McMurtry’s] last will and testament, the past Caliph simply gave approval to the elective process.”  Meanwhile it had been stated by Hedrick in his capacity as “acting Caliph” in the July issue immediately after McMurtry’s death that “Our Corporate Articles and Bylaws prescribe what is to bed one for succession – vote of IX[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0].  Grady [i.e., NOT Crowley – j.b.] approved and signed these legally binding documents over five years ago. […] If no election has taken place a fixed number of days (about three months) from the Greater Feast of a reigning Caliph, any IX[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0] may expressly call such an election.  If that fails, any IX[sup:2s4gmiq0]o[/sup:2s4gmiq0] has permission to sue in the California courts to force an election. [sic!…] These plans […] have been made with the full force of Magickal and Civil Law.  Grady will not have to worry about this anymore – his expressed wishes have been made as solid as can be.”  Yet as solid as they might have been, not any of McMurtry’s wishes was to have William Breeze as his successor.

© reserved but flexible 1996/ 2013

The next section concerns the early regime of Hymenæus Alpha’s successor Hymenæus Beta, and so I will have to be consulting my lawyers further before taking any other action… 😉

N Joy


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William Thirteen
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08/11/2013 4:59 pm  

hell hath no fury like a bore scorned...


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Hamal
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08/11/2013 5:03 pm  

I'm enjoying reading this!

😀
93
Hamal


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OKontrair
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08/11/2013 5:19 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
..........Bylaws prescribe what is to bed one for succession.........

That's the way to do it! (Mr.Punch)

OK


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 Anonymous
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08/11/2013 5:33 pm  

Bias, where?

This is gold! Really enjoyed reading that!


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Shiva
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Posts: 4954
08/11/2013 5:47 pm  

Yes, this paparazzi account seems to be biased toward the "Let's dig up all the negative stuff about OTO leadership, starting with Grady and moving forward in time." There is also the other version where Grady, despite his faults (whoever has no faults, please step foward now to claim your prize), goes on to incorporate and conquer ... and there are still people who are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth and pulling out their hair because somebody other than they, or their chosen agents, got to be in charge. 😉

[/align:3f4lmo77]

Any reference to Sacha Germer in relation to OTO needs to be examined from this light: She was not an OTO member and her opinion about who should get what has/had no legal validity.

If anybody should be grinding an axe, it would be me. I stood on the front lines, directly opposed by the Caliph, in magickal war during 1969-71. But then in 1972, I tendered my resignation and vowed to never use OTO rites again. And in the long run, I don't care who won because I am out of that game. I say, "To the victor goes the spoils," and "My sword went to him that got it."

A more balanced account would be welcome. This is not to say that all that soap-opera, underhanded, stuff is a lie. It's just that this is not a work of Ma'at, but is rather seen as a sensational exposé.

I notice that some people are enjoying the tale. "This is gold!"  Oh, I see. This means that some people are reading this material for the first time. There;s nothing here that isn't already known. In fact, the data has been drawn from quotes of other people. So if someone had not previously read Kelly, Koenig, Seckler & Cornelius (sounds like a law firm, eh?), then this would be revealatory.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
08/11/2013 6:07 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
As requested, I am uploading...

Requested by whom?

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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michaelclarke18
(@michaelclarke18)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1264
08/11/2013 6:28 pm  

whoever has no faults, please step forward now to claim your prize

Here I am! here I am!

Am I going to get something nice? What am I going to get?

Requested by whom?

It was me. Although I don't really remember asking.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
08/11/2013 7:03 pm  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:
Am I going to get something nice? What am I going to get?

Please report to The Grand Tribunal within 24 hours. You will get everything that is coming to you. Brought to you by Instant Karmatogram.

Please notice that a question was asked about GM's "lack of presence" during the 60's. "Where was he?" Actually, he had given up and was simply working as a bureaucrat. Solar Lodge took to the field in that benchmark year of 1965, and Grady only got re-involved when Seckler wrote him in 1969 about the "Seizing of the (Agape) Lodge" by Solar Lodge.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
08/11/2013 7:09 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
"uranus" wrote:
A rather biased account.

Please, please!  There is a phrase, “you ain’t seen nothing yet…”  Let me put the whole thing up first before the carping starts! 

If anyone is inclined to cavil, please point out where I have gone factually wrong first.

For wasn’t it Lord Beaverbrook himself who said: “Facts are sacred, opinion is free”?
N Joy

P.S.,  Do excuse any typos, I am having to type it out fresh rather than scan it for various reasons (don't ask), but do not have time to properly proofread it.  This will, of course, be stringently monitored cum the final edition.

It is presentation rather than factual errors. You show an obvious bias in how you express opinions on the "Caliphate" O.T.O. and Grady McMurtry. King was able to be report this information without expressing an obvious bias which is how such a work should be presented. Nothing wrong with the information presented, it's the presentation. It's like watching Fox News talk about Obama.


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Hamal
(@hamal)
Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 547
08/11/2013 8:23 pm  

We've only had a couple of pages, give him a chance! And as for the writing style/bias. I'm not sure I agree with the comments made, I think its written more like a journalist might (ok maybe celebrity news). What I am reading are facts put forward by the author, if they don't add up then they don't add up irrelevant of writing style. But even if I were to give a negative review of the material I wouldn't do it after reading such a small amount, give the man a chance. I would have liked to get half a dozen or more pages worth to digest before the thread being flooded with comments and dissection. I get the feeling the daggers were drawn before a single word of print hit the page.

93
Hamal


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
08/11/2013 9:35 pm  
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
hell hath no fury like a bore scorned...

Hahaha. Good one.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
08/11/2013 10:57 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
... facts put forward by the author, if they don't add up then they don't add up ...

I've not seen anyone disputing any facts.
It's the supersensitive psychics who are clairsentiencing a scent of revenge.

"Hamal" wrote:
I would have liked to get half a dozen or more pages worth to digest before the thread being flooded with comments and dissection.

"I would have liked ..." Me too! Everybody wants it (life) to come out as they "will" it should be. But we are always forced to work with what we already have - especially when the "yellow journalism" (or is it black press?) aspect is so blatant.

"Hamal" wrote:
I get the feeling the daggers were drawn before a single word of print hit the page.

I hereby affirm that I read the whole thing before reaching for the cold steel. And I also affirm that anyone else who thought it (the whole thing) was biased in favor of dis-meanorment has read it without reaching for their swords. Anyone who thought it was biased, but who did not read, not only the first pre-word but, the whole thing - is required to confess up to pre-judis and make a post to that effect.

If a balanced account had been presented, then a favorable commentarium would have sprung instatly into the light.

Ptoner regularly runs some form of AC Search Engine (ACSE) and we get to see a lot of "wickedest man" quotes. These are being passed on from a long time ago. Crowley had his enemies/heralds in the newspaper business. The present doc attempts to do a similar service to/for the Caliph.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
09/11/2013 2:14 am  
"Hamal" wrote:
We've only had a couple of pages, give him a chance! And as for the writing style/bias. I'm not sure I agree with the comments made, I think its written more like a journalist might (ok maybe celebrity news). What I am reading are facts put forward by the author, if they don't add up then they don't add up irrelevant of writing style. But even if I were to give a negative review of the material I wouldn't do it after reading such a small amount, give the man a chance. I would have liked to get half a dozen or more pages worth to digest before the thread being flooded with comments and dissection. I get the feeling the daggers were drawn before a single word of print hit the page.

93
Hamal

The amount of bias in the little bits posted is over the top and hardly journalistic. It's like a scandal rag. Better fit for the Enquirer than something scholarly like King' s book. It's one thing to say Germer regarded Grady as a minus but this is a bit over the top.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
09/11/2013 5:34 pm  
"uranus" wrote:
It's one thing to say Germer regarded Grady as a minus but this is a bit over the top.

And it's not like the "minus" phrase hasn't been quoted over and over again by anyone getting into Germer-McMurtry diplomacy. One might wonder if Germer wasn't the real "minus." He obviously fulfilled the position of The Rich Man from the We$t, both financially and geographically. He was also the OTO's Grand Trea$urer General, although (if I'm not mistaken) he seems to have not passed through ANY of the OTO initiations (if I'm wrong here, please set me straight).

Inside Solar Lodge - Behind the Veil (c)2012 says:

"And in 2009, he (Jerry Cornelius) wrote:
"Grady did not always trash the thief of the Germer archive in the same respect as do modern researchers. Don’t get me wrong, he did not condone it, but he understood it. Remember, he was a major mover in the late 1950's trying to get Germer to get off his ass to do something. Germer had already closed Agape Lodge, forbade further initiation, admittedly was not into magick, and Grady argued that he was killing Thelema. Disgusted, he left California and went to Washington D.C."

Now we can bash Saturnus (Germer), and we can pound the Caliph (McMurtry), and we can whisper about Beta (Breeze). We can even say naughties about Therion (Crowley), and cringe at Motta. We can even go so far as to accuse Shiva of being mentally unhinged. But the balanced approach of Tao Ching (Dao King) suggests that something nice be slipped in.

What can we say that is nice about Germer? Um ... He held the recognized position of (U.S.A.) OTO leader for over a decade. Never mind that he ended up closing it down against all the wishes of all the initiates, including several ninth-degree initiates who should have had some say in the matter. It used to be ("once upon a time") that the leader was a "first among equals," elected by the Gnosis. But AC saw to the removal of that heresy - he enforced his rules as a dictator. It's that olde Pope Syndrome, you know?

As previously stated, there is nothing NEW in this Grady bio, just a selective selection of some of the lesser-known things that seem to cast the darkest shadow. Also, as previously stated, anyone who finds the current tale "interesting" or "informative," has simply failed to have previously completely searched the literature ... and thus this offering appears to them to be new material. This is not be viewed as a "fault" in their brain or an indication of their "evil nature," but merelay a pointing-out of the concept that there is nothing NEW being proclaimed. I am pointing out the "perviously stated" concept and repeating myself because this aspect of the "review" 😉 process has apparently gone unrecognized.

As far as I can tell, they were all rogues (Reuss, Crowley, Germer, McMurtry, Shiva), and we better remember that to be human is to make some (controversial) decision that is guaranteed to crank somebody's nose sideways.


Dammit! Now he's in charge and I'm not![/align:7itvpp7w]

Finally, the historian has suggested that these pieces of used soil are nothing compared to what is still to come. Okay and Oyez. We're ready, and we're really looking forward to somthing (anything!) new.


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Hamal
(@hamal)
Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 547
09/11/2013 7:26 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
I notice that some people are enjoying the tale. "This is gold!"  Oh, I see. This means that some people are reading this material for the first time. There;s nothing here that isn't already known. In fact, the data has been drawn from quotes of other people. So if someone had not previously read Kelly, Koenig, Seckler & Cornelius (sounds like a law firm, eh?), then this would be revealatory.

Don't you think that is just an teenie weenie bit patronising? You don't have to read material for the fist time to find it entertaining. If that were the case most authors would have to give up completely! Equally I can read a book containing new information without finding it enjoyable.

"Shiva" wrote:
Ptoner regularly runs some form of AC Search Engine (ACSE) and we get to see a lot of "wickedest man" quotes. These are being passed on from a long time ago. Crowley had his enemies/heralds in the newspaper business. The present doc attempts to do a similar service to/for the Caliph.

Yes and we read them. Just as there are a variety of biographies of Crowley, many of which grind a range of axes.

"uranus" wrote:
The amount of bias in the little bits posted is over the top and hardly journalistic. It's like a scandal rag. Better fit for the Enquirer than something scholarly like King' s book. It's one thing to say Germer regarded Grady as a minus but this is a bit over the top.

You are clearly used to a higher standard of journalism than we enjoy here in the UK. It's quite rare to read a balanced article on anything these days. Subtle bias is the worst and it can slip by undetected if you aren't careful. The bias here is plain to see, but no different to a lot of material we are exposed to.

"Shiva" wrote:
As far as I can tell, they were all rogues (Reuss, Crowley, Germer, McMurtry, Shiva), and we better remember that to be human is to make some (controversial) decision that is guaranteed to crank somebody's nose sideways.

That I agree with!

🙂
93
Hamal


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Nomad
(@nomad)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 85
10/11/2013 7:23 am  

Mr Barter's biography of Grady McMurtry seems to rival Mr Symond's biography of Aleister Crowley.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
10/11/2013 4:37 pm  
"Nomad" wrote:
Mr Barter's biography of Grady McMurtry seems to rival Mr Symond's biography of Aleister Crowley.

Yes, the focus on the negative and outlandish is... caricature, painting a figure that is hardly the Grady portrayed to me by the people who knew him or even the material of Koenig.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
11/11/2013 4:25 pm  

I don’t know, turn your back for five minutes and there’s all this.  It's going to bugger up the continuity no end!  I said I would answer all outstanding and relevant points at the end, if they were not already covered by then.  If you simply must talk among yourselves in between ‘episodes’, go ahead – I don’t mind personally at all (& am hardly in a position to complain even if I did, going by my track record on Lashtal which I’m sure regular readers would aver!)

"Shiva" wrote:
And it's not like the "minus" phrase hasn't been quoted over and over again by anyone getting into Germer-McMurtry diplomacy. ...
"Shiva" wrote:
But the balanced approach of Tao Ching (Dao King) suggests that something nice be slipped in. ... As previously stated, there is nothing NEW in this Grady bio, just a selective selection of some of the lesser-known things that seem to cast the darkest shadow. Also, as previously stated, anyone who finds the current tale "interesting" or "informative," has simply failed to have previously completely searched the literature ... and thus this offering appears to them to be new material. This is not be viewed as a "fault" in their brain or an indication of their "evil nature," but merelay a pointing-out of the concept that there is nothing NEW being proclaimed. I am pointing out the "perviously stated" concept and repeating myself because this aspect of the "review" 😉 process has apparently gone unrecognized.
"Shiva" wrote:
I notice that some people are enjoying the tale. "This is gold!"  Oh, I see. This means that some people are reading this material for the first time. There;s nothing here that isn't already known. In fact, the data has been drawn from quotes of other people. So if someone had not previously read Kelly, Koenig, Seckler & Cornelius (sounds like a law firm, eh?), then this would be revealatory.

That is primarily whom it is for.  Also see my other remarks further to follow below.

"Shiva" wrote:
Any reference to Sacha Germer in relation to OTO needs to be examined from this light: She was not an OTO member and her opinion about who should get what has/had no legal validity.

Without saying if she was or if she wasn’t… why then do you think she referred to Karl her late husband as “The Master”, as in, Grand Master?

"Shiva" wrote:
If anybody should be grinding an axe, it would be me. I stood on the front lines, directly opposed by the Caliph, in magickal war during 1969-71. But then in 1972, I tendered my resignation and vowed to never use OTO rites again. And in the long run, I don't care who won because I am out of that game. I say, "To the victor goes the spoils," and "My sword went to him that got it."

Should we maybe call you “The Kingmaker” then, Shiva?!  ;D

"Shiva" wrote:
Kelly, Koenig, Seckler & Cornelius (sounds like a law firm, eh

Yes,, it does, rather.  How appropriate!

"lashtal" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
As requested, I am uploading...

Requested by whom?

Reply #52 by Hamal on £Francis X. king” thread [locked] made on: October 28, 2013, 07:06:01 pm:

In a thread of its own sounds good, yes I would be interested.

Reply #53 by newneubergOuch2 on “Francis X. King” thread [locked] made on: October 28, 2013, 07:07:14 pm:

I am waiting for your book and will most certainly buy it when published, and welcome any tidbits or previews you would care to cast my way.

Well that’s two who have directly asked for it, and Michael Clarke 18

"michaelclarke18" wrote:

Requested by whom?

It was me...

makes a hat-trick, not counting anything by PM.  And going by the voting whenever polling takes place) Lashtalians do not customarily seem to be early-birdish off the mark about pulling their thumbs out to indicate like casear up or down.

"Shiva" wrote:
[Please notice that a question was asked about GM's "lack of presence" during the 60's. "Where was he?" Actually, he had given up and was simply working as a bureaucrat.

Don’t I fully answer that in “The Haight question”, amigos?

"Shiva" wrote:
Solar Lodge took to the field in that benchmark year of 1965, and Grady only got re-involved when Seckler wrote him in 1969 about the "Seizing of the (Agape) Lodge" by Solar Lodge.

There is a large gap missing where a full account of Solar Lodge should be.  If you’re real nice to me, Shiva, I’ll give your mob a good write-up in the book (I am joking here, of course 😉 : and apart from the Germer burglary I am quite sympathetic towards the doings and initiative shown by said Solar Lodge.)

"uranus" wrote:
It is presentation rather than factual errors. You show an obvious bias in how you express opinions on the "Caliphate" O.T.O. and Grady McMurtry. King was able to be report this information without expressing an obvious bias which is how such a work should be presented. Nothing wrong with the information presented, it's the presentation. It's like watching Fox News talk about Obama.
"Shiva" wrote:
If a balanced account had been presented, then a favorable commentarium would have sprung instatly into the light.

Ptoner regularly runs some form of AC Search Engine (ACSE) and we get to see a lot of "wickedest man" quotes. These are being passed on from a long time ago. Crowley had his enemies/heralds in the newspaper business. The present doc attempts to do a similar service to/for the Caliph.

"uranus" wrote:
Yes, the focus on the negative and outlandish is... caricature, painting a figure that is hardly the Grady portrayed to me by the people who knew him or even the material of Koenig.

The facts speak for themselves.  I could have put more of a pro-McMurtry gloss on them; but enough people have done that already.  The information may be known more widely now (re the MINUS, etc) but when I wrote it in the mid-90s this stuff was all quite hard to come by – certainly no widespread internet/ google then…

To reply to these tenor of comments “in a nutshell” – I think I get the gist of them: I rather think we have all seen enough of McMurtry portrayed as a “saint” – theso-called debased cult of whitewashed McMurtryanity.  I merely thought I would redress/ adjust the scales a bit to show [him] as the ‘sinner’.  My narrative voice is rather more ‘generous’ or ‘impartial’ with Messrs Metzger, Motta and Grant, however, as they tend to require less adjustment than with the general failings of the C.O.T.O..

"Los" wrote:
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
hell hath no fury like a bore scorned...

Hahaha. Good one.

Oh dear!  And Lash has no scorn like a Los embittered...  😀

"Shiva" wrote:
I've not seen anyone disputing any facts.
It's the supersensitive psychics who are clairsentiencing a scent of revenge.

"Hamal" wrote:
I would have liked to get half a dozen or more pages worth to digest before the thread being flooded with comments and dissection.

"I would have liked ..." Me too! Everybody wants it (life) to come out as they "will" it should be. But we are always forced to work with what we already have...

Weel here’s some more coming atchoo then.  Help yourselves!

"uranus" wrote:
The amount of bias in the little bits posted is over the top and hardly journalistic. ... It's one thing to say Germer regarded Grady as a minus but this is a bit over the top.

Hardly.  I don’t completely damn Grady either.  And I have nothing at all against the man, personally.  Look here and there and you will also see sings of (faint) praise.

"uranus" wrote:
... and hardly journalistic. It's like a scandal rag. Better fit for the Enquirer than something scholarly like King' s book.

It’s funny how it’s only the pro-McMurtryites who say it’s somethng like “the Enquirer” and “not scholarly”.  Everyone else without the “axe” to grind with says it’s well-written, stylistically, factually accurate & neutral overall (you really need to read the whole piece!)

"Shiva" wrote:
He obviously fulfilled the position of The Rich Man from the We$t, both financially and geographically.

Not obviously.  He was RICHer than Crowley – who wasn’t, the bankrupt fool!? – but not “loaded” as such, i.e., like in Elron territory, for instance.

"Shiva" wrote:
One might wonder if Germer wasn't the real "minus." ...He was also the OTO's Grand Trea$urer General, although (if I'm not mistaken) he seems to have not passed through ANY of the OTO initiations (if I'm wrong here, please set me straight).

This aspect is also well dealt with in the book.  SLIGHTLY off-topic at the moment, though.

"Shiva" wrote:
What can we say that is nice about Germer? Um ...

It’s really abhout time someone wrote a GOOD book about HIM.  I thought of doing so once, but have njot progressed far beyond the title: “Crowley’s Custodian”.

"Shiva" wrote:
It used to be ("once upon a time") that the leader was a "first among equals," elected by the Gnosis.

As in Rex Summus Sanctissimus – “The Supreme and Most Holy King”, you mean?

"Shiva" wrote:
But AC saw to the removal of that heresy - he enforced his rules as a dictator. It's that olde Pope Syndrome, you know?

The O.H.O. IS an absolute despot, i.e., an autocrat.

"Shiva" wrote:
As far as I can tell, they were all rogues (Reuss, Crowley, Germer, McMurtry, Shiva), and we better remember that to be human is to make some (controversial) decision that is guaranteed to crank somebody's nose sideways.

Hear hear!  Including myself also here as “historian”, I take it.

"Shiva" wrote:
Finally, the historian has suggested that these pieces of used soil are nothing compared to what is still to come. Okay and Oyez. We're ready, and we're really looking forward to somthing (anything!) new.

Okay and oyez, as you say…

"Nomad" wrote:
Mr Barter's biography of Grady McMurtry seems to rival Mr Symond's biography of Aleister Crowley.

I can’t work out if this is meant to be praise or blame here.  (Symonds IS the most well-known, after all.)

I had a slight cold and was not able to post further immediately earlier on (brought on by pressure of trying to do too much – I was not successfully schmagically attacked, thank you for all the concern!)

The next section concerns the early regime of Hymeanaeus Alpha's successor Hymenaeus Beta, and so I will have to be consulting my lawyers further before taking any other action... 😉

That was a joke – I did check with my ‘legal advisers’ not long after I wrote it (I’m not totally stupid!) – so I don’t really need to do so again, as no fresh material has [yet] been written.

I am not intending to upload any “copyright-sensitive” material, such as IX[sup:24sgm4oi]o[/sup:24sgm4oi] papers you may either be relieved or disappointed to learn (– I wouldn’t want to give our esteemed and impartial webmaster a heart attack! ;D ).

A propos, I did receive a “cease and desist” legal letter from the C.O.T.O.’s English solicitors, Gersten and Nixon, though.  I may upload this, together with my reply for amusement purposes as referential background material in a later reply/ thread.  Of more interest, possibly, is that ‘Beta’ made the suggestion to one of his ‘women’, a would-be agent whom I will call “Soror A” and attached at the time with the York division, that she might emulate MATA HARI  as some would-be femme fatale and get me to either discontinue the project or inveigle me into divulging details of what was written with regards to COTO, presumably during the course of what is commonly pleasantly referred to I think as “pillow talk” (she was pretty hot stuff, too.  Wrowf!  Hubbadubba 😛 downboy…)  Considerations of delicacy, discretion & decorum towards a “lady” and relevance to this topic dissuade me from going into further details of what transpired in the course of our liaisons here save to mention that the intended manoeuvre never came off (“hello sis!” if you happen to be reading this.  Be good to see you again - do get in touch!!) – But here it is now, anyway: hope you will find it worth all the effort!... 

N Joy


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ptoner
(@ptoner)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2077
11/11/2013 4:36 pm  

Jamie, you should have used the Blog function for this. I recommend that you do this. Then you can post your work, without interruption and answer the questions, upon completion, in the forums. That would have been the sensible thing to do. Just a piece of friendly advice.

Create your account at the link below.
http://www.lashtal.com/portal/resources/blogs/latest.html

Then the lock on the far right hand side and create a blog.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
11/11/2013 5:08 pm  

Uh oh!

I see a bunch of yellow ink, and I surely smell a lawyer.
I feel like having a drink, as we open-post in the foyer.
I hear the sound of conflict ... and I run away and hide.
I'm too old for this s**t; I'll just watch from aside.


The Silent Watcher watches and reads, but says nary a thing[/align:11gqck6b]


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
11/11/2013 5:27 pm  

From the evidence Breeze would appear to enjoy collecting initiations, name-dropping[sup:36dh6prt]43[/sup:36dh6prt] and dipping his fingers into as many different varieties of magical (or pseudo-magical) pie as possible: among other things he was at some point a member of Michael Bertiaux’ Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua and the independent “Gnostic Catholic Church”, as well as being closely involved in “93 Publishing” with Peter Macfarlane and other members of the Montreal “Typhonian” O.T.O..  For good measure, according to Motta[sup:36dh6prt]44[/sup:36dh6prt] Breeze was even at one time a Probationer in his own A.’.A.’. organization, whilst distance alone seems to have prevented him from signing up with Metzger in Stein! 

[sup:36dh6prt]43[/sup:36dh6prt] Several instances of this may be perused within C.O.T.O.’s various publications and The Magical Link.  Obituaries are particularly clear examples of where he manages to make himself as well as his subject look good.  Referring to Harry Smith (Fall 1991 e.v.), he remarked: “… Smith declared that ‘my motives are made by God; I am just the medium for them.’  Before I knew that Harry had said this, I had reached much the same conclusion. … In 1986 EV I consecrated Smith a bishop in the O.T.O./E.G.C. [sic], in which he took a real pride. … He taught what he liked, with special emphasis on epistemology (we had once planned to launch a Journal of Comparative Epistemology). … Harry was my guru, my friend and guide…”  Concerning Marjorie Cameron (ex-magical partner and “Scarlet Woman” of Jack Parsons whose death Breeze seemed to have prematurely announced eighteen months too early on the first page of The Magical Link Vol. 7 No. 4) in Spring 1995 he wrote: “I met Cameron in 1983 and came to know and love her.  We collaborated on book projects, played music (she was a harpist) and talked a lot about life, love and sexual metaphysics (in which she had an honorary degree).  In many ways she was the girlfriend I’ve always wished I had.” (Vol. 9 No. 1)

[sup:36dh6prt]44[/sup:36dh6prt]  “The Equinox” Volume V No 4 (S.O.T.O./ Thelema Publications, 1981), p. xiii.

After being elected the new “Caliph”, Breeze expressed the wish in the October 1985 Link to be looked up to as a deep figure of mystery who would be keeping his civilian identity hidden at all times except to those in the highest degrees – in other words, the ten C.O.T.O. IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]s who elected him and the bare handful of others already elevated by McMurtry into what he termed the V[sup:36dh6prt]Io[/sup:36dh6prt], VII[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt] and VIII[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]:

Of necessity, the first Constitutional tradition to be implemented was my secrecy as the newly-elected Caliph, X[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt] and Acting O.H.O..  If this was not to be effected immediately, it would await the next succession and therefore become the very last Constitutional measure to be adopted.  Additionally, the traditional secrecy of the personal identities of higher-degree initiates has been implemented.  Frankly, it would be hypocrisy on my part for these Constitutional measures to be applied to my Sisters and Brothers if I personally disregarded them as Caliph.  If you want to meet me personally, stick around for VI[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt].

At least his readers were spared an exclamation mark to the conclusion of that last sentence, but were his words intended to be construed as a carrot?  Certainly no other Head of any “O.T.O.”, or even of The O.T.O., ever went to such lengths before to disguise his mundane personality, nor attempted to justify the act in so critically out-of-touch and pompously adolescent a fashion.[sup:36dh6prt]46[/sup:36dh6prt]  If people thought McMurtry was being lazy and/or lacking in originality and ideas by expecting Aleister Crowley to choose his magical name for him (Hymenæus Alpha), then Breeze stands doubly guilty of laziness and lacking imagination by electing to call himself “Hymenæus Beta”.  Like McMurtry himself, he seems to have been unaware that on this occasion in particular, the imp Crowley was “taking the piss.”[sup:36dh6prt]46[/sup:36dh6prt] This ridiculous peeping out with a used-goods magical name from behind the threshold of his own Sanctuary’s protective “umbrella” was widely regarded by brethren at the time as having either sinister overtones or verging upon the preposterously absurd.

[sup:36dh6prt]45[/sup:36dh6prt]  These ten IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]s (Grady McMurtry was the eleventh) can with a reasonable degree of certainty based on internal evidence within early Magickal Links, be taken to be: Phyllis Seckler, Helen Parsons Smith, William Heidrick, Lon DuQuette, James Graeb, Antony Iannotti, Kaye D. Lewis (a.k.a. Lola de Wolfe), Andrea Bacuzzi, Richard Gernon and James Wasserman – the last two transferring across from Motta and being duly rewarded for their pains/ treachery in the new hierarchy.  According to Bill Heidrick in the May 1987 issue of The Magical Link, “Because of the role of IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]s from the McMurtry years in electing the present Caliph, the original IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]s who participated in that election have the power to remove and replace this acting O.H.O. by unanimous action.”  Of these original IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]s, Richard Gernon died in 1989 of a heroin ovetrdose and there are now reputedly a total of sixteen IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]s within the “Caliphate” (This number remains open to substantiation).

[sup:36dh6prt]46[/sup:36dh6prt]  A good appraisal of this perplexing development is discussed by G.M. Kelly in his Newaeon Newsletter (Vol. IV, Nos 5 & 6) dated November 1985 and January 1986 (see page XXX: where there is a good analysis of the cabbala and other interpretations involved with the “Hymeanæii” in numbers 777 and 778).  Shortly afterwards, Breeze’s plan to remain anonymous backfired somewhat (as was bound to happen inevitably, sooner or later) and during a visit to London to delve into the Warburg Institute for the purposes of acquiring information, he chose to meet some “Caliphornian” personnel.  The first question that the  new “Caliph” asked a sister he had never before met was not, as might have been expected, “how are you?” or “what’s your name?” (or heaven help us, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”), but instead a more imperious “And what degree are you?”  Having been informed by the sister in question that she was but a lowly Minerval (O[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt]) he then completely lost interest in having any further discussion with her, and switched his would-be “regal” attention elsewhere!  The sister’s verdict on this afterwards was amusing, understandable and commendable: “I just wanted to throw him out of the nearest window!”

Despite his wish to be regarded as an impartial editor and his scornful dismissal of other interpreter’s employment of (to use his own words) ”pseudo-historical propaganda generated by overly-selective use of facts”, Breeze himself has been guilty of providing misinformation (whether deliberately or not is open to conjecture) in his stewardship of The Magical Link: after becoming the new “Caliph”, he frequently tried to give the impression that Crowley’s “Intimation” (Liber CXCIV, in which C.O.T.O. enthusiastically adopted) meant the same thing as the O.T.O. Constitution, which it does not: they were (are) two quite separate documents.  He also falsely declared in the Winter 1990 edition (Vol. III No.4, p.28) that Sascha Germer “accepted Mellinger’s [round denunciation] of Metzger”: she did not, but carried on supporting Metzger’s position as the new O.H.O. until she died, with all her efforts to dispose of the responsibility of the Library in that direction legally hampered by Mellinger.  To quote a more correct account from an old July 1984 Magickal Link, she became “too old to continue the probate” and “too alienated from anyone in the Order who could help her locally”.  Therefore, “she simply gave up.”  Elsewhere, we find that in his history-piece concerning the establishment of the O.T.O. in North America (given in the Fall 1983 issue: Vol VII No.3, p.1) Breeze tries to give to those unaware of C.O.T.O.’s history an impression of a spurious longevity by stating that “W.T. Smith’s establishment of the Agapé Lodge in Southern California ensured the O.T.O.’s survival, as its modern form owes its existence to members initiated there”.  As must be apparent by now, the O.T.O. did not “survive” from there at all, and was arguably undergoing rigor mortis even by the time Smith himself died in 1957.  Although mentioning that “O.T.O. rituals, titles and procedures would later change”, it was by no means made sufficiently clear in Breeze’s summary that most of the initiations given in the pre-1947 period (and all of those given in the pre-1935 period by Charles Stansfeld Jones and others) were not Crowleian at all but Reussian, and therefore completely different (and other than historically, of extremely marginal relevance) to any organization calling itself the Crowley O.T.O..  In touting Martin Starr’s edition of Crowley’s “Bagh-i-Muattur” in The Magical Link for Spring 1991, Breeze declared that it was supposedly “…long virtually unavailable except in the poor quality Morton Press (UK) reprint from the 1970s” – conveniently forgetting, or maybe deliberately omitting to mention, the high quality Motta Thelema Publications (US) reprint from the early 1980s.

Arch-conservative in outlook. Hymenaeus “Beta” has succeeded in being even more backwards-looking in orienting the Order of Oriental Templars than his predecessor Hymenaeus “Alpha”.  Since his “election”, he has been anxious to establish C.O.T.O. internationally on a corporate basis by turning it into a (superficially) classy, big business style operation with the aid of an aggressive publishing policy and even more aggressive and expensive lawyers, well-paid for out of the shekels obtained from the “Caliphate”’s foolishly idealistic but honestly deluded and mostly hard-up membership.  (An amusing image springs to mind, fanciful no doubt but not altogether divorced from reality, of the “Caliphate” operations centre as a war-room; a large map of the world on its wall on which little flags, emblazoned with the vesica piscis lamen, are pinned to represent every base camp in their plan for O.T.O. world domination.)  How relevant all of this might be in relation to the genuine propagation of Thelema is something else: but at least 93% of the “Caliphornian”’s membership cannot really wish to see their hard come by money continually squandered in lining the pockets of already wealthy top-notch U.S. corporate attorneys.  Neither can they consider it an agreeable option to have the C.O.T.O. “top table” gallivant around the world free on “Order business” all expenses paid,[sup:36dh6prt]47[/sup:36dh6prt] reportedly drawing an actual salary, nor indeed purchase the latest I.T. equipment, gadgets and video games for their own personal as well as “Order” use.[sup:36dh6prt]48[/sup:36dh6prt]

[sup:36dh6prt]47[/sup:36dh6prt]  The following advertisement appeared in The Magickal Link for April 1985 (Vol V, No 4, p.8) under the caption NEW VISITOR PROGRAM.  “… A number of active and senior members of the California OTO [sic!] are interested in visiting outlying bodies of the Order, if their travel expenses will be paid by the host body.  If you would like to have a guest, start saving up the air fare and write me a letter including the dates during which you could receive a visitor, any special; interests of your members, and a phone number if possible…”  It was particularly disagreeable for impoverished members of the Order to find they were subsidising visitors who were comparatively wealthy, however, as U.K. members discovered on the occasion of a 'state visit' by the Swiss European C.O.T.O. Grand Lodge IX[sup:36dh6prt]o[/sup:36dh6prt] representative.

[sup:36dh6prt]48[/sup:36dh6prt]  Word on the ground is that U.S. members especially are getting fed-up with “Grand Lodge” H.Q. being moved around to suit the new “Caliph”’s domestic arrangements wherever he happens to be – New York; North Carolina; Austin, Texas; or Europe.  As Bill Heidrick peevishly pointed out in The Magickal Link for October 1985, “Grand Lodge is still Thelema Lodge in Berkeley, with an alternative address for mail in New York only.  H.Q. also cannot be changed except by IXth Degree vote and by Supreme Council vote (Amendment).”  Another milder dissatisfaction with Breeze’s tenure is that although at the beginning he made a point of providing his members with the Word of the Equinox chosen with Grady’s (Crowley’s) Ankh-af-na-khonsu seal ring, this practice (of whatever actual value), was soon discontinued.

There exists such a thing as magnanimity in victory; however C.O.T.O. did not appear to know the meaning of it when Bereze & Co. took the first available opportunity to “dish it” to S.O.T.o. and Motta by rushing out, with indecent haste, “Caliphornian” versions of The Equinox (1986) and The Oriflamme (1989); as he inelegantly admitted in January 1986’s Magical Link,

I guess it [the C.O.T.O. Oriflamme] will look a lot like Marcelio Motta’s Oriflamme in size, but it will be obvious that it’s ours because it will be well-designed and edited. …

“Miaow!”  Having left their scent and exhausted their invention, the death of Motta and the subsequent fragmentation of S.O.T.O. evaporated any inspiration or motivation to produce follow-up instalments to these, and no plans for publishing another “Equinox”, nor any concrete proposals relating to the next appearance of the “Oriflamme”, have since appeared. {NB There have in fact been two more ersatz Equinoxes and one more Oriflamme to date – basically entire reprints of previously published (albeit maybe hard to find) Crowley material. – j.b., 2013}  Seemingly bereft of any interesting ideas on practical or theoretical magick in person, Breeze’s preference is instead to gaze reverentially and remotely back into the dim and distant past and to reintroduce the revised Constitution of 1917/19 as closely as possible – irrespective of the fact that it never worked eighty years ago, and that there is undeniable evidence that even Crowley himself regarded it to be an anachronism in his later years.  Given the fact that this same Constitution finds such strong favour among the “Caliphornians”, its Article XI strikes a paradoxical note with the reader, able to find no small irony in the declaration that:

Any person of full age (male or female) who has signed the preliminary pledge-form and has been Approved by the O.H.O. may become a member of the O.T.O.[sup:36dh6prt]15[/sup:36dh6prt] [My italics]

[sup:36dh6prt]15[/sup:36dh6prt]  See page xxx.  The 1919 version was a slightly abridged and altered publication of the one issued two years earlier by Reuss.

Accordingly, there are absolutely NO new members of the O.T.O. since 1947 because there has not been an O.H.O. since at least 1947 and Baphomet, Aleister Crowley.

Yet for all C.O.T.O.’s professed desire to want to replicate the Crowley-improved Reussian Constitution of yesteryear, the organization itself seems averse to tinkering with the terms and conditions of its structure whenever it suits their purposes so to do.  The main engine of this sleight-of-hand adjustment has been the low-profile introduction of “By-Laws” in 1987, barely two years after Breeze’s succession.  The implementation of the statutes of these By-Laws, written in turgid pseudo-legalese rather than straightforward plain English,[sup:36dh6prt]49[/sup:36dh6prt] shows contemptuous disregard for and totally ignores the further requirement of this same hallowed  Constitution that

XIV.2.    No By-Laws shall become operative until approved by the O.H.O.

[sup:36dh6prt]49[/sup:36dh6prt]  An example of this style can be seen in “Resolution 456” by the C.O.T.O. Supreme Grand Council, which it was recommended should be “prominently posted” at all O.T.O. Camps, Oases and Lodges; also, “… a clear notice to inform casual visitors would be appropriate.”  Resolution 456 states that: “Confirmed sales  or solicitation of sales of illegal substances at a place and time (including time to arrive and depart on the occasion of a meeting) of O.T.O. is grounds for expulsion; and, in the event of complicity by officers of the O.T.O. body, automatically closes the body.  In addition, sales of illicit substances or solicitation for sales at a place used solely by O.T.O., regardless of the time of meetings, or by any person so acting as to convey either expressly or otherwise the impression that such sales or solicitation for sales is in any way a part of official O.T.O. activity, shall also fall under the strictures and remedies of expulsion and closure as may be appropriate to the actual status of the person or officer of the official body involved.”  (The Magical Link, Volume 4 No.3, Fall 1990, p.3)


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jamie barter
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11/11/2013 5:28 pm  

In enacting these By-Laws, C.O.T.O. by their pragmatism have also chosen to ignore other Articles from this same Constitution and from many associated “Blue” Equinox O.T.O. documents so otherwise revered as the be-all and end-all of the way forward.[sup:1a04jboq]50[/sup:1a04jboq]  A few such clauses include the following, that:
all freemasons are allowed to affiliate as “lay-brethren” to the Order (Article XI,3);
certain long-standing members may reside for six months in a “Home” (i.e., a Profess-House) of the Order (Article XVIII);
the Treasurer and members of the Senate are compelled to take a vow of poverty (An Intimation With Reference to the Constitution of the Order [Liber CXCIV], Para. 34);
members have the right to the hospitality of any Lodge Master for up to a period of three days in any one place[sup:1a04jboq]51[/sup:1a04jboq] (O.T.O.: Concerning the Law of Thelema [Liber CLXI]);
and children of “deceased and incapacitated members” (to use Bill Breeze’s phrase) are to be adopted by a Lodge Master or else the Supreme Holy King/ Grand Master of the Order (An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order; Enumerating the Duties and Privileges [Liber CI] points #14 and #55).

[sup:1a04jboq]50[/sup:1a04jboq]  See Part One, where these may be inspected in full.

[sup:1a04jboq]51[/sup:1a04jboq]  In the name of a little harmless amusement, C.O.T.O. initiates in particular might try turning up on the doorsteps of their Lodge masters or mistresses on spec, demanding their statutory rights to free lodgings and food.  Destitute and homeless brethren could conceivably survive indefinitely on making an ongoing circuit of a selection of Lodge Masters, one after the other.

Conspicuous by their absence are the obligations of VII[sup:1a04jboq]o[/sup:1a04jboq]s to invest or transfer any real property (An Intimation…[Liber CXCIV], Para. 32), and for the highest degrees (especially the IX[sup:1a04jboq]o[/sup:1a04jboq]s) to vest their material assets – i.e., “all realisable property” – into the O.T.O., becoming in turn “part-proprietors” of the “Estates and Goods” of the Order (The Manifesto of the O.T.O. [Liber LII], point #13G.)  In particular, every brother and sister is also expected to bestow some, if not all, of their goods to the Order in their Last Will and Testament[sup:1a04jboq]52[/sup:1a04jboq] (An Open Letter…[Liber LII], Point #33).  However, before anybody can first proceed to the lofty heights of the Sovereign Sanctuary (VII[sup:1a04jboq]o[/sup:1a04jboq] and higher), she or he must have “induced one hundred and eleven persons to join the Order” (An Intimation…[Liber CXCIV], Para. 17).  The Treasurer General of the Order is empowered to advance to members, without interest, a loan up to the total value of all fees and subscriptions already paid, while if the brother or sister so desire the entire amount of the fees and subscriptions which have already been paid during their lifetime will be handed over to their heirs and legates (An Open Letter… [Liber CI], Point #64). This means that when members are moribund, they have the power to leave the total amount that they have paid into the Treasury of the O.T.O. to whom they will (O.T.O.: Concerning the Law of Thelema [Liber CLXI]).  These are extraordinarily adventurous and far-reaching policies though possibly realistically impractical, yet even though Germer extended financial aid up to the amount of dues paid to Grady McMurtry when the latter was completing his graduate studies at the University of California in the 1950s,[sup:1a04jboq]53[/sup:1a04jboq] enactment now of almost any of the foregoing would be quite self-destructive for the whole ethos and culture of the “Caliphornian” O.T.O. as presently constructed.

[sup:1a04jboq]52[/sup:1a04jboq]  Grady McMurtry, certainly for one, did not leave all of his assets to the order.  Hardly surprising behaviour for somebody who had squandered Thoth Tarot money away and whose main interest in the O.T.O. was, according to its senior officer at the time, “sponging on the Order.”

[sup:1a04jboq]53[/sup:1a04jboq]  “The Equinox” Volume III No. 10 (C.O.T.O., 1986), p. 195.

C.O.T.O.’s suppressive style of government has succeeded in eradicating what Liber CXCIV identified as “the seeds of revolution, by which alone progress can be effected.”  (My italics.)  It has managed to compound the foolishness of its original presumption with a totalitarian unwillingness to tolerate differing points-of-view on the matter of the O.T.O. other than its own.  Instead, it prefers to neutralize any opposition or competition within its hierarchy by disempowerment: not such a difficult ask, since hierarchies automatically encourage its “less” V.I.P. members to feel powerless anyway.  Meanwhile outside of the organization, threatened or actual recourse to harassment by legal representatives is carried out whenever thought necessary.  In essence, C.O.T.O. in their calculating cynicism are as corrupt mentally as they are bankrupt magickally.  (And as Richard T. Cole has since put it in essence: it is not enough that the C.O.T.O. has to win – everyone else must lose.}

That is the end of the third section.
For all those who simply cannot wait for the next instalment, it immediately follows on with what is in the OP for “The Gnostic Mass & Catholic Church [E.G.C.]” thread on the Thelema board to whichn you are referred.  (I will probably upload it here myself to maintain sequential order, but not at this moment.  Incidentally, the final Chapter which follows (12: “The O.T.O. – its relevance Today” has not dated at all since it ws written seventeen years ago.  In fact, if anything it is even more relevant “today” than ever…)

N Joy


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jamie barter
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Posts: 1688
11/11/2013 5:30 pm  
"ptoner" wrote:
Jamie, you should have used the Blog function for this. I recommend that you do this. Then you can post your work, without interruption and answer the questions, upon completion, in the forums. That would have been the sensible thing to do. Just a piece of friendly advice.

Create your account at the link below.
http://www.lashtal.com/portal/resources/blogs/latest.html

Then the lock on the far right hand side and create a blog.

Thank you Paul, this is very kind advice.  However I think I am too far gone on this chapter to start afresh, besides which (as I'm sure regular Lashtalians will know) I am an ignoramus with nearly all I.T stuff.

Appreciatively yours,
N Joy


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Hamal
(@hamal)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 547
11/11/2013 6:07 pm  
"ptoner" wrote:
Jamie, you should have used the Blog function for this. I recommend that you do this. Then you can post your work, without interruption and answer the questions, upon completion, in the forums. That would have been the sensible thing to do. Just a piece of friendly advice.

Create your account at the link below.
http://www.lashtal.com/portal/resources/blogs/latest.html

Then the lock on the far right hand side and create a blog.

I have suggested this to him via PM, it seems unfortunate to use a thread as like you say this way there are so many interruptions. Ah well, we can only offer advice!  ::)

🙂
93
Hamal


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
11/11/2013 6:20 pm  

I've never been accused of being a McMurtryite before... hmm. I have no issues with Grady and don't think Germer' s assessment of him was valid or fair. The article implies Grady was trying to get power etc. When it appears to me he was trying to get OTO running and Germer did nothing but try to bar that from occurring... at all. His ability to judge character was seriously lacking and he was as curmudgeonly as Motta, if not more so. Grady performed a service to the community with his work in reviving the OTO as envisioned by Crowley.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
11/11/2013 6:21 pm  

Honestly I was always viewed as a Mottaite in the past... oy


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
11/11/2013 7:00 pm  

Read the rest and again... No positives. Focuses on scandals that are nothing in the big picture. A lot of conjecture and stirring the pot. I've always been fair in my assessments of other "OTO" organizations so this isn't a whining post. I am a member of the OTO and view it as the legitimate heir to Crowley' s OTO but I've always thought it fair to acknowledge the work of other organizations. Beta is doing work to ensure the survival of Thelema and the OTO. At times litigious and he has made mistakes but you've damned him and Grady in your articles but failed to even acknowledge the utter failure of Germer as a caretaker and the danger he put Thelema in with his willful inaction. Failed to acknowledge the growth of the OTO under his management and the respectability that his editions of crowley' s work have engendered to the world at large compared to the situation the work was in when he took over. In fact you have implied the opposite and painted OTO members as naive. If anything, through his work editing Crowley, Breeze has ensured the survival of Thelema for many generations at least and the active survival of the OTO.

I used to be a critic of the OTO, and a big one, but fair in my assessments and it was when I looked at the work in the big picture that my attitude changed. Breeze doesn't need to produce magical texts of his own. It's not his role. To say the OTO is magically bankrupt is equally ridiculous. Your article, to me, is nothing more than an attack based on scandal and misinformation.


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 Anonymous
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Posts: 0
11/11/2013 7:01 pm  

And promulgation of the same ad hominem we've heard since the 90s


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jamie barter
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
12/11/2013 12:27 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
I have suggested this to him via PM, it seems unfortunate to use a thread as like you say this way there are so many interruptions. Ah well, we can only offer advice!  ::)

I had not planned for so many ‘interruptions’, as you say Hamal (whilst in the course of interrupting me yourself ( ;)) but they seem to add a certain something, a je ne say key which contributes a slightly contemporary up-to-date counterpoint.  And in a perverse kind of way, I am sort of quite enjoying these so-called ‘interruptions’…

I’m not joking when I say I am very inexperienced with computers and I have never ‘blogged’ in my life nor would have any idea how to practically proceed if it (my life) depended upon it.  Yet as I have said, if anyone thinks I’m factually lying, then please do point it out to me & I will rectify it if it stands up and remains as a kosher point.  I believe I am ultimately fair.  Otherwise…“STET” is the rule & the order of the day, or at least until if & when such time as I should update & revise.

Now, let me respond to you, Uranus (a planet I myself have much affiliation with, incidentally.)  If I had produced a quadruple post in a row, I think I would have had Paul or at least Shiva on my ass by now.  You appear to have gotten away with it – Kadosh to you!!

"uranus" wrote:
but you've [...] failed to even acknowledge the utter failure of Germer as a caretaker and the danger he put Thelema in with his willful inaction.

Are you practising precognition here, as I have not actually uploaded the section relating to Germer at all.

"uranus" wrote:
... Germer did nothing but try to bar that from occurring... at all. His ability to judge character was seriously lacking and he was as curmudgeonly as Motta, if not more so.
"uranus" wrote:
... you've ... failed to even acknowledge the utter failure of Germer as a caretaker and the danger he put Thelema in with his willful inaction.

I used to think that (more), but in the intervening years I have come to reassess my opinion of Germer.  Crowley would not have entrusted complete control of not only the O.T.O. but both the A.’. A.’., and his tentative Order of Thelemites into the hands of anyone in whom he didn’t have total trust.  And Germer functioned as his A.C.’s Deputy and number 2 – certainly in the O.T.O. – from when he first tied his colours to Crowley’s mast around 1925 until the end in 1947.  A.C. in fact remarks of him in a letter to Wilfred T. Smith:

… It is not Germer’s wise and temperate letters, but your own erotomaniac antics, that have (very naturally) made the F.B.I. wonder what was going on.  It is fortunate that in him [Germer] I had a man of impeccable conduct, a man of integrity and dignity, to make manifest the serious and upright principles on which our Work is based. …

You keep on talking about “one who”, “another who”, and so on, but you haven’t the courage to mention any name.  You leave me to guess.  You tell me of one person “whose memory is deplorably weak”.  Are you referring to the man [Karl Germer] who has Liber VII, Liber LXV and Liber Legis [memorised] by heart?

"uranus" wrote:
I've never been accused of being a McMurtryite before... hmm.

Well there’s always a first time for everything!

"uranus" wrote:
I have no issues with Grady and don't think Germer' s assessment of him was valid or fair. The article implies Grady was trying to get power etc. When it appears to me he was trying to get OTO running and Germer did nothing but try to bar that from occurring... at all. [...] Grady performed a service to the community with his work in reviving the OTO as envisioned by Crowley.

This is a matter of opinion.  “Some might say” – in Noel Gallagher’s words, not necessarily mine - it was purely a by-product and side-effect from his more self-serving activities. 
Let me reiterate Crowley’s words from a letter to Jane Wolfe here – he was writing about Wilfred T. Smith, but it could as well refer to McMurtry in my context above:

I quite appreciate the other side to [McMurtry], much more than he can possibly believe, since I am usually nagging or denigrating him.  But that’s natural; why pay special attention to what is going well?  If a doctor is called in to a car smash and finds a leg broken, he doesn’t stroke an arm and say how soft and smooth the skin is.

(Aleister Crowley to Jane Wolfe, letter dated 20th March, 1942)[/align:vp7rehfp]

Incidentally, while we’re at it, the following letter could refer to his 9[sup:vp7rehfp]o[/sup:vp7rehfp]=2[sup:vp7rehfp]□[/sup:vp7rehfp] claim also:

I hear that he is making all sorts of extravagant claims about his advancement in both orders.  I gather that he claims to be a Magus!  But he seems to be a little premature by about 2,000 years.  In any case, if he is a Magus, where is his WORK?  Then again, where is the Book which he must have published if he were even an Adeptus Exemptus 7[sup:vp7rehfp]o[/sup:vp7rehfp]=4[sup:vp7rehfp]□[/sup:vp7rehfp], a book summarizing the results of his life’s work?  He has produced absolutely nothing, not as much as a pamphlet; and I am sure he is quite incapable of doing so.  I wish you would write and tell me at once what is his position in the business world.  I am prepared to bet the shirt on my back that he is a mere hack wage-slave.  The position is one neither of dignity, responsibility or emolument.  If I am wrong in this, please let me know. [Etc]

(Letter from Aleister Crowley to Jane Wolfe on 16th February, 1943)[/align:vp7rehfp]

In fact A.C. wrote to Smith, the one-time Agape Lodgemaster himself:

… As to the swelled head – I am told by several people, some of them entirely friendly to you, that you have been laying claim to all sorts of degrees to which you have no shadow of right.  In the A.’. A.’. you may possibly have been passed to neophyte, but you certainly never went any further.  Your claim to magister Templi was merely a drunken freak, but of course this kind of joke is not appreciated by the Chiefs and I daresay that 90% of your present troubles is due to that error.
I am told that you have even claimed the grade of 9[sup:vp7rehfp]o[/sup:vp7rehfp]=2[sup:vp7rehfp]□[/sup:vp7rehfp] but if you are a Magus, why have you not announced your Word, and with regard to the inner Grades, where are your examinations?  Where are your records?

… I am sure it has been very bad for you to have had a lot of people to play with.  This is bad for almost everyone.  Personally, I keep people who are studying with me as far apart as possible – “let not one know well the other.”  Whenenever two or three people get together the old trouble starts all over again. …

"uranus" wrote:
I used to be a critic of the OTO, and a big one, but fair in my assessments and it was when I looked at the work in the big picture that my attitude changed. Breeze doesn't need to produce magical texts of his own. It's not his role. To say the OTO is magically bankrupt is equally ridiculous. Your article, to me, is nothing more than an attack based on scandal and misinformation.

The only work Beta is doing is occasionally bringing out a republication of Crowley’s oeuvre – there has been very little real new stuff in the last 28 years, although some, I grant you.  I rather liked his and David Tibet’s efforts recently to collate all of Crowley’s fiction together, for example.  But I remember reading somewhere (in an old Magical Link I think, but I don’t have the time to dig it out at the present) that he intended the C.O.T.O. not to be a magical or teaching organization at all but to concentrate for this and maybe the next generation instead on publishing the legacy of A.C.  Unfortunately, this has not really happened either (pace the almost three decades in preparation Equinox III.2 – already in galley proofs anyway – the unabridged Confessions and the Collected Diaries.)

"uranus" wrote:
In fact you have implied the opposite and painted OTO members as naive. If anything, through his work editing Crowley, Breeze has ensured the survival of Thelema for many generations at least and the active survival of the OTO.

Well, of course he has.  No one else is in a position to do anything, copyrights being tied up & tangled as they now are.  The position would be entirely different if this were not the case –the crap and the scum would sink below the surface and only the best would survive and succeed – whether by C.O.T.O. or whomever.  I would love to have given the Caliphornian O.T.O. a good write-up: I honestly had high hopes for it at one time, and invested years of my own time, effort and money into it; hell, “if I had played my cards right” I could even have ended up running the C.O.T.O. in this country as the X[sup:vp7rehfp]o[/sup:vp7rehfp], but in my heart I cannot stand back and take no action against what I perceive is making a travesty of 93, and my ultimate loyalty in the Order is not to Hymenaeus Beta but to Baphomet and Ra Hoor Khuit.

"uranus" wrote:
And promulgation of the same ad hominem we've heard since the 90s

This was actually first written in the (mid) 90s, don’t forget.  And part of the reason I’m sharing it with Lashtalians now is that if anyone can persuade me to alter the tone in a non-ad hominem way, I am willing to “listen” [=read] and make adjustments should I be convinced.  But unfortunately your impassioned rhetoric has unfortunately failed to convince me this far, Uranus.

“Must try harder”,
N Joy


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
12/11/2013 12:39 pm  

On with the show - part 4:

The Gnostic Catholic Church[/align:5tpfze24]

Despite earnest-sounding protestations coming from “Caliphornian” O.T.O. Frater Superior William Breeze in The Magical Link for Winter 1990 [Vol. III, No. 4, pp. 25-30], that

From my earliest magical training I was taught that apostolic succession, like all other grades and titles, was ultimately hollow… What mattered was the “afflatus”, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the properly-prepared gnostic initiate…

it seemed that far from “afflatus”, it may have been “inflatus” which became present, at least so far as the cult of his particular personage in the Gnostic Catholic Church [Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica] was concerned.  As Msgr [Monseigneur] Tau Silenus, the “Holy Father” or “Patriarch” of the Church and alleged true descendant of the Matthew and Villate apostolic successions, he has been at pains to establish these credentials or else has others such as the “Right Rev. {name temporarily withheld - j.b.}, D.D.” to present his credentials for him.  In order to hedge his bets either way and to provide additional insurance for his catholic ambitions, however, the Holy Father declared that “rather than relying on “apostolic succession” the E.G.C. in the O.T.O. would rely for its basis on the succession of the office of “Frater Superior”, which post-Crowleyan office Breeze as Hymenaeus Beta also holds.  Furthermore, his magical philosophy bore a remarkable resemblance to Peter J. Carroll’s “Chaos” magical approach of “Fake it ‘til you make it” when he added, immediately following the preceeding passage,

…the belief that you were something could become a surrogate for the training and aspiration necessary to actually become something.

In other words, merely believing oneself to be a Bishop or an Ipsissimus (à la Carroll) might preclude the need to do any of the work necessary to reach such an exalted state of being.

The nebulous Gnostic Catholic Church is, and was, a shadowy ill-defined body which never had an executive, pontiff-style leader before Tau Silenus – Father William – assumed the rôle, and within it, Crowley himself was only ever another “wandering bishop” - if that.  Nor have the Church’s precise connections with the O.T.O. ever been clearly ratified, with the issue as obscure in Crowley’s day as it was previously in Reuss’s.  In Thelemic terms, Crowley saw its main – in reality, its sole – purpose of existence as being loosely responsible for the performance of its only rite: the “Gnostic Mass” (Liber XV), which he composed especially for the purpose in 1913, and which was described in Confessions as:

…the central ceremony of its [the O.T.O.’s] public and private celebrations, corresponding to the Mass of the Gnostic Catholic Church. …

The Gnostic Mass today (with its concomitant revisions duly authorised by the current Patriarch), although a moving and beautiful pageant when performed well with joy and beauty, is of limited usefulness as a device of transubstantiation with the length of the service and elaborate preparations necessary for its ceremonial tending to work against the benefits received, which are no different in quality (and certainly no better) than those gained through other simulated or real sex-magical acts, or through an individual’s raising of kundalini, or through their yogic practice of, say, pranayama.  Moreover, the enactment of the rite tends to favour those who consciously or unconsciously psychologically indulge themselves in drawing the maximum pomp and circumstance out of a drama to the discomfiture of their audience, in preference to those who simply want to get to the heart of the ceremonial as directly as possible; so much so that if just one of the officers – the Deacon, for example – proves to be amateurish and inept, then he or she will manage to ruin the whole atmosphere and the magick for everybody.  Nor in the plague-conscious ’Nineties can anyone apart from the “cook” ever be entirely sure that the natural ingredients in the communal Cakes of Light have been properly prepared to the minimum satisfactory standards of hygiene health and safety.

As a measure of its effectiveness, Crowley seems to have neither performed in nor attended the Gnostic Mass at any time since his Abbey of Thelema at Cefalù in the early 1920s - if then.  It is in fact arguable whether Crowley actually participated in, or was present, at any full performance of the Gnostic Mass during his entire lifetime.  Quite possibly he found other more effective ways of employing his time.  This notwithstanding, Breeze has solemnly declared (in the same Link piece referred to earlier) that “I am totally committed to making the Gnostic Catholic Church a fit vehicle for the expression of Thelema.”  (In a non-absolutist universe, and in the aftermath of Waco, Jonestown, etc., one is of course automatically suspicious of anyone – but especially a religious leader – who formally declares him or herself to be “totally” anything: totalitarianism being the bane and reversal of civilization, relativity and Thelema itself.)  To this end, Breeze then speedily suppressed the free speech of the late Rusty Sporer’s “heretical” Gnostic Catholic Church quarterly fanzine (gnamed the Gnostic Gnews) for politely daring to have the effrontery to suggest that E.G.C. members might wish to engage in practices outside of the direction of the O.T.O. – by which was meant, naturally, the “Caliphornian” O.T.O. under Hymenaeus Beta; as the Gnews’ penultimate edition for Summer 1989 (Vol. 1, No. 3) boldly declared:

[…]for the most part the Bishop(s) who form(s) a local church must make the decisions about how it will be administered.  Some Bishops may do best by running their own organizations, while other Bishops (especially in areas of high concentration) may do best by forming a local “synod” to manage church affairs.  Whatever best fits your situation should be achievable under the liberal statutes of the O.T.O.’s Bylaws. [!] In any event such local organizations must be in accord with the Church’s spirit of religious freedom; no Bishop or group of Bishops can ever claim “jurisdiction” over all the Gnostic Catholics within their territory.

It seems clear to me that our current Patriarch is adopting an ecclesiastical role of primus inter pares rather than just that of “infallible” pope, which means that the day-to-day growth and continuation of the Order’s branch of Gnostic Catholicism is more than ever the responsibility of each Bishop who is a living transmitter of this particular lineage. [… my italics - J.B.]

This was either a masterpiece of understated subversion and insurrection or else an astonishingly wide-eyed and innocent hope that self-determination would rule the day.  Either way, Rusty must clearly have somehow gotten wind of a strong stench of disapproval in the air because, on the front page of the next (and terminal) edition of Gnostic Gnews for Autumn 1989 (which must have been almost completed when he added it) the following balm was hastily administered under the bold and underlined banner of “DISCLAIMER”:

The contents of the articles found in this work are those of the writer and do not necessarily express the official opinion or the policy of Ordo Templi Orientis.  These opinions are exactly that: OPINIONS. [sic] 
The staff is not responsible for any possible conflicts between the opinions found in differing articles.
We welcome any comments.

But even this palliative was too late to save the doomed Church organ from the waxing wroth of “Father William” Breeze, an “ecclesiastical” figure apparently much in the mould of Old Jehovah and who, like that demiurge himself, far from seeking to encourage any independent thinking or liberty of expression, preferred instead to stamp events with the mark of his own personality.  By papal edict – or rather, by O.T.O. By-Law – never again could anybody just “wander off” and become  made a Bishop without Father William’s own personal say-so.  Never again could anybody in the E.G.C. congregation, anywhere, become ordained a Bishop without first becoming one of the chosen few VIIos in the Caliphornian O.T.O.; nor be a Priest or Priestess either who was not otherwise a Fourth Degree in that august assembly.  (An avatar of) Prometheus, Breeze certainly was not.  His word, like the word of God, was final; and in The Magical Link for Winter 1990, like Jehovah with much wailing & gnashing of teeth and peevish righteous indignation (and arguably with a certain measure of transference also), he smote with vengeance most terrible against the wayward children of his flock:

I have lost patience with a few recent manifestations of the EGC, for which I am doubtless responsible.  Some are absurd and thus easily identifiable, e.g. egocentric personality-cults that go on endlessly about the importance of their apostolic successions and dress up as Roman Catholic prelates.  Others have grave consequences for others, such as the thoughtless consecration of bishops without training or preparation by either party, and without the knowledge of the Frater Superior [of the C.O.T.O.].  I cannot recognize such consecrations, as they harm [sic] the bishop, the candidate, and the Order generally by interfering with OTO organizational work.  This trend has been fuelled by OTO’s sponsorship of a newsletter exclusively devoted to EGC studies, the Gnostic Gnews, which in spite of itself came to create a growing consciousness of the EGC as something apart from OTO, the very opposite of what was intended. …

Speaking from my own personal experience, the edifice of the E.G.C. today is of negligible value and has, as Breeze himself correctly touched upon, manifested itself in the main as would-be prelates sanctimoniously swanning around in their vestments and regalia in the belief that they are holier-than-thou.*  If Thelemites wish to perform the Mass, it is not necessary for them to await ex cathedra dispensation from on high or to have a regulatory body’s authorisation in order to do so – far less that of a would-be almighty and all-powerful “Church” co-existent with and under the direct control of the political “State” of the Caliphornian O.T.O..  It is not expedient to go into what appears to be an unnecessary and irrelevant sideline any more deeply, other than to remark what while the E.G.C.’s many disadvantages are clearly apparent, no useful advantage whatsoever appears to be served by it apart from that of being a social club for the congregation – but then that function is already amply catered for by the quasi/ would-be masonic (Caliphornian) O.T.O..

© reserved, Norma N. Joy Conquest 1996/ 2013 E.V

The final Part of this Chapter on C.O.T.O. will follow in due course - I don't know eactly when.  As I think I mentioned earlier it is slightly longer than the other parts and may not go into one posting.  (But let's see. :D)


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1090
12/11/2013 1:01 pm  

invested years of my own time, effort and money into it; hell, “if I had played my cards right” I could even have ended up running the C.O.T.O. in this country

So what we are dealing with here is you working out your Daddy complex?

I cannot stand back and take no action

Denigrating your former brethren on the internet hardly makes you a man of action.

This was actually first written in the (mid) 90s, don’t forget.

Indeed, it is quite obvious.
The world has moved on - perhaps you might consider it as well.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
12/11/2013 2:44 pm  
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

invested years of my own time, effort and money into it; hell, “if I had played my cards right” I could even have ended up running the C.O.T.O. in this country

So what we are dealing with here is you working out your Daddy complex?

Oh Please!

"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

I cannot stand back and take no action

Denigrating your former brethren on the internet hardly makes you a man of action.

Who said anything about “a man of action”?  if anything, I am a “man of re-action”, and a servant of the Tao.  Believe it or NOT.

"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

This was actually first written in the (mid) 90s, don’t forget.

Indeed, it is quite obvious.
The world has moved on - perhaps you might consider it as well.

I have make it clear all along when it was written and that it will need updating and/or revising.  You don’t seem to want to take that on board.  I have been looking for positive feedback which I may be able to use, but unfortunately your miserable contributions are way off target.

The amateur psychologist’s cap you are affecting to wear doesn’t suit you here, William Thirteen.  You are wildly off the mark, although I can understand your line of reasoning, of course.  If that is your best shot, I will say adieu to you.  If you intend replying again, do not repeat yourself.

I have made an exception with Uranus and William Thirteen so far, by replying to their somewhat ill-informed commentaries.  I don’t really intend to spend too much time if anyone posts of a similar calibre to theirs.  Life is too short!

And the word of sin is Restriction,
N Joy


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
12/11/2013 3:39 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
... I think I would have had Paul or at least Shiva on my ass by now.

[/align:3cllagl3]


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
12/11/2013 5:25 pm  

I thought Shiva already said something about the lack of any integrity in your work. That you then used letters from Crowley to Jane Wolfe, about Smith (who, if you read Starr's wonderful Unknown God, you would know the assault he experienced as Master of Agape LOdge was from outright slander and politics) and direct them at Grady... shows a bias that completely obliterates the integrity, especially when you inserted Mcmurtry in place of Wolfe. You've shown you have an agenda and an axe to grind. Good luck with your work but you won't be someone who I will be reading.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
12/11/2013 8:48 pm  

Moderator's Note

Okay, Jamie: your posts have been of interest to those of us with more than a passing fascination in the modern history of the OTO (at least, up to the '90s) but I'm increasingly uncomfortable with your hubris and partisanship.

You believe HA failed and you appear to dislike HB. Few of us out here know why things didn't work out for you while you were a member of the OTO but, well, fewer even care, I suspect.

Please don't abuse the hospitality and fraternity provided to you by this site. In particular, snide remarks about other members of this site are unwelcome.

LAShTAL.COM is an impartial site and participants here are expected to display an equally 'open' approach, which isn't evidenced by your posts. Member ptoner recommended - quite correctly - that your posts would be better placed in the free Blogs and I urge you to take advantage of them.

Meanwhile, please refrain from publishing more 'chapters' as Forum posts.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
13/11/2013 12:57 pm  
"uranus" wrote:
I thought Shiva already said something about the lack of any integrity in your work.

This is not so. 

"uranus" wrote:
That you then used letters from Crowley to Jane Wolfe, about Smith (who, if you read Starr's wonderful Unknown God, you would know the assault he experienced as Master of Agape LOdge was from outright slander and politics) and direct them at Grady... shows a bias that completely obliterates the integrity,

I did not use the letters in the piece (chapter), but in answer to your good self in the course of making a point.

"uranus" wrote:
especially when you inserted Mcmurtry in place of Wolfe.

Also, I inserted "McMurtry" in place of "Smith", not Wolfe, there. 

"uranus" wrote:
You've shown you have an agenda and an axe to grind. Good luck with your work but you won't be someone who I will be reading.

As I have said before, my "only agenda" is the rectification of the scales of the balance; it is unfortunate if this comes across as having an axe to grind.  Thanks for your good wishes, though, and you must Do what thou wilt.

"lashtal" wrote:
Moderator's Note

Okay, Jamie: your posts have been of interest to those of us with more than a passing fascination in the modern history of the OTO (at least, up to the '90s) but I'm increasingly uncomfortable with your hubris and partisanship.

You believe HA failed and you appear to dislike HB.

It is not the case that I “dislike HB”.  I have already gone on record on Lashtal as saying that I found him personally to be learned, civilized, personable and on occasion witty and engaging company.

And I still agree with those words.  The fact that I disagree strongly with and dislike his policies is a different matter.

"lashtal" wrote:
Few of us out here know why things didn't work out for you while you were a member of the OTO but, well, fewer even care, I suspect.

It is not my intention to make any personal gripes on the website, and I don’t think I have done further than very occasionally supplying a little bit of a supplemental information when it seemed appropriate.

"lashtal" wrote:
Please don't abuse the hospitality and fraternity provided to you by this site. In particular, snide remarks about other members of this site are unwelcome.

I’m not quite sure which remarks you are referring to, but if I have caused offence to others by them I apologize.  It is not and has never been my intention to be “gratuitously snide”.

"lashtal" wrote:
LAShTAL.COM is an impartial site and participants here are expected to display an equally 'open' approach, which isn't evidenced by your posts. Member ptoner recommended - quite correctly - that your posts would be better placed in the free Blogs and I urge you to take advantage of them.

Meanwhile, please refrain from publishing more 'chapters' as Forum posts.

As you so wish, Paul – for as editor, owner and moderator of Lashtal your decision of course is rightfully final – I will not publish any more ‘chapters’.  I don’t know whether your reluctance is meant to include the final instalment of the existing one, as I believe the tone is rather more to the taste of those who might have complained that the [C.]O.T.O. aspects so far needed a bit more ‘balance’, which I think this final section provides (or more so than previously evidenced, in any case.) 
You must judge it on its merits in relation to the foregoing, and of course remove the post if you then find it particularly unpalatable and choose to do so.

Moderator's Note

Post edited - see next post.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
14/11/2013 9:17 am  

Moderator's Note

Jamie, this really isn't acceptable behaviour on public Forums of a website committed to impartiality.

"jamie barter" wrote:
You must judge it on its merits in relation to the foregoing, and of course remove the post if you then find it particularly unpalatable and choose to do so.

This has nothing to do with what I personally find 'unpalatable'. LAShTAL is an impartial site and your extracts have been 'partial' in the extreme. You were directed towards the free Blogs here as a more appropriate location for your material and were instructed not to post it in the Forums. Your response to this instruction was to post a further 2,000+ word extract.

For the avoidance of doubt: I will not permit this site's Forums to be hijacked by you in your attempts to shout vitriol at any organisation or individual. Future 'extracts' will be deleted.

I will not discuss this with you further and I urge you to read the Guidelines.

This thread is now locked.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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