The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon
A research project done by Peter-Robert Koenig
A detailed historical field research on the psycho-sociology of a modern secret society called Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). All about modern day occultism and money; so-called Templars and falsification of history; Gnostics in the kitchen and bedrooms and their expanded consciousness; Illuminati and conspiracy; NeuRosicrucians; religious liberty and sexmagick; ossified folklore and ceremonial magic, their relation with Voodoo and Freemasonry; rituals, correspondences, books and articles.
This study is not an introduction to occult or esoteric topics, although it discusses the magical practices and rituals of the pertinent groups. It is mainly a documentation and sometimes discussion of the behaviour of the participant parties.
This study is a mirror of the many puzzle pieces of a phenomenon that is characterised through the inconsistency and subjectivity of its sources. Apart from legal criteria, every puzzle piece has been used. Folkloristic aspects are part of the psycho-sociology and of the history.
The letters O.T.O. (or OTO) stand for Ordo Templi Orientis. The O.T.O. is a pseudo-masonic organization. Neither the use of the letters nor of the full name is unique to any group. Since the founding of the O.T.O. in 1906 in Germany, many groups have appropriated the name, its abbreviations, and acronyms and imbued them with contents to their own taste and liking. There are several rival groups using the name Ordo Templi Orientis or O.T.O. Some of them derive from an “original” that is, a ‘first’, O.T.O. but not all. Not all but a few of them can lay some claim to stem from the “original” i.e. first O.T.O. (of 1906).
The structure of the O.T.O., like that of Freemasonry, is based on a staged series of initiations or degrees. The essence / secrets of the Ordo Templi Orientis-variations are in their higher degrees; strictly speaking only members of these degrees are considered to be members of the O.T.O. proper.
Aleister Crowley: "Of the [highest] Eleventh Degree [of the Ordo Templi Orientis], its powers, privileges, and qualifications, nothing whatever is said in any grade. It has no relation to the general plan of the Order, is inscrutable, and dwells in its own palaces." (Liber CXCIV, 1919) "I am inclined to believe that the XIth degree is better than the IXth degree", diary entry 26 August 1916.
While the O.T.O.’s initiatory system is a sort of Kafkaesque bureaucratic club game, it has a religious association under its obedience: The Gnostic Catholic Church. One of the O.T.O.groups intends "to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar-phallic religion." In addition to tax advantages, religion supplies a commodity that is always in demand: salvation. And it would seem that some O.T.O.-variations are simply making themselves bulletproof in the context of the law in some countries.
The technical term for the bishopric in the context of the O.T.O. Phenomenon is Wandering Bishop or Episcopi Vagantes. This status is not defined by any character qualities, not by theological education or theological position. These bishops are not elected by a canonical church, nor proposed as an ordain by a suffragan and not bound to a historical episcopal see or consecrated by an 'official' bishop according to the canonical procedure.
A 'real' bishop is not a successor of a sole apostle as only the synod/college of bishops in toto are heir to the college of the apostles. Therefore: no Wandering Bishop has a 'real' apostolic succession. There is no Holy Ghost in Wandering-Bishop-consecrations. The instrumentum consecrationis is of no apostolic value. Nonetheless, Wandering Bishops are collectors of papers and diplomas.
[From: 'Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica']
In all Ordo Templi Orientis versions, the line of succession is vitally important, as it is believed that the leader is the repository of the Order’s magical power, and also has a claim on various copyrights and royalties, especially of Aleister Crowley’s work.
This site is about the German Fraternitas Saturni, the Golden Dawn, Memphis Misraim (one of the "mother"-Orders of the Ordo Templi Orientis), the Gnostic Catholic Churches (of French origin), the German Order of the Illuminati, the Anthroposophy, the mostly Pan-American Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua, the QBLH, A.M.O.R.C., the Austrian AAORRAC, German Pansophia, the Choronzon Club (a sort of homosexual O.T.O. off-shoot), Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua as an example of gnostic inflation with uncountable outpours and affiliations: eg the 'Monastery of the 7 Rays' and 'La Couleuvre Noire'; a new American O.T.O. founded in 1977 (called 'Caliphate'), the Society O.T.O. (in Brazil and the US), the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis (these days called Typhonian Order), the Swiss O.T.O., also about the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O. and Charles Manson; Abramelin and Holy Guardian Angels: Aiwaz, LAM, Baphomet and its equivalent: the egregor GOTOS of the Fraternitas Saturni.
Discussions about spermo-gnosticism, the Elixir of Life and homeopathy, Aleister Crowley's religion called Thelema and the protofascistic and misogynist elements of occult culture; a presentation of never before published rituals (of the original Ordo Templi Orientis: a variation of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light) and texts lost in the archives until now.
Read about scurrilous legal opinions and fights and get puzzled by the Ethnological approach to all this.
Thelema in Appenzell ? (containing an interview with Hansruedi Giger and Ulla von Bernus).
The Psychosophical Publishing Company: Metzger's publishing firm and connection to Franz Bardon, Lanz Liebenfels, the Ordo Militiae Crucis Templi, Memphis Misraim, the Argenteum Astrum, and his thoughts on Thelema.
H.J. Metzger's Manifesto 1963 — With biographical notes on Karl Germer.
Karl Germer: Never the OHO of Crowley's O.T.O.
Karl Germer about himself.
Gnosis on Stage: Friedrich Mellinger. With H.J. Metzger's Manifesto of 1963.
Karl Germer's correspondence with Friedrich Mellinger about H.J. Metzger, Pinkus, Grosche and Traenker.
Gabriel Montenegro's correspondence with European Thelemites in the 1960s.
Henry Birven — addicted to Crowley?
Friedrich Lekve — Dreamland Thelem Chassidim — Martha Kuentzel. With links to texts.
C.H. Petersen — Abramelin in the Abbey of Thelema.
Carl William Hansen — Denmark.
H.J. Metzger vs W. Englert: Court Case.
Karl Brodbeck: Der Illuminatenorden.
Texts by Leopold Engel:
Texts by Hermann Medinger:
Behind the T.O.T.O.
History of a Fake. Aleister Crowley appointing Kenneth Grant as his 'successor as Outer Head of the Order of the Templi Orientis' in 1947?
Material on and from the Typhonian O.T.O.
Eugen Grosches Eindeutschung von Kenneth Grants O.T.O.-Manifest von 1955.
History of the 'Caliphate': Mysteria Mystica Maxima. A Song of the Whitewash.
About Jack Parsons in Nikolas and Zeena Schreck: Demons of the Flesh.
News about the 'Caliphate', a firm or club from 1977 and its version of the instrument of "apostolic succession".
All we want is a 'Caliph': 'Minutes of the Special Ninth Degree Caliphate Election' Held September 20/21, 1985.
Some Spicy Smacks in Russia.
"Ljuben je zakon" or "ljubav pod voljom"? — The O.T.O. in ex-'Yugoslavia'. An example of member activities.
Moosebump: the 'Caliphate' in Canada.
The O.T.O.–Foundation: A new F.S. begets a new O.T.O. — Censorship and Inquisition.
National Grandmasters and OHOs of the O.T.O.
Thelema and suppressed homosexuality.
Dedication from Marcelo Ramos Motta to Oscar Schlag.
+ Schlag's short letter to P.R. Koenig.
[From: 'Ein Leben Für Die Rose']
One O.T.O. in Brazil.
Marcelo A.C. Santos: A Verdadeira História do 'Califado' no Brasil.
Euclydes Lacerda de Almeida: Marcelo Ramos Motta — Um Enigma.
Texts by Marcelo Ramos Motta:
Claudia Canuto de Menezes: Conheci Marcelo Ramos Motta nos idos anos 70.
Patrick King — Herald of the 'Caliph' and early XI° of the 'Caliphate'.
Stranded Bishops — Gnostic Churches in the kitchen.
Siehe auch die deutsche Seite Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica.
Ernst Tristan Kurtzahn, Mitglied von Reuss' O.T.O.: Die Gnostiker und die Unsichtbare Kirche .
Aleister Crowley appointing W.B. Crow Patriarch of the thelemic Gnostic Catholic Church.
William Bernard Crow: OHO of the O.T.O., Grand Administrator General of Memphis and Mizraim and Patriarch of the Gnostic Catholic Church: The Ancient and Universal Rite of Cosmic Architecture.
Stephan Hoeller: Position Paper Concerning the Thelemite or Crowleyan Gnostic Churches. About the importance of magical succession without schisms; about valid and proper intention of consecrations, and that one Mass no Church doth make.
History of the O.T.O.A.: Inflation of Gnosis — Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua, Michael Bertiaux, Manuel Lamparter, La Couleuvre Noire, Monastery of the Seven Rays, Choronzon Club.
How William Breeze lost an Apostolic Succession.
My Own O.T.O.A.
Selling out O.T.O. groups in Italy.
Move your mouse over the thumbnails and click to activate the flash pictures
Collections of Re-Collections. Why and how they became member.
MP3 / YouTube recordings:
Marcelo Ramos Motta speaking; Oscar Schlag speaking; the voices of W.W. Webb, Michael P. Bertiaux and Annemarie Aeschbach (the female successor to the OHO H.J. Metzger in Switzerland); and a grandson of Carl Kellner remembering his grandfather: with a lot of documents.
Photographs and Documents:
More than 100 photographs and documents: Carl Kellner, Theodor Reuss, Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, Marcelo R. Motta, Oscar Schlag, charters, letters, manuscripts ...
New items posted to the O.T.O. Phenomenon website, updates and corrections [starting in March 2000].
Le Phénomène Ordo Templi Orientis. Exposé en français.
2008: Honesty is the best Policy: How the 'Caliphate' O.T.O. and William Breeze lost in a legal case.
Steele Savage: David Bowie — Outside, Aleister Crowley, And the Holy Grail.
Andreas Huettl und Peter-R. König: "Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz".
Texts by Marco Pasi:
Claas Hoffmann: Projektive synthetische Geometrie in Lady Frieda Harris Tarotgemälden und in Crowleys Buch des Gesetzes [ English version].
Zbigniew Lagosz: NA OBRZEZACH RELIGII I FILOZOFII CZESLAW CZYNSKI.
Argenteum Astrum: Charles Waldemar.
German-English books on-line
Das O.T.O.-Phänomen (the complete History of the O.T.O. groups).
Ein Leben Für Die Rose (the biography of Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, plus an analysis of Reuss', Crowley's and Krumm-Heller's sexmagick: a comparison with the Fraternitas Saturni).
ABRAMELIN & Co. (about Holy Guardian Angels and other UFOs). This book also is an analysis of Crowley's sexmagick, coprophagy and algolagnia and their relation to the concept of Thelema and the Argenteum Astrum (Silver Star) as personified in Crowley.
books about the O.T.O. Phenomenon:
D - 80807 München
Deutschland / Germany
Online ordering via email
Scattered On The Floor while
Browsing Through The Rituals
Le Phénomène Ordo Templi Orientis. Exposé en français.