Aleister Crowley could be regarded as a political opportunist chumming up with anyone anywhere, and running the business of his religion (Thelema) for his private amusement. However, the more he failed with his political ambitions and his utopian endeavours, the more he flaunted himself as the founder of a religion.
Crowley attracted fanatics from all walks of life. He was a prig (not only in respect of his political views), who had assembled a religion for self styled outsiders. One would be hard put to regard this religion as either philantropical or democratic. Thelema always aspires to turn into a state religion, nevermind of which state, i.e. its founder tried to ingratiate himself with his religion to anything state-like, no matter how totalitarian or radical it was. For him, the main issue was the presence of an anti-christian element. The amazing thing about those efforts is that Thelema and the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) did not want to substitute christianity but return it to its original condition. Thus Crowley wrote in 1944, entirely along Theodor Reuss’ lines that it was the task of the O.T.O "to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar-phallic religion".
Nevertheless one should not disregard the manifold clientele attracted by this topic. Neither should one make light of Crowley’s anti-semitism and other embarrassing traits in order to render him palatable for academia and the mainstream.
Regarding the Mass of the Phoenix, Liber Nu, Liber Had, Liber Astarte, Liber Thisharb, Liber VII, X, LVX, XC, CCXXXI: the O.T.O.'s "Journal of Thelemic Studies", 1;2, 2008, http://thelemicstudies.com/JoTS1–2.pdf, page 40: "The reason these aspects of Thelema are omitted indicates the actual problem with presenting Thelema as a religion and attempting to get Thelema sanctioned by the government or approved by the public: Thelema is ultimately in contrast to and transgressive of normative society. Thelema rejects the morals and values of normative society and acts to transgress and violate these norms. From the inclusion of intoxicants in ritual, to the positive view of sexuality, which frequently is seen as promoting promiscuity, to the pro–authoritarian and Nietzschian aspects of Thelema, normative society has much to reject in Thelema and conversely, Thelema encourages its adherents to reject most aspects of normative society."
This writer does not assert that Crowley, Thelema or the O.T.O are fascist or Nazi: Crowley also had connections to communist characters. His totalitarian streak could blend with the "right" or the "left," and both "right" and "left" if pursued to extremes verge into shades of the totalitarian. In this sense one can call him a fascist but one could equally call him a communist, and he was neither in the final analysis. However, it is obvious that some misanthropic elements can be found in the biography of Crowley, in the concept of Thelema and in the instructions for members of the O.T.O. and its environment. We will thus concentrate on the most evident examples and protagonists. And who else can be found in this milieu: the occult racists. And the rôle models.
A must for the interested reader is Marco Pasi "Aleister Crowley und die Versuchung der Politik" (Graz 2006). Original: "Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica" (Mailand 1999). This online article deliberatedly leaves out topics discussed in Pasis' work and is more an additional collection of documents than an in-depth discussion of the topic.
Read also Richard B. Spence: "Secret Agent 666" (WA 2008)
The political inclination of the Orders and their members
Occult organisations are frequently faced with the reproach of cherishing Right Wing extremist ideas; not least because of Aleister Crowley’s distinction between “ordinary” humans who are compared to dogs — and who serve — and a superior class of human gods, who rule the dogs [Liber AL].
Crowley's 1937 idea of the commercial utilization of the Swastika on porcelain cups and his suggestion to discuss Thelema “as the base for the Nazi new order” [diary entry dated 5th May 1936] indicate the assumption of a totalitarian conviction by Crowley.
Rolf Steinberg: "Nazi-Kitsch", Darmstadt 1975.
On the other hand, after the National Socialist seizure of power, more than two dozen Lodge-like organisations, including occult groups, were forbidden. The 1937 circulated decree of the SS Reichsführer was the political conclusion of Nazi propaganda against freemasons and similar organizations. The Gestapo was given the order to dissolve all forbidden groups which they had not already targeted.
List of the forbidden organizations
According the ministeral decree dated 07 December 1936
[From: In Nomine Demiurgi Saturni, München 1998, 58.]
- Symbolische Grossloge von Deutschland, nebst Tochterlogen
- Freimaurerbund zur Aufgehenden Sonne, Hamburg, nebst Tochterlogen
- Grossloge zur Sonne, Bayreuth, nebst Tochterlogen
- Grosse Freimaurerloge zur Eintracht, Darmstadt, nebst Tochterlogen
- Grosse Mutterloge des Eklektischen Freimaurerbundes, nebst Tochterlogen
- Grossloge von Hamburg, nebst Tochterlogen
- Deutsch Christlicher Orden Sachsen, Dresden, nebst Tochterlogen
- Deutsch Christlicher Orden deutscher Dom, Leipzig, nebst Tochterlogen
- Grosse Nationalmutterloge zu den 3 Weltkugeln, Berlin, nebst Tochterlogen
- Grossloge von Preussen, genannt zur Freundschaft, Berlin, nebst Tochterlogen
- Rechabiten–Orden [?]
- Grossloge "Le Droit Humain" (Co–Freimaurerei)
- Internationale Arbeiter–Freimaurerloge
- Die Finniere am Offenen Tempel, Winkelloge in Leipzig
- Loge der Schaffenden "Colonis" e.V.
- Orden der Ritter vom Heiligen Gral, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main
- Anthroposophische Gesellschaft
- Ebdar (Ermächtigte Bruderschaft der alten Riten), Orden vom Heiligen Gral im Orient von Patmos — Organisation Bo Yin Ra
- Orientalischer Templer–Orden (O.T.O.)
- Fraternitas Saturni (einschliesslich Esoterische Studiengesellschaft)
- Illuminaten–Orden (gegründet 1896)
- Orion–Bund (Adonistische Sekte Dr. Musallam Sättler)
- Rosenkreuzer–Gesellschaft in Deutschland
- Grals–Orden (*norusnin–Sekte) [Unleserlich. Siehe Scan]
- Grossloge "Wahrer Weg", Hannover, und "Weg zum Licht", Magdeburg, Spiritistische Logen
- Summum Supremum Sanktuarium des Alten Schottischen Ritus der Freimaurerei in Deutschland
- Swedenborg–Ritus der Freimaurerei
- Orientalischer Templer Orden
- Hermetischer Orden der Goldenen Dämmerung
- Misraim–Ritus 90°
- Orientalischer Memphis–Ritus 97°
- Alter und angenommener Ritus von Heredom
- Hermetische Bruderschaft des Lichtes
- Fraternitas Rosae Crucis
- Neue Gnostische Kirche
- Neuer Illuminat
- Allgemeine Pansophische Schule
- Pansophische Societät
- Verein Deutscher Freimaurer, Leipzig
- Freimaurerische Vereinigung "Rat und Tat" in Frankfurt a.M.
- Freimaurerische Jugendvereinigung "Gefolgschaft der Georgsknappen" in Dresden
- Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft
- Paneuropäische Union Deutschland e.V.
Am 28.6.1937 ferner verboten
- Bund Deutsche Schlaraffia e.V.
Soon, the Atlantic Adepts (Master Therion) joined in.
The SS decree was probably the closing curtain in the German Masonic drama. Prior to this, the Lodges had been asked to dissolve themselves. Those who bucked were finally forbidden in 1937.
Eugen Grosche, founder of the Fraternitas Saturni, fled from the Nazis to Switzerland and Karl Germer, Crowley's best friend, landed in a concentration camp.
Karl Johannes Germer
Should we interpret these events as an exoneration of occult Orders from the charge of fascism? Certainly, Karl Germer’s stay in a concentration camp is gladly used as a figleaf in order to meet reproaches of fascist tendencies in the O.T.O.
[Facsimile in "Materialien zum O.T.O.", München 1994, 45.]
13. Februar 1935: "Sie haben durch die ständige Verbindung mit dem im Ausland lebenden Hochgradfreimaurer Crowley dessen staatsfeindlichen Umtriebe unterstützt und durch die Verbreitung seiner Lehre versucht, in Deutschland Anhänger für ihn zu werben."
"You have supported the subversive activities of freemason Crowley, now living abroad, by consistently keeping in contact; and by spreading his teachings you have tried to recruit disciples for him in Germany."
Germer believed that his arrest was to be seen in connection with articles in "Judenkenner" [“The Connoissseur of Jews”]. [see below].
More about Germer’s self-portrayal.
However, the FBI documents on Germer report that he allegedly twaddled about the Master Race.
"Informant advised that subject has stated he is of the opinion that HITLER is right in believing Germans are the "Master Race". Subject's conversation is alleged to be violent Nazi propaganda."
*** that he has often heard of ALEISTER CROWLEY's being consulted by HITLER concerning his "Black Magic" and he has often heard GERMER state that he, GERMER, is a believer of HITLER's ideology to the extent that he, too, believes that the Germans are a "Master Race".
I have felt worried because his conversation is violent Nazi propaganda."
The fact that someone landed in a concentration camp does not necessarily free the person from a fascist world view. Many Ariosophs and rough anti-Semites were forbidden by the Nazis, such as Lanz of Liebenfels for example who affected Adolf Hitler with his writings. The Nazis considered the occult Orders too quixotic, too un-German. In 1933 Mathilde Ludendorff, a fervent defender of voelkisch Weltanschauung saw the O.T.O. as a breeding nest for "Irresein durch Occultlehren" (the odd German expression vaguely translates as "Psychoticness through Occult Teachings" in the sense of becoming psychotic doing occult practises. Which is b.t.w contrary to my own believe. See "Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz").
However, before we attach the labels “totalitarian” or “fascist” to Crowleyites we should outline the main features of the Thelemic worldview.
Many Thelemites consider themselves to be divine agents, acting from a “True Will” — while non-Thelemites are mere 'objects' — as indicated in Crowley's dictum, "the slaves shall serve." The “slaves who shall serve” are each and everyone who lives (according to the Thelemic worldview) in dependency: dependants/subordinates, addicts, weaklings — in other words: the enslaved ones. Similarly, Grosche spoke of "things, objects, material".
In occult terms the Thelemite is a dichotomist, seeing himself as a superior being or a 'chosen one', while everyone else is as nothing. This sort of Thelemite (certainly, there are exceptions to the rule) lives in a world ruled by good and evil; of course, as a superior being these Thelemites might reach a level that is above that (the “crossing of the Abyss”) — but nevertheless the world below the abyss is only black and white. Thelemites are trapped in such relationships; all are victims and culprits, masters and slaves, gods and sub-humans. And this is mirrored in their language when they describe their critics, ex-members, the (Christian) churches, the government, the administration or whomever they target.
This is contradictory to the self-portrayal of Thelema retailed to the public from which new members must be drawn.
Not only is the religious-philosophical ideology Thelema totalitarian, but also the emotional attitude, the value conceptions, the opinions about being chosen, the rôle identifications, the projected unfair fate of the Thelemites and the assumption of the justified predominance over non-Thelemites derived from all of these considerations. Viewed politically, this is expressed in all political orientations resulting from an anti-democratic perspective.
Together with Crowley, Theodor Reuss, the founder of the O.T.O., published pro-German propaganda during the First World War. That fact is documented sufficiently.
In order to see the context of these politically-interested so-called Salon-Satanists, I recommend: Wilfried Kugel: “Der Unverbesserliche" [The Irresponsible One]. A remarkable biography on Hanns Heinz Ewers. According to Kugel, Ewers contacted the O.T.O. already in 1906. Kugel's book lightens up the background on many interesting details, e.g. regarding George Sylvester Viereck.
Crowley was so inspired by Ewers that he hoped for a translation of his Gnostic Mass into German by Ewers. Like Crowley, Ewers published pro-German propaganda in the magazine “The International”; Reuss subsequently translated a text of Crowley in his O.T.O. — Magazine. And in 1917, the Gnostic Mass.
It's the same publisher that later distributed hate-pamphlets against the O.T.O. by Jean Paar.
[From: 'Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader', München 1997.]
Hanns Heinz Ewers
Ewers' occult novel “Vampir” is a treatise of blood lust, cutting open of chests and drinking blood. Such motifs are welcome themes for occultists. In addition, Ewers wrote film scripts for some of the most well-known films of Expressionism of the 20's, e.g. “Der Student von Prag" [A Student of Prague]. Ewers penned the novels “Alraune”, “Das Grauen”, "Die Besessenen" [The Possessed Ones], “Horst Wessel” (written on behalf of Hitler), "Nachtmahr", "Mein Begräbnis", "Vampir", "Zauberlehrling" and a plethora of illegible trash novels, works which fit well within the tradition of Crowley’s fiction and which anticipate Eugen Grosche's slippery occult novel "Exorial".
Hanns Heinz Ewers: "Horst Wessel. Ein deutsches Schicksal", Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Stuttgart und Berlin 1932.
The personal and political development of Ewers is interesting: In 1931 he joined the NSDAP, was black-balled by the Nazis in 1934 and subsequently supported and pursued Jewish friends. Shortly before his death in 1943 he made it possible for his half-Jewish wife to escape to Czechoslovakia.
The Third Reich
Aleister Crowley tried, during the Second World War to ingratiate himself with the British Secret Service as an expert in astrology and occultism, and to offer his help in cross-examining Rudolf Hess. A copy of his letter exists to this day. Crowley personally knew Ian Fleming of the “Naval Intelligence” (the writer of the James Bond novels). Fleming was however neither in the MI5 nor in the MI6, those responsible for the capture of Hess. The head of MI5 was Sir David Petrie, the head of MI6, Stewart Menzies.
Since Crowley knew Fleming personally, he tried through Fleming rather than by Petrie to meet Hess.
Rudolf Hess arrived in Scotland on May 10th, 1941, reported in the popular press by May 13th.
Aleister Crowley to Ian Fleming, May 14 [1941?]
Hess was arrested in Ham Common. After being questioned for three weeks by the authorities in the Tower of London, Hess was transferred and spent the remainder of the war in Wales and Gloucestershire. Ham Common is between Richmond and Kingston, in the southwest of London and southwest from Richmond Park. Here Crowley allegedly met Rudolf Hess. The source of the allegation is a contemporary guard; any other confirming sources so far are unknown.
On the background of the Hess-Crowley connection see also Marco Pasi and Richard B. Spence: "Secret Agent 666" (WA 2008)
Crowley marked page after page of Hermann Rauschning's “Hitler Speaks” [this book of 1939 was an Allied propaganda fraud but it fooled a lot of people, apparently Crowley included] with his own comments, “proving” to himself that Hitler had copied "Mein Kampf" from Crowley's own “Book of the Law,” Liber AL.
He almost certainly got the [Swastika] from us. I personally had suggested it to Ludendorff in '25 or '26 [...]
Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865-1937) briefly supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. At the time when Crowley allegedly contacted him, Ludendorff was representative of the NSFB (a coalition of the German Völkisch Freedom Party and members of the Nazi Party). Ludendorff concluded that the world's problems were the result of Christians, Jews, and Freemasons.
In his diaries, Crowley noted his dreams of Hitler. On February 4, 1938 he dreamed “about Hitler & cigars & Magick & my horse Sultan. I was running Germany for him”, because “Fascism must always fail because it creates the discontent which it is designed to suppress.” On 2.6.1939 Crowley dreamed again that “I had several long talks with Hitler. A very tall man. Forgot subject, but he was pleased & impressed: ordered all my books translated & made official in Germany". Diary entry of October 17, 1939: “Hitler reported dead from a surfeit of raspberries”. On January 24, 1940 Crowley dreamed of Hitler and “Phallic geometric pictures, Satanic parodies of diagrams” etc. On July 29, 1943 Crowley went to the cinema: “Saw show of cartoons lampooning Mein Kampf, with appropriate quotations. Taken in these selected doses, what a masterpiece! And how patent & profound a debt he owes AL!” After the war Crowley had other thoughts: “Himmler, the Schweinhund [sic] & worse who put Karl Germer in Concentration Camps — chiefly because he was my friend! — killed himself after capture.” (May 23, 1945).
"The Medusa's Head", John Symonds' novel about an alleged meeting between Hitler and Crowley, Thame, England, 1991. 350 numbered copies only.
In 1922, Crowley hoped that Israel had to be subjected completely to the Law of Thelema, because he, Crowley the Anti-Christ, nevertheless was the Messiah for which the Jews waited. How does this daydream fit into Crowley's alleged fascist Weltanschauung?
Crowley appears to have been a political opportunist, a hypocrite whose chief principle was self-interest. His main political statement can be picked out from his diary entry of May 29, 1923: "I'm certainly not an anarchist, for the family is the smallest and vilest unit of government: nor a Socialist, for the State is the largest and so the least human unit. I suppose then, that — with Ethyl as without — I want a Patriarchal-Feudal system run by initiated Kings."
In his publications one reads: "This is the central doctrine of Thelema in this matter. What are we to understand by it? That this imbecile and nauseating cult of weakness — democracy some call it — is utterly false and vile." [ Magick Without Tears, Chapter 46]
"The principle of popular election is a fatal folly; its results are visible in every so-called democracy. The elected man is always the mediocrity; he is the safe man, the sound man, the man who displeases the majority less than any other; and therefore never the genius, the man of progress and illumination." [O.T.O. An Intimation with Reference to the Constitution of the Order]
"Confessions of Aleister Crowley" chapter 87: "But so far as I understand it at all, it seems as if my work were to construct a model of a new civilization to replace that which we see before our eyes reeling towards catastrophe.... I will only say that my main idea had been to found a community on the principles of The Book of the Law, to form an archetype of a new society. The main ethical principle is that each human being has his own definite object in life. He has every right to fulfil this purpose, and none to do anything else. It is the business of thecommunity to help each of its members to achieve this aim; in consequence all rules should be made, and all questions of policy decided, by the application of this principle to the circumstances... [...] I have attained to understanding, I have made my magical model of society, and I await the moment when those who have chosen me to carry out their colossal conception summon me to stand forth before the world and execute their purpose. At this point, then, I leave my memoirs. My individual life is ended forever. It was always a mere means of bringing The Book of the Law to mankind."
"The ultimate aim is to have quite populous Abbeys, with every type of talent represented, so that there will be a body of capable and intelligent people to rule the herd, and save the useful elements in our past civilization from being swamped by it." [Crowley to Frieda Harris, 1941, quoted in Samuel Weiser Catalogue August 2007.]
Anti-Semitism and Religious Intolerance
Crowley's diaries are full of anti-Semitic and intolerant outbursts. It is pointless to list all of them here: there are too many. By way of example, we will quote a few: "stupid Jewish tart", "cheap frivolous Jew — very low class", "very Jewish & vampirish", "Send us a Hitler!"
His diaries display these outbursts: "He now cheats me just a little on each payment, like a Jew clipping coin."
"I told him he was like an old Jew clipping coin. Foul swine!" "The great psychological Mystery is how any one can believe in Xianity who has ever seen a Jew." "Bill & I bust up the whole cafe, over a Jew who would wear his hat. I disliked the shape." "Yorke rang up: must get #500 from Jews (Bar the Jews!)." "Simon – –a very lousy Jew." "Astrological note. People with Aries rising – –very aggressive – –get stolid & fat as Taurus comes up. Ex: Lady Owen. Also, generally, Jews." "Played very good chess v. Lommer & the spectacled Jew" "Saw delightful Jewess Ass enough to ask Aldo Philipson to lunch. An imbecile renegade Jew —'Catholic.' Really bestial. I stood him for 3 1/2 hours!!! and then he wanted to measure the carpets! Where was 'faith' then?" "trouble with Refujews." "All quiet, bar old Martha fining(?) the Refujewess." "Talk with wide –awake Jewesses & Karen." "Spasms after lunch: I called for help. Jews, hearing, rang up police to complain!!!" "Baddish night, with overhead Jews raising hell all the time" "a symbol to bring victory (Pentagram spoilt by Jew –Bolshie assn. in minds of idiots)" "my idea to seek it in Jews shops. Gamage, in particular. (Gamage a Jew?" "Note that the Refusal to count money is the complete upset of the base of old–Aeon ideas of Equity. It is the Nay saying to the spirit of the Jew, which has rotted the soul of mankind. No more let the heroic man, who has risked his life daily & lost a limb or two, starve on the doorsteps of the coward he had protected!" "Got off with Persian Jewess(?) whom I marked down some days ago. Message: 51. Kan. Found good room at Zetland House & took it. Later (of course) the hag sent round to cancel it! Jewess, very sly, came room hunting" "Diana Parker (a Rumanian Jewess) in tub(?) with grandchild of hag" "here is a very stupid Jewish tart" "Alice to tea. Ham likes her, has never seen a more obvious jewess" "Ham brought Liversidge who appears a cheap frivolous Jew – very low class Nail up Jew hogs." "Miserable letter from Frieda. By arrogance, and domineering, and bullying her supposed inferiors, she does not compensate for her cringing fear of the foul Jew she married" "'Laides in Retirement' at regal, pretentious vulgar house, reminding one of those ghastly 'province' joints in Berlin. The German jew in heaven!" "Lady Waldie –Griffith. Me half dead. All talk anti–Jewish." "Christ Child rang up, got Pam & me to Hatchett's & ne Berens (Late Behrens – how deep a disguise!) Bloody row about jews –B felt the pressure. Pam here – Louis dropped in – so I got neither properly! Went to join the Christ Child at Hatchett's. he had a horrible Jew racketeer with him" "Royal Colonel (a German Jewish wench!) salutes Guards" "'To hell with Huns & Jews!' you sing?/ Come, come now, think it over!/ All honour to our noble King,/ And General Eisenhower!" "Long letter from JWP 5 FH in form. TB came for her; very Jewish & vampirish. Has been lying to me: I wonder if her stole Eq III 2." "The swine 'Michael Juste' won't pay oh God! Send us a Hitler! The foul Jew in the hotel has almost destroyed it in 3 days" "David Curwen 136 Mary'B Rd low Jew pal of Mike." "Sat o Brains Trust with two quite intelligent jews, and a garrulous female who gibbered."
This raises the question of the context of the quotations. And what about the interpretation of these quotations? How many contexts of a quotation are needed in order to "understand" the quotation?
Crowley's books are full of anti-Semitic stereotypes. In the context of Thelema, however, only those are decisive which exist in connection with the interpretation of his Liber AL. Crowley forbade explicitly discussing Liber AL:
"Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence. All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself."
Therefore all Thelemites are forced to fall back on Crowley's own interpretations. Crowley’s new commentary on Liber AL describes the “heathen” (that is, the non-Thelemites) in these terms: "Christians and other troglodytes — but most especially the parasites of man, the Jews" [III;11]. In another place, Crowley interprets the bloody, war-mongering language of his Liber AL, Bible of the Thelemites, to be applied literally: “especially Jews and Protestant Christians” are like “vernim” which should be exterminated [III;18].
In the “secret” instruction to the VIII° of the O.T.O., Crowley perpetuates another well-known anti-Semitic stereotype: He describes Jews who slaughter the children of non-Jews for their Passover Meals, in order to consume or use the blood for talismanic or sacramental purposes. His language betrays no hint of irony, but conveys serious instruction: “Consider this”. From Crowley’s standpoint, however, someone who is annoyed by these accusations (and other, similar libels, which are contained in the VIII° instruction) and considers them as “monstrous and extravagant,” merely exhibits a “defect.” In other words, the fault can never be the prophet Crowley’s, but must always lie in the reader's own intuition and apprehension. Crowley's modern followers
share this opinion.
These accusations and interpretations are not the statements of a low-calibre Thelemite but proceed from the inventor, the founder of Thelema, the “prophet of the new Aeon.” Crowley in his diary entry 22nd October 1920: "I am the Beast [...] I am Thelema" and on 27th May 1917: "I myself AIWAZ have been considering all the time how to act as to Crowley's body and mind." On 14th June 1917: "I am getting quite to the point of habitual recognition of myself as AIWAZ."
There are some countries, in which racist statements are illegal and would result in jail time for those who would publish them anew.
There are modern followers of Crowley who do not share his idisyncratic antisemitic views. That there are more than a few members of the 'Caliphate' or of other O.T.O.-versions who are of Jewish origin.
In Wiliam Breeze’s censored version of the 'Caliphate' the passages displaying the above mentioned anti-semitic leanings are missing. "The Law is for All: The Authorized Popular Commentary on Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX The Book of the Law" Edited by Louis Wilkinson and Hymenaeus Beta. New Falcon Publications, Arizona 1996. But the O.T.O. seems to be contaminated. You can fish a turd out of a water tank, but anyone who knows the turd was there won't drink from it.
Said 'Caliphate', the globally most widespread O.T.O. distributes self-portraits of their founder “suitable for worship”. [The Magical Link #2, Fairfax 1998, 10]
Can a uniform political direction be noticed in the O.T.O?
Of course, O.T.O.-members are more or less politically orientated. The O.T.O per se gives itself unpolitically, although its statutes look differently.
"Members of the Order are to regard those without its pale as possessing no rights of any kind, since they have not accepted the Law, and are therefore, as it were, troglodytes, survivals of a past civilisation, and to be treated accordingly. Kindness should be shown towards them, as towards any other animal, and every effort should be made to bring them into Freedom." (Liber CI, 28).
Current O.T.O.-politics states in 1999 that "OTO does not now encourage its members to treat those outside the Order as inferiors who possess no rights." http://lib.oto-usa.org/sabazius/essays/memo0101.html
But I heard that this is only the "official version" while behind the curtain there are members sticking close to Crowley's rule.
In an approach of excessive self over-estimation Crowley saw his religion as state-controlling:
“It is intended that the lay power of the state is brought into the law [of Thelema]” (Liber CI, 40).
The O.T.O. and Thelema alike seem to be anti-social and anti-democratic.
Similarly Guido Wolther already argued in connection with his sexmagick in the Fraternitas Saturni, in an odd wording: “The Penis of a non-member never insert into your vagina. Penis and seed of a layman go through the mouth [...] Do not have consideration for the laymen — throw him away like an old glove — if he has nothing more to give away "
Guido Wolther / Frater Daniel: Die Symbolik des 18° Gradus Pentalphae [20 Abbildungen von 1973]:
The same Guido Wolther, formerly Grandmaster of the Fraternitas Saturni in 1966: “My wife is by the way Jewess and of French origin and in her youth suffered terrible experiences — just imagine, what a shock it was for her, when one of the brothers of the lodge 'confessed' having killed as a SS-man many immates of a woman camp? As a high degree she was commited to listen to — and eventually to be silent and forget and then forgive. Oh God! I could not do that!”
Facsimile in "In Nomine Demiurgi Nosferati", München 1999, Seite 175:
In the writings of the O.T.O one always meets problematic paragraphs. One encounters here socially no longer acceptable Sex utopias, like Reuss' desire already quoted to have so-called doctor-priests teach even the youngest children the conception that the sex organs are something holy and the sex act is the bridge, which connects men with God. Reuss' O.T.O. — Children should learn the secrets of the sex act from doctor-priests, until they are married.
Read The Programme of Construction and the Guiding Principles of the Gnostic Neo-Christians O.T.O. published in 1920
Crowley added in his ”New Comment to Liber AL“ (quasi the word of the prophet): »Moreover, the Beast 666 [= Crowley] adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from infancy to witness every type of sexual act, as also the process of birth«.
"THE LAW IS FOR ALL.
An Extended Commentary on THE BOOK OF THE LAW
by Aleister Crowley"
Edited with an Introduction
By Israel Regardie
How is an adelescent child to know that problematic paragraphs in the holy work of the holy father are not to be taken literally? Especially in view of surely hardly understandable passages in Crowley's Charter of Human Rights: »Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights«, »The slaves shall serve.« Don't forget that Crowley forbade explicitly discussing Liber AL.
The 'Caliphate' departs not far from Reuss and Crowley in its defaults for child education. In the order magazin ”Magickal Link“I; 12, Berkeley December 1981, it was officially published that children and parents are on an equal footing, so that the children's true will is not suppressed. That contradicts other high degree members, when they mean, children could not not be initiated because they lack the experience of growing up, that is missing their entire childhood.
However, only the 'Caliphate' clasps itself at Crowley's word. Neither the Typhonian O.T.O., nor the Swiss O.T.O celebrate sexual masses. The Swiss O.T.O dissociated itself even vehemently from sexmagick and Crowley.
Martha Küntzel and Friedrich / Frederic Lekve
Martha Küntzel, who lived in Leipzig, translated three volumes of Crowley's writings and Liber AL in the 1920s. Küntzel saw in Adolf Hitler her magical son. Earlier, she had proclaimed Crowley the World Messiah. However, Küntzel’s fanatical devotion to Hitler was too much for Crowley. Eventually, she found a Thelemic follower in Friedrich / Frederic Lekve, who later became Mayor
of Hildesheim, Germany. Lekve wanted to use the swastika as the “Sign of German Thelema.”
[From: "Materialien Zum O.T.O.", München 1994, 102ff.]
Friedrich (Frederic) Lekve to Crowley, 28. April 1935. Facsimile in "Materialien zum O.T.O.", Munich 1994, 102ff.
"You suggest to use your coloured design of the Hakenkreuz as decoration for flags, porcelain, toys etc. and to make an arrangement with some firm which manufactures such articles to buy the rights. I am very sorry that I must inform you, that this way cannot be executed for the reason of the German law, which does not allow to use the Hakenkreuz being a sign of national highness in any form for decoration purposes.
But perhaps this design can become one day the sign of the German Thelema."
Lekve was responsible for the survival of Thelema in the German- speaking countries after WWII. He considered himself to be Crowley's personal representative.
Crowley seems to have rehabilitated Martha Küntzel. The preface to his Tarot book from 1944 was allegedly written by Martha Küntzel. However, this attribution is false: Crowley wrote it himself.
An excerpt from Francis King:
"Satan and Swastika. The Occult and the Nazi Party", Herts 1976, 142.
"It would be exciting indeed if Martha Kuntzel had been the originator of this excellent advice! Alas, however, the whole idea of Hitler being her 'magical child' would seem to have been exploded by the lady herself:
You are perfectly right [she wrote to Crowley shortly before the outbreak of the war of 1939-45] when you say I can't think politically. I never cared for politics except during the War [of 1914-18] and then since the time of Hitler's rising, though late enough, as it was when I began to see that Hindenburg was too old to give the help of the Reich the necessary turn. And then it began to dawn upon me how much of Hitler's thoughts were as if they had been taken from the Law of Thelema. I became his fervent admirer, and am so now, and will be to my end. I have ever so often owned to his firm conviction that the close identity of Hitler's ideas with what the Book teaches endowed me with the strength necessary for years ago . . . But Germer's letter amused me greatly. Isn't it a lark to hear him bring forth his 'theory' about Hitler's 'magic birth'!
Thus Crowley's supposed influence on Adolf Hitler, belief in which is still surprisingly widespread in certain occult circles, shrinks, it would seem, to nothing more than the fact that Martha Kuntzel was a Nazi!"
2003 Martha Künzel’s translation of Crowley’s “Liber Aleph” was published in Germany by the “Caliphate”. Previously Marcus Jungkurth’s earlier translation of 1986 (published by Michael D. Eschner) was in circuit.
Another friend of Reuss and Crowley was the adventurer Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, whose life this writer covered at length in an earlier work, "Ein Leben für die Rose" (“A Life for the Rose”). He was a convinced Hitler fanatic and anti-American. Krumm-Heller’s articles on these topics are now available on-line. Details: Dance the Adolf Hitler.
Krumm-Heller published his fascist blatherings in his own order’s magazines, proof of how he mixed his politics with religion.
In the midst of Berlin, allegedly the Nazi flag fluttered from the gable of the building which also was advertised as a temple for the Argenteum Astrum.
El Sumo Supremo Santuario de la Fraternitad Rosa-Cruz y de la Santa Iglesia Gnóstica de Berlin-Heiligensee
A photograph of his house; published by Krumm-Heller himself in his magazine "Rosa-Cruz", 27. November 1932, Berlin-Heiligensee 1932, 56.
In 1937, Krumm-Heller sent one of his sons to the NAPOLA or National Political School, which trained the future leaders of the Reich. He admired Mussolini and Kemal Atatürk and worked together with Ernst Issberner-Haldane on esoteric ideas of Plasmogeny and the origin of life. Issberner-Haldane published in the same publishing house like Eugen Grosche: Verlag der Freude, in Wolfenbüttel.
Nevertheless, Krumm-Heller'a library was confiscated in 1942 by the Nazis. Here he was in good company of other occultists: Heinrich Tränker who considered himself as head of many organizations, also of the O.T.O. after Reuss' death in 1923, and Julius Meyer of the Illuminaten-Orden of Theodor Reuss and Leopold Engel suffered the same fate.
Issberner-Haldane, member of Lanz von Liebenfels' Ordo Novi Templi (O.N.T.), was published after the Second World War in the same esoteric magazine which featured Hermann Joseph Metzger, chief of the Swiss O.T.O.: the Arve.
Peter Mano is Hermann Joseph Metzger. Other writers of the 'Arve': Manfred Kyber, Hans Sterneder, G.W. Surya, Herbert Fritsche (who considered himself to be the successor to Arnoldo Krumm-Heller's Gnostic
Church), Theodor Czepl (successor of Liebenfels and active in Walter Englert's Order of Illuminati in Frankfurt/Germany in
the 1960s) ...
In the 1910s Issberner-Haldane worked on various farms in Australia, and like Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, he soon moved to South America. In Rio de Janeiro he discovered girls with Aryan characteristics in brothels, which he considered to be clear evidence of a Jewish world conspiracy to corrupt the female youth of the superior race.
Although he was still toying with the idea of founding a racial utopia in Queensland or California, he went to Berlin and published his first work on palmistry there in 1921, entitled "Die Chiromantie" (Chiromancy), which was distributed as the "Official Organ of the Unification of the Chiromancers of Germany".
First volume of Arnoldo Krumm–Heller's bulletin "Der Rosenkreuzer", from 1921 on journal of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua.
After a meeting with Lanz von Liebenfels, in 1927 Issberner-Haldane joined the O.N.T. and then founded a national community, the "Svastika-Heim" on the island of Rügen, which later achieved the status of a religious house of the O.N.T.
1931 in "Ostara", bulletin of the O.N.T.
After the Second World War, he completely ignored his fascist past and continued to publish lively, but sensing envy and "devious enemies" everywhere.
Hermann Joseph Metzger
H.J. Metzger Outer Head of the Swiss O.T.O. lauded Lanz von Liebenfels enthusiastically, not only in his O.T.O. magazine, but even at the latter’s funeral.
E.O.L. Mitteilungsblatt No. 1, June 1954, Zürich 1954, page 6
"Ein Fest für das Feuer, ein Fest für das Wasser, ein Fest für das Leben, ein grösseres Fest für den Tod." Liber AL II.41.
"Ein leuchtendes Beispiel ungebeugten Bekennertums und höchster Tugend
Dr. Georg Lanz von Liebenfels
hat am 22. April 1954, um 3 Uhr morgens, in vollem Frieden die Gewänder gewechselt.
Alle die ihn kannten werden ihm ein ehrendes Andenken bewahren.
Seine sterbliche Hülle wurde im Familiengrab des Penzinger Friedhofes, Wien XIV., am 28. d.M. beigesetzt.
[AL II,41: "A feast for fire and a feast for water; a feast for life and a greater feast for death!"
Dr. Georg Lanz von Liebenfels
a shining example of steadfast profession of commitment and highest virtue, has peacefully changed his earthly garb.
All of those who knew him honour his memory.
His mortal shell was laid to rest in the family grave in the Penzinger cemetery, Vienna XIV, April 28.
On December 22 1950, H.J. Metzger had announced his interest in incorporating Liebenfels into his planned compilation of orders to Grosche: ”however one should try to win over the last Gr.M of the Templars, Hans [sic] von Liebenfels [...]
Grosche’s reaction on December 29 1950 was hesitant: "You will not have much luck with Liebenfels, he is too biased in his engagement with all things Aryan — I know all of his writings."
Who is Lanz von Liebenfels?
Lanz von Liebenfels had written a tome of material e.g. the “Theozoologie,” (1906) and the "Anthropozoon Biblicum" (1903-1904) in which he sketched the picture of a new human race, led by Ariosophical elites — mystically trained Patricians and leaders of a secret society which stands at the peak of all peoples and races. Liebenfels envisioned a fight between Good and Evil in which the Aryan Asen wages a ”Holy War” against sub-humans, the so-called Äfflinge [apelings] and other racially inferior creatures, in order to destroy them. The rescuer of the Asen is none other than Frauja, gothic for Christ.
[Lanz von Liebenfels: "Theozoologie", Wien 1906.]
Krumm-Heller and the “Caliphate”
Arnoldo Krumm-Heller’s novels „Hertha“ and „Alfredo“ are harangues against prostitution, fashion, masturbation and any other poisoning of the modern world. Matrimony alone saves the “natural woman”.
You will find excerpts of Krumm-Heller’s novels in "Ein Leben für die Rose".
In 2005, the Australian branch of the 'Caliphate' published under the O.T.O. logo a booklet of Krumm-Heller in an English translation, accompanied by a white-washed preface which conveniently omitted any mention of Krumm-Heller's political activities. The swastika was absent. Anti-Semitic expressions were censored. Pro-Hitler statements were expunged. His racist opinions disappeared down the memory hole. Details: Dance the Adolf Hitler.
Without mentioning Krumm-Heller’s name, I asked William Heidrick, a high degree member of the 'Caliphate's inner circle (whom I will refer to as “H”): what is H's opinion regarding the publication of the book of a racist by the O.T.O.? The first thing H wanted to know was whether the book was by Reuss or Crowley. It seemed that H was accustomed to such associations with these two. Granted, Reuss and Crowley were not as overtly zealous about racial notions as Krumm-Heller — that is, if one overlooks the fact that Reuss wanted marriage and reproduction to be regulated by the O.T.O. Reuss wrote:
"Every man, woman, boy and girl over 14 will be regularly examined by the medical delegates of the Supreme People's health board. Persons (male or female) who have not been found capable by the Supreme medical board of producing healthy children will not be allowed to marry. People who produce children despite this decree, will be punished by public forced labour."
Theodor Reuss Parsifal und das enthüllte Grals-Geheimnis
Parts of Reuss' O.T.O.-Utopia remind me of the ideas of Lanz von Liebenfels (see "Theozoloogie", pages 148ff .]
After I had revealed the name Krumm-Heller to this high degree member, who is a driving force in the 'Caliphate', “H” refused to deal with the matter.
The Nazis and Occultism
For quite some time much sensational literature has drawn attention to the intertwining of National Socialism and occultism. In a few cases, truly outstanding studies have been written which separate fact from fiction. For example, Ellic Howe cleared up the rumors about Hitler's alleged devotion to astrology. One might also read Manfred Ach/Clemens Pentrop, “Hitler's 'Religion'”. Certainly every interested reader should consult Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke’s "The Occult Roots of Nazism". Goodrick-Clarke’s work is the definitive study of Ariosophy. To summarize briefly, there is much legend surrounding the question of the influence of occultism on National Socialism. Heinrich Himmler's esoteric inclinations were probably far smaller than they have been painted by some. Rudolf Hess, the other alleged occultist among the Nazis, most probably only had a private interest in occultism and was without any influence in politics. A complete absence of evidence also undermines the conspiracy theory which holds that the Allies in the Nürnberg War Crime Trials consciously suppressed documents on the occult influence of the Nazi leaders.
Nicholas Goodrick–Clarke: "Die okkulten Wurzeln des Nationalsozialismus", Graz 1997
Stuart Russell / Jost W. Schneider: "Heinrich Himmlers Burg, Das Weltanschauliche Zentrum der SS, Bildchronik der SS-Schule Haus Wewelsburg 1934-1945", Essen 1989. Karl Hüser: "Wewelsburg 1933 bis 1945 SS Kult- und Terrorstätte, Eine Dokumentation", Paderborn 1982.
Kirsten John-Stucke, Daniela Siepe (Hg.): "Mythos Wewelsburg, Fakten und Legenden", Paderborn 2015.
The Nazis permeated politics and religion in their very own manner.
One fact is completely undeniable: Mathilde Ludendorff, the völkisch ideologist, clearly expressed her opposition to the O.T.O. in 1933.
Mathilde Ludendorff: "Induziertes Irresein durch Occultlehren", Nachdruck Pähl 1970.
Some current occultists evince a clear interest in the old Ariosophic literature.
To give one example: in the mid-1980s, Dieter Heikaus, Grandmaster of the Ordo Saturni advertised his order/lodge with a “special department for Ariosophy” in the "Spiritual Adressbuch" [Spiritual Addressbook].
[From: "Spirituelles Adressbuch 86/87", Ahlerstedt 1985.]
Heikaus revealed to me personally that he had been a guest in the house of Rudolf Mund, writer of “Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels und der Neue Templer Orden" [Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels and the new Templar Order]. Mund was the successor of Liebenfels' O.N.T. and also visited the Swiss O.T.O.
The Gnosis of Lanz von Liebenfels
Although it has evidently nothing in common with Thelema and O.T.O., a short digression into Liebenfels’ Gnose suggests itself.
According to Liebenfels, in earlier times, the gods lived on the earth. These gods were equipped with a third eye which possessed the power to convert matter. These gods were divided into two groups: white and black magicians. The white-magic gods bred a pure human race from which the Aryans developed, while the black-magic gods copulated with animals, from which the “sub-races” (i.e., races inferior to the Aryans) arose.
Some parts in Liebenfels' "Theozoologie" read like the script to an undiscovered sequel to the motion picture series, "Planet of Apes."
1934 the reading list for Liebenfels’ followers encompassed — besides a lot of others — the following authors well known within the occult context: Leopold Engel (co-founder of the Illuminaten Orden of Reuss), Franz Hartmann (alleged co-founder of the O.T.O., although facts tell a different story), Papus (= Gérard Encausse), the latter at least in direct connection with the O.T.O., furthermore E.T. Kurtzahn (a Gnostic in Theodor Reuss’ surroundings), H.P Blavatsky as well as Arnoldo Krumm-Heller’s favourite book: Pistis Sophia (from "Praktische Einführung in die arisch-christliche Mystik. VI. Teil: Praxis, Geschichte und Literatur der Mystik" [“Practical Introduction into Aryan-Christian Mysticism. VI. Practice, History and Literature of Mysticism”]). Interestingly all these names — except for Kurtzahn and Papus — are missing from the list of the "Ariosophischen Literaturverzeichnis" [“Ariosophic Literary Index”], published two years previously. Instead, Eliphas Levi and E.C.H. Peithmann (part of the O.T.O and Gnostic Church surroundings) are listed. [“Bibliomystikon, 4. Volume, 1. Part, Untertullnerbach 1932]. Liebenfels reviews Dion Fortunes’ novel "Liebe aus dem Jenseits" [The Demon Lover] in one of the issues of "Ostara" ("Lesebücherei der Blonden") ["Library for the Blondes"] (Nr. 12, Vienna 1929, 20). In other issues Franz Hartmann is recommended (13, 1918; 79, 1915; 86, 1916) as well as E.C.H. Peithmann (13/14, 1930), Karl Prandler-Pracht (a friend of Krumm-Heller’s; number 26, 1917; 45, 1911; 79, 1915; Prandler-Pracht's “Calendars for Occultists" (in 82, 1915) and Peryt Shou (an acquaintance of Crowley and Krumm-Heller; 77, 1914)
The fact that Liebenfels recommended a few O.T.O./thelemic protagonists does not indicate that his fellow feelings were reciprocated.
The enourmous listings of literature, quotes and footnotes in Liebenfels’ works seem to point out his familiarity with the occult literature of his time. He also campaigned against a libertine interpretation of the “classical” Gnose.
From 'Neue Metaphysische Rundschau', XVII, Heft 1, Berlin 1909, "Das Kabirengeheimnis":
It is hardly surprising that these occult ideas were even too much for the Nazis.
Allegedly a prohibition to write was issued against Liebenfels and in 1938 the "Lumen Club" associated with his O.N.T. was even banned. Issberner-Haldane was also banned. The antipathy seems to have been mutual: apparently Liebenfels, too, had spoken out against National Socialism. [Wilfried Daim: "Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab", 2. Edition Vienna 1985, 181]
All in all Liebenfels, his writings and his order remained without influence upon the times of the Nazis.
"Der Judenkenner" named several prominent occultists — Theodor Reuss, Aleister Crowley, Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, Rudolf Steiner, Ordo Templi Orientis — and denounced them in a Jew-baiting manner.
Der Judenkenner: Der Grossvater der Antroposophischen Gesellschaft
Facsimiles in "Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader", Munich 1997, p 340ff.
A quotation from Der O.T.O. Phaenomen RELOAD, Munich 2011, part I, page 52: "If the editor of Judenkenner was Ulrich Fleischauer (and this is by no means certain), he was in regular contact with Mgr Jouin of Révue Internationale des Sociétés Secrètes, and Hamilton Beamish of The Patriot in England. All these journals were preoccupied to some extent with this topic. Judenkenner published every week for almost two years during 1935-1936. Heydrich ordered the Security Service (SD), and the Secret Police (Gestapo) to seize documents from, and suppress, occult organisations on 20th July 1937, and the freemasonic lodges on 23rd April 1938. Whilst I am sure the SD and Gestapo did acquire juicy documents before these dates, I question whether they really acquired the most interesting information until after the suppression dates. For this reason, Ulrich Fleischauer's vast sources for Judenkenner remain a mystery, as does the nature of Heydrich's and Dr Francis Six's relationship with Fleischauer. Fleischauer later worked for Alfred Rosenberg, after Heydrich closed down Judenkenner in late 1936 (reason unknown)." [Paul Sturges]
Der Judenkenner: "Mysterien" des Aleister Crowley
[From: 'Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader'.]
Karl Germer on the harangues in "Der Judenkenner": "In the case of [Heinrich / Henry] Birven I know that he has a tremendous literature of the background of O.T.O. etc. and was in touch with the French leading circles. He was called to the Gestapo to testify or forquestioning, but I am sure not seriously molested. He [Birven] and [Heinrich] Tränker threw it all on me, the wicked Germer. B. may, to save his skin, have supplied the Gestapo with additional information, not usually found in literature."
So Germer believed to have found the scapegoats for his consignment to a concentration camp: Birven and Tränker. [see above].
Samples for “paranoia” literature of that time.
Gregor Schwarz–Bostunich, Jean Paar aka S. Ipares, Hermann Rehwaldt, Ernst Theodor Herbert von Bomsdorff–Bergen.
Literature about the Paranoia global conspiracy theories: Helmut Reinalter (ed.): "Verschwörungstheorien. Theorie — Geschichte — Wirkung", Innsbruck 2002.
Several facsimiles also in "Feldzug gegen Rudolf Steiner", Flensburger Hefte 63, Flensburg 1998, Peter-R. Koenig: "Gestatten, Undercover-Agent Peter-R. König", 109-168.
Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch: "Doktor Steiner - Ein Schwindler wie keiner", München 1930.
Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch: "Die Freimaurerei - Ihr Usprung, ihre Geheimnisse, ihre Wirkung".
From 1926 Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch was member of the "Ariosophical Society" and soon changed to the SS.
He travelled far and wide to give lectures on his conspiracy theories of freemasons and Jews for Nazi organisations in the Reich and in the occupied countries.
In 1942 he was appointed "Honorary Professor" of the SS. At Himmler's personal instigation, he was appointed SS-Standartenführer in 1944.
Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch also co-wrote with Lanz von Liebenfels, Issberner-Haldane and Guido von List.
Lanz von Liebenfels, "Bibliomystikon" Pforzheim 1930:
References to Bostunitsch, Liebenfels and Issberner-Haldane, once more to be found in Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke: "The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology", 1985. And in addition in: Wilfried Daim: "Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab", Wien 1957; Rudolf J. Mund: "Lanz v. Liebenfels und der Neue Templer Orden", Stuttgart 1976 and Ekkehard Hieronimus: "Lanz von Liebenfels: 'Lebensspuren'", in "Wege und Abwege" (Anniversary Publication for Ellic Howe, Hrsg. Götz von Olenhusen), Freiburg 1990
See also Rudolf von Sebottendorff: Der Talisman des Rosenkreuzers. Introduction by Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen.
S. Ipares (Jean Paar): "Geheime Weltmächte", München 1936.
S. Ipares soon became a follower of Ludendorff. He also published under the pseudonym of Jean Paar. Quotes from some of his works mentioned here in: Der O.T.O. Phänomen RELOAD, Munich 2011.
1935 Hermann Rehwaldt tried to influence his audience with an occult novel which clearly indicates the Fraturnitas Saturni.
Facsimile also in "In Nomine Demiurgi Saturni",
Also worth mentioning: the freemason Ernst Theodor Herbert von Bommsdorff-Bergen, who allegedly considered himself an incarnation of Baphomet. More in Der O.T.O. Phänomen RELOAD, Munich 2011, page 72.
In lodge circles it was said that he liked to approach young and inexperienced Brothers in order to pull money out of their pockets. Formerly in Libertas et Fraternitas (he was expelled on May 8th, 1923), Bomsdorff-Bergen turned to writing pamphlets against Freemasonry and the O.T.O. in an anti-Semitic tone, under the pseudonym of 'Christian [Schweizer]kreuz'. He still maintained contacts with the Rosicrucians in Ticino from his estate in Morcote, which he had dubbed 'Klingsor's Magic Garden', and probably died in 1925.
The way from paranoia to the downright bizarre was short.
Interestingly, there is ariosophic literature expressing itself benevolently as regards Fraternitas Saturni.
[From: "In Nomine Demiurgi Nosferati", München 1999, Seiten 27ff.]
Are there extreme ideas in O.T.O. related occult groups outside of the German-speaking countries?
Marcelo Ramos Motta, one of the belligerent competitors in the field of the O.T.O. behaved like an anti-semite and interpreted Crowley’s writings accordingly. There is no point in delving into this matter here. Interested readers may look up Motta’s "Magick Without Tears (Unexpurgated, Commented)", Nashville 1983.
From a manuscript dated 1957: "People who have not as yet accepted the Law of Thelema are in it regarded as pagans and phillistines, little more than animals and, in certain things, below the beasts. [...] The O.T.O. is an anarchy, and, as a result, its government is absolutely autarctic. [...] it is to be foreseen that breaches of discipline shall arise, that scandal and immorality may develop in the Lodges, not only financial but sexual scandal may breed at any moment, and more easily so in the Lover triad than in the man–of–earth–triad. Breaches of discipline of this kind are breaches of Order discipline, not of personal discipline, and must be dealt with the utmost severity! Brothers who, in the interest of their egos or wishes harm the Organism of the Order must be not only demoted but, in case it is estimated they represent too much danger of disease, must be discarded by the Organism. When definitively discarded, if it is estimated that they possess too much knowledge, they must be ruthlessly exterminated. An appropriate magical link must be formed and a hostile current of will directed for their prompt destruction." Marcelo Ramos Motta: "The Development of a Secret Society in America in the Years 1957–2000 e.V.", 10.1.1957.
In the political associations or alignments of the many Italian O.T.O. – variations, Hitler and Stalin are equally admired. Most members are recruited from the Right . In Italy some occult associations lead to a group called Orion, comprising former adherents of Julius Evola who promote anti-imperialistic and anti-American notions, mixed however with philo-Russian attitudes (this holds true for members both on the Right and the Left). Similar associations can be found among the French occult groups as well as the South American lodges.
In France, the O.T.O. lodge master of the 'Caliphate,' Christian Bouchet, received an antedated Spanish Memphis-Misraim Charter in 1991 from the Spaniard Manuel Cabrera Lamparter. This charter traces back to Michael Bertiaux and allegedly was issued to empower its possessor “to fuck the Caliphate” in matters involving copyrights.
With this charter, Bouchet “logically” proclaimed himself head of the national French Grand Lodge of Arnoldo Krumm-Heller's O.T.O. The 'Caliphate' subsequently expelled Bouchet, who meanwhile moved politically to the Right.
As in Italy, when the O.T.O is mentioned in France, rarely is the 'Caliphate' meant, but usually rather the associations that Bouchet created. Bouchet publicly claims himself to be the “Xe de l'Ordre du temple d'Orient, évêque gnostique et hiérophante de l'Etoile d'argent”.
Meanwhile, offshoots of Bouchet's O.T.O who think that this O.T.O. is equal to the 'Caliphate' thrive today in Spain. In 1994, Bouchet made Jordi García Casas and Juan José Comas García V° of the Loge “of the Mystical Kindi” [sic] in Barcelona and signed the document with a Gnostic reference as “Marcion XI°”. The two see themselves now as 'Califas' of the O.T.O for Spain and sign as IX°, X° and XI°. Together with Bouchet their names can be found in neofascist circles in Spain around Ernesto Milá (Frende de la Juventud [FJ], Partido Español Nacional Socialista [PENS]). Comas leads his own neofascist
organization CEDADE. The same people are in contact with a Gabriél Rojas who runs an illegitimate Temple of Set and a Church of Satan, naturally without permission from the correct chiefs of either organization. Not surprisingly, these circles also contain an Ordo Illuminatorum and an Ordo Templi Orientialis [sic].
In 1991, Bouchet created the politically Right-oriented La Troisième Voie, from which he split off however in 1996 (?) to form the Right-wing, anti-American group Nouvelle Résistance. In 1999, Bouchet took part as a nationalist revolutionary (Comités d'Action Republicaines) in the splitting of Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National.
At the beginning of the 90's, Bouchet attained a doctorate as an historian on Aleister Crowley. His friend Rémi Boyer (allegedly an advisor at the French Ministry of Justice) then gathered different adherents of all ideological inclinations and created a Cercle d'Alexandrie.
This circle not only practised rituals but also pursued theoretical studies (i.e., the collecting of material). It is not completely evident whether this organization is identical to a so-called Group Thèbe, where the same names can be found ...
Likewise Boyers name is connected with a group Arc-En-Ciel. In the diverse memberships of these circles you not only find researchers like Serge Caillet (Memphis Misraim) or Robert Amadou (among other things Prêtre de l'Église Syrienne), who sometimes assemble with the Freemasons of Zurich, but also illustrious personalities, such as the Memphis-Misraim Grandmaster Gérard Kloppel, Jean Pierre Giudicelli de Cressac Bachelerie (Memphis Misraim in Nice and politically on the Right in the Front de Liberation National Corse) or Jean Pascal Ruggiu (Golden Dawn in Paris) ...
Martin Erler, former Grandmaster of A.M.O.R.C in Germany, whose “cooperation” in these circles was also solicited, came to the conclusion that these groups are only “sneaky constructions” in order to procure internal material.
In 1993, Bouchet, in the context of his contacts to the national Bolshevik front, appeared on a Russian TV program of Alexander Dugin. The interview was printed in Dugin’s yearbook “Mily Angel” and in “The Way to Apocalypse: Knocking on the Golden Gate” (1997) printed by Yury Vorobyevsky.Thus Bouchet ironically gave the initiation for the start of the 'Caliphate' in Russia, which took place in the spring of 2000.
The French Christian Bouchet (b. 1955). Bouchet (his profession on internal O.T.O. documents: "agent immobilier", also member of A.M.O.R.C.) introduced the Caliphate O.T.O. in France in the 1980s. Between 1989 and 1993 he was also member of the Groupe de Thèbes consisting of members of several occult and para–masonic circles and bodies (for example, Robert Amadou, Rémi Boyer, Gerard Kloppel, Georges Magne de Cressac, Jean–Marie d'Asembourg, Serge Caillet, Massimo Introvigne [Bouchet was a speaker at C.E.S.N.U.R. events], Paolo Fogagnolo, Jean–Pascal Ruggiu, Maria Schwarzweller, and others, all in all: circa 80 individuals). They used to meet at the French Grand Orient. The Groupe de Thèbes disbanded around 1993/1994, caused by a dispute between Bouchet and Jean–Pascal Ruggiu.
By then, Bouchet had been expelled from two masonic lodges probably due to his membership in Troisième Voie.
Members of the Caliphate soon believed that their O.T.O. mainly was a vehicle for Bouchet's political ambitions, as he once was leader of the Comités d'Action Republicaines, and member of Le Troisième Voie with antimasonic and antisemitic currents. After the break–up of the latter in 1991, Bouchet founded the Nouvelle Résistance, an anti–american group internationally linked to the Russian National–Bolshevik Front.
Caliphate O.T.O.–members felt abused as Bouchet attracted people interested in Crowley with the name of his "Camp Eliphas LEVI" (the other Caliphate branch was the "Oasis Sous Les Étoiles"). This was sort of a publication agency for his own translations of Crowley's writings (his doctoral thesis was on Aleister Crowley), which did not meet the consent of the other members: Bouchet, who had been a militant in the French far right since the 70's, propagated three separate magazines. For the general public, there was "Lutte du Peuple", a publication which many people qualified as proto–fascist; then there was "Vouloir" (run by Robert Steuckers in Belgium); however, O.T.O. initiates had access to "Thélèma".
"... les articles [...] d'un certain Konig, sous-homme plein de ressentiment qui consacre ses loisirs à baver de petites inepties et des contre-vérités aussi médiocres que lui-même sur Notre Père Aleister Crowley ..." ["Thélèma, Bulletin du Mouvement de Thélème en France (Ordo Templi Orientis et Astrum Argentinum)", VIII;26, Château Thébaud, 1991]
Bouchet had received a Memphis–Misraim Charter from Manuel Cabrera Lamparter of O.T.O.A. and Arnoldo Krumm–Heller's F.R.A. fame on June 24th 1991, which was apparently intended to "fuck the Caliphate" in copyright matters. Consequently Bouchet (Frater Marcion) now proclaimed the National French Grand Lodge to be of the Arnoldo Krumm–Hellerian O.T.O., disregarding the fact that his Charter from Lamparter was wholly inadequate for this purpose, as it conferred no O.T.O. titles.
So, Bouchet was not head, that is X°, of a Caliphate branch in France, but head of another O.T.O. version. As in Italy, when the O.T.O. is mentioned in France, rarely is the Caliphate meant, but usually rather the associations that Bouchet created. Bouchet publicly claims himself to be the "Xe de l'Ordre du temple d'Orient, évêque gnostique et hiérophante de l'Etoile d'argent" [X° of the O.T.O., Gnostic Bishop and Hierophant of the A.·. A.·.].
"It is absolutely necessary to expel him publicly from the O.T.O. […] BOUCHET's O.T.O. is of 'Krumm/Heller' filiation" reported Caliphate members to their superior William Breeze at the end of 1991: "the life of the French O.T.O. depends on this." A "frenzied rivalry" was feared in the american Caliphate HQ and Bouchet was expelled from the Caliphate–O.T.O. in 1992 without having passed beyond the First Degree.
Bouchet reacted disinterestedly, since he thought that the Caliphate "for over 10 years is in the hands of successive leaders more concerned to satisfy their egos (and also their purse [...]) than building an Order Thélèmite [...]. The meanness, the incoherence and inaction have led us [...] to sever all structural relationships with it."
Bouchet now considered himself the re–animator of all currents thelemic which had been excluded by the Caliphate.
In 1993, Bouchet, in the context of his contacts to the national Bolshevik Front, appeared on a Russian TV program of Alexander Dugin. The interview was printed in Dugin's yearbook "Mily Angel" and in "The Way to Apocalypse: Knocking on the Golden Gate" (1997) printed by Yury Vorobyevsky. Thus some people say that Bouchet ironically gave the initiation for the start of the Caliphate in Russia, which took place in the spring of 2000.
Surely, Bouchet did not actively and consciously contribute to the initiation of the Caliphate in Russia. He was in Russia at that time for political reasons, and it was only in one interview in obscure Russian right winged media where he was named as a leader of the French O.T.O. But maybe this proved enough to arise general interest for the O.T.O. among the few occultists in Russia.
In 1996, Bouchet was expelled from Nouvelle Résistance and most of the militants joined the National–European Communitarian Party.
Later, the French artist and Caliphate protagonist Philippe Pissier "came to Russia in September 2000 for my exhibition in Novossibirsk, Siberia. I met some OTO people in Moscow at the end of my trip, when I returned to France. I just said Bouchet was expelled." Recently, Pissier caused a scandal in the French press.
Neither the spurious Krumm–Heller–O.T.O., nor the Swiss O.T.O., nor Kenneth Grant's O.T.O. ever were able to put a foot on russian soil – still less Marcelo Ramos Motta's S.O.T.O. or Michael Paul Bertiaux's O.T.O.A., although Russian occultists seem to be very interested in Grant's Typhonian teachings
On 30 of May 2001, the French government issued "The Law to Reinforce the Prevention and Repression of Groups of a Sect-like Character" a.k.a. the “anti-cult law”. The law refers to 172 listed religions, among them the O.T.O.
As an example of another kind of political extremism in the periphery of the O.T.O. — groups I would like to present the Italian Paolo Fogagnolo.
In about 1977, Fogagnolo founded his own militaristic group: Lo Muscio Brigade (BLM). Fogagnolo hoped that his BLM would become connected to the Red Brigade (Brigado Rosso), but this never happened. In 1981, most of the members of the BLM were arrested. Fogagnolo fled to Turin, where he found a hideout in the anarchist environment, hiding among burglars. There Fogagnolo bragged about his terrorist exploits and the number of people he had killed. Fogagnolo wanted to become the leader of all of the terrorist organisations in Italy. Eventually he came in contact with relatives of the Red Brigade terrorists. Unsurprisingly, Fogagnolo was denounced and, in 1981, arrested. In an attempt to save his skin, Fogagnolo denounced his fellow combatants. Nevertheless he was sentenced to prison in Allessandria. In prison he attempted suicide and refused meals, also separating himself from all terrorist groups. After his release from prison, Fogagnolo tried to portray himself as a great hero, and proclaimed that in the prison he had "converted" to occultism. Consequently he competed with other Italian occult organizations and founded spin-offs of the O.T.O.A. and the F.R.A., became a Memphis-Misraim member and also a bishop of a Gnostic Church of Antiochia. For a while Fogagnolo even kept in contact with the above-mentioned Christian Bouchet, but as a left-wing extremist soon separated himself again. Today he leads a Fraternitas Rosa Croce Dorei ed Antica.
Fogagnolo made the headlines in the summer 2006, when it turned out that he was friendly for a while with Claude Covassi, who allegedly had spied on Muslims on behalf of the Swiss Intelligence Service.
There is a glaring hypocrisy inherent in Thelema which was noticeable to me. Thelemites aim to replace Christianity and the State itself with Thelema and a Thelemic system. Some Thelemites consider themselves surrounded by a destructive State, a “pig system”. Some Thelemites see themselves in a world full of aggressions, yet are driven by aggressions themselves, focused against everything, including themselves. Let us particularly examine the 'Caliphate' because this O.T.O. -variation is the most well-known. A high degree member from the inner circle who shall remain anonymous plays down the number of people with fascist ideas in the O.T.O and points out that they have excluded a few members, after their misanthropic attitude was noticeable: "OTO doesn't admit known serious racists, and Nazis are usually avowed racists. Once in the membership, it takes an actual offence to be kicked out — including slander or very open racist behavior. Some have slipped in, but they typically don't stay long after their behavior gets obvious. 5/100's of one percent losers of this type is not a bad statistic."
The Slaves Shall Serve
For practical purposes we should explicate only the statements of high degree members, since they possess a model character. The two books of the joint founder of the 'Caliphate', James Wasserman, which are advertised even on the official web page of the 'Caliphate', are particularly remarkable. Wasserman also wrote the text which is attached to Crowley's Tarot set. We will discuss however his two politically-oriented works: “The Templars and the Assassins” and “The Slaves Shall Serve”.
On the back of “The Templars…” from the year 2001 William Breeze (chief of the 'Caliphate') and Michael Aquino (once chief of the Temple of Set) express their recommendations; the work therefore receives a special meaning for all members. Wasserman undertakes therein a Tour de Force through the history of the old Knights Templars and constructs, like many O.T.O. — Thelemites, a historical continuity up to the O.T.O. The book brings the old Assassins, the Hashishim, into the drama. The Assassins of Hasan i Sabah were Muslim, politically-motivated killers who eliminated their political enemies selectively.
Following 9/11, such statements have now naturally become problematic. As a sequel, Wasserman penned his second book in which he reports on the current situation. In “The Slaves Shall Serve” of 2004 he calls for readers to reach for weapons: “Buy guns” and “You MUST join the national Rifle Association”.
Many Thelemites maintain a preference for many kinds of martial arts, including Ninjutsu, the Japanese art historically associated with assassination and occult practices. Such pursuits they gladly justify from Liber AL which constantly promotes fighting, war and all kinds of Armageddon scenarios.
Wasserman goes now much further and propagates a “militarism, patriotism”, “a strong military, decisive national self interest” and the “concept of the self-reliant citizen-soldier”. What are his motives?
Wasserman's cry for combat and his call for weapons goes hand in hand with the religious fundamentalism which at present cripples America — or propels the country, depending upon one’s point of view. Wasserman holds that America is the freest country in the world, currently threatened by dark powers and can be released only by Crowley's teachings . In view of real and chimerical threats, the Thelemic faith becomes again an unbroken, combative confession. Wasserman compares evil powers which attack or threaten America with the Thelemic version of Satan = Choronzon, who stands for everything that blocks the magician on his way to perfection. Choronzon can be therefore everything, a woman, an idea, the own Ego, whatever the Thelemite wants. For Crowley, Choronzon was even a completely manifest demon which could be ceremonially evoked. Wasserman proves quite clearly that many Thelemites seem to be religious fanatics who see themselves as do-gooders and a type of master race. And that leaves the question: what now is Evil for Wasserman?
He denounces the U.S. government as a police and monitoring state, the FBI as infiltrated by “psycho-fascists” and he is also afraid of the global rule of “Islamo-fascists” and the United Nations. He not only is anti-European but in his opposition to Communism even defends the Communist hunter Joseph McCarthy. Wasserman is for reinstating public school prayer, as if one can simply replace the word God by a Thelemic divinity (Ra Hoor Khuit, perhaps?). He refers continuously to the John Birch Society, a Right-wing organization opposed to a “global conspiracy", and appoints himself as a sort of Birch role model.
And contrary to all Thelemites and O.T.O.- members I know, Wasserman completely openly proclaims: Become active, write to politicians and newspapers, purchase and stash weapons.
But note: Wasserman sees a line of descent from the O.T.O back to Muslim assassins and warns at the same time of “Islamo- fascists”? Here he must be careful or he will shoot himself in the foot.. He must make a distinction between the selective killing of the Assassins and the random killing of Bin Laden. But this distinction may be lost on some, although selective murdering of specific enemies deemed to be threatening does not seem to worry Wasserman.
He appeals to the American Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, furthermore throwing in the “Charter of Human Rights” (a.k.a. Crowley's Liber OZ) , in which the right to free expression of one’s will is not only required, but likewise the authorization to kill those who refuse this right is “granted.”
Although Wasserman does not write it explicitly, the reader may gather the impression that he compares the 'Caliphate' with the Waco group, which he defends. You remember? A small farm of cultists, up to their neck in weapons, besieged by the FBI. Women and children almost all killed. Wasserman seems to use this tragedy to foment paranoia and imply that the 'Caliphate' might become a similar “noble victim” unless the members stash guns as high as the chimney.
To be fair, not all Thelemites support such positions. I actually met some high degree members who feel embarrassed by Wasserman and consider his books terrible. Nevertheless, his book defending Islamic assassination ("The Templars and the Assassins") is sold on the 'Caliphate’s U.S. Grand Lodge website through their online bookstore.
Source: Keith Taylor http://www.93gamesstudio.com
The Sun Behind the Sun
Contrary to Christianity and the other world religions Thelema has no ancient tradition of hermeneutics, exegesis or apologetics spanning thousands of years. There is also no attempt to construct any such tradition, because everything about Thelema finally always refers to the absolute authority of Aleister Crowley.
"Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence. All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself."
© P.-R. Koenig 2006/2011.
Lange deutsche Version: Die Sklaven sollen dienen.
Versiune romana: Reich-ul Templier.
Discussion about the Proto-Fascist Aspect of Thelema.
Anonymous 2021: Burning Down The House. 'Caliphate', Argenteum Astrum, James Wasserman, Donald Trump.
More about all this in: Andreas Huettl und Peter-R. Koenig: Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz.
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