The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon
A research project 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 Western concept of the Orient originated with the translation of the 'Thousand and One Nights' at the beginning of the 18th century. Everything that seemed oriental exuded a magical, sensual appeal — the idea of the South's unspoilt nature. Nearly all Orientalist works contained an erotic element that was often explicit and which sprang from the belief that in oriental lands mores were more relaxed than their European counterparts.
In this context, an Oriental Templar Order, the O.T.O., was cobbled together by Theodor Reuss in 1906 from symbols, rituals and labels of regular and irregular Freemasonry in Germany.
Neither the use of the letters nor of the full name is unique to any group. Since the founding of the O.T.O. 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.
English version: Synopsis of Degrees.
Traduction française: Synopsis des Degrés.
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.
[From: 'Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica']
Their instrumentum consecrationis is of no apostolic value. Nonetheless, Wandering Bishops are collectors of papers and diplomas in the hope that at least one of the consecrations they record has taken.
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.
Discussions on the Nature of the O.T.O. Phenomenon
The suitability of methods for thinking about occultism and esotericism is linked to results. So long as those insights stay discursive, innovative and useful, any method — however informal or offbeat — is not only appropriate but even required. Thus scientific analysis becomes a conversation between subject and researcher, and can only ever yield tentative results. Wayward ideas can and should be viewed from wayward perspectives.
Reading Paul–Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida will not hurt you.
The Technology of Sex
Clément de Saint–Marcq: The Eucharist, 1906.
The Correct Gnosticism: The ascetic roots of the O.T.O.
Conqueror of the Grail — Arnoldo Krumm–Heller.
The Secrets of the O.T.O.–groups.
Halo of Flies, a contribution to Richard Metzger's "Book of Lies".
Of a similar nature: Phantoms of the Paradise and
What Will I Give For An Encore?
Part One of Smoke Gets In Your Aiwass. All about Angels and Abramelin.
Part Two: More on The chajoth, the ‘living creations’ or “flying things”.
Ecstatic Creation of Culture.
Use of the Internet — A questionaire of April/March 1997.
Playgame of an O.T.O.–Fatamorgana — Statistics, Censorship, Name Dropping. 2011.
Gaps in the Script of Esotericism: Hypocrisy and Hypercrisis — Oscar Wilde: Ambition is the last resort of failure. 2012.
The McDonaldisation of Occulture.
The Creative Power. Golems and Homunculi.
Nosferatu's Baby — Too Hot To Handle.
Saturn–Gnosis — a portrait of the Fraternitas Saturni and its magical link to the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Saturn's Art of Living and Loving.
Das Milieu des Templer Reichs — Die Sklaven Sollen Dienen. Hanns Heinz Ewers — Lanz von Liebenfels — Karl Germer, Arnoldo Krumm–Heller — Martha Kuentzel — Friedrich Lekve — Hermann Joseph Metzger — Christian Bouchet — Paolo Fogagnolo — James Wasserman. Unbequeme Aspekte in der Geschichte des O.T.O. und Thelema.
Also: Proto–Fascist Elements in the O.T.O.
Articles on the History of the Ordo Templi Orientis
Carl Kellner, Theodor Reuss, Clément de Saint–Marq, E.C.H. Peithmann, Ernst Tristan Kurtzahn, P.B. Randolph, Rudolf Steiner not being a member of the O.T.O., Franz Hartmann (no member of the O.T.O.), Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer, Arnoldo Krumm–Heller, Herbert Fritsche, Michael P. Bertiaux, Hermann Joseph Metzger and his Ladies, Grady L. McMurtry, Friedrich Lekve, Friedrich Mellinger, William Wallace Webb, Eugen Grosche, Henri Birven, Joanny Bricaud, Leopold Engel, Franz Bardon, Charles Manson and the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O., 'Caliphate', Heinrich Traenker, Kenneth Grant, Marcelo Ramos Motta, William Breeze ...
Details about Carl Kellner: Never a member of any O.T.O.
Josef Dvorak: Carl Kellner [collected gossips and speculations about Kellner's life, Franz Hartmann, Hatha Yoga and Baphomet].
Short biography of Franz Hartmann.
Joanny Bricaud: Notes Historique sur le Rite Ancien et Primitiv de Memphis–Misraim.
[aus: 'Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader']
Theodor Reuss — a sort of biography.
A letter from Francis X King to John Symonds about Theodor Reuss.
Karl Germer about Theodor Reuss and succession.
Gerald Yorke about the real Outer Head of the Order (OHO).
Gerald Yorke to Swinburn Reuben Clymer.
Theodor Reuss' O.T.O. rituals © with an introduction.
Information about Aleister Crowley's O.T.O. rituals.
A.P. Eberhardt: Von den Winkellogen Deutschlands [O.T.O., Illuminati, Memphis–Misraim, etc.]
Consider the O.T.O. non existent.
Letter from Engelhard Pargaetzi to Hans–Rudolf Hilfiker, April 4, 1920: Quarrel in Theodor Reuss' Swiss O.T.O. lodge.
Declaration that the relations between the Grand Orient and Theodor Reuss were definitely past history.
1917 Vertrag / Contract Theodor Reuss — Laban de Laban
1917 Vertrag / Contract Theodor Reuss — Hans–Rudolf Hilfiker
["Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader"]
1917 Theodor Reuss — Laban de Laban
[Visit this Gallery]
[Robin P. Marchev: "Wahrheitssucher und Schwindler. Aus der Chronik der Loge Libertas et Fraternitas. 1916–1925." Oberengstringen 1990]
1919 Theodor Reuss — Hans–Rudolf Hilfiker, Engelhard Pargaetzi, Rolf Merlitschek, Martin Bergmaier
["Materialien Zum O.T.O."]
[From: "Feldzug gegen Rudolf Steiner", Flensburger Hefte 63 IV/98, Flensburg 1998]
Rudolf Steiner: Not a member of the O.T.O.
Online facsimile documents regarding Reuss and Steiner.
Two letters from Theodor Reuss concerning Franz Hartmann / Rudolf Steiner.
"Gestatten, Under–Cover Agent Peter–R. König" — Ein Interview für die 'Flensburger Hefte' zum Thema "Feldzug gegen Rudolf Steiner".
A.M.O.R.C.: Controverse Autour d'un Document — Harvey Spencer Lewis et l'O.T.O.
H. Spencer Lewis and Theodor Reuss.
Robert Vanloo: Is the A.M.O.R.C. an offspring of the O.T.O. or not ?
Dance the Adolf Hitler. Krumm–Heller and his Hitlerianismo. Aleister Crowley and his dreams about Hitler.
Of Booksellers And Other Grand Masters of the O.T.O.: Detailed biographies on Heinrich Traenker, Karl Germer, Henri Birven, Spencer Lewis, C.H. Petersen, Eduard Munninger — and their relation with the O.T.O. under Reuss, Crowley and Metzger — containing Henri Birven's "Obituary on Karl Germer" with details about Crowley in Berlin in 1930.
Eugen Grosche: Bericht über die "Geheim–Konferenz im Jahre 1926 in Thüringen" [Crowley's disastrous visit at the homes of Heinrich Tränker and Karl Germer].
Constitution of the Secret Lodge Fraternitas Saturni, 1928.
Closing of the "Pansophic Lodge", 1928.
Johannes Goeggelmann (Saturnius): Beispiel einer Skandalisierung. Die Geschichte der F.S. aus der Sicht des Boulevard ?
Sammlung von 23 Texten von Walter Jantschik.
Guido Wolther's sexmagical drawings.
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.
The Ordo Militiae Crucis Templi and Hermann Joseph Metzger.
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.
Paul Ruediger Audehm: Co–founder of the New Illuminati in Frankfurt.
H.J. Metzger vs W. Englert: Court Case.
Karl Brodbeck: Der Illuminatenorden.
Texts by Leopold Engel:
Texts by Hermann Medinger:
Kenneth Grant and the Plan 93 From Outer Space.
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?
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'.
Lignée malabare: René Vilatte, Jules Doinel, Theodor Reuss, E.C.H. Peithmann, Arnoldo Krumm–Heller, Herbert Fritsche, Hermann Joseph Metzger.
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.
Collections of Re–Collections:
Why and how they became member.
Or not at all.
The Maine Decision, the California decision, The New Court of Last Resort Contents, Austrian rulings on Copyrights, German rulings on Copyrights, the International Copyright Situation, X versus the 'Caliphate', Anthony Naylor, Phaenomen Verlag, Starfire Ltd, Peter–Robert Koenig ...
Selection of Comments – Joscelyn Godwin, Ellic Howe, Albrecht Goetz von Olenhusen, H.T. Hakl, Wolfram Frietsch, Thomas Lueckewerth, Otto Buchinger, John Patrick Deveney, Oscar/Oskar R. Schlag, Erik Davis, Richard Metzger, Jean-François Mayer, Michael D. Eschner, Bill Heidrick, William Breeze, Christian Bouchet, Kenneth Anger, Ben Fernee, Michael Staley, Michael Aquino, G.M. Kelly aka Martin, Jerry Cornelius, James Graeb, Richard T. Cole, George Elliott, Genesis P-Orridge, Gion Cavelty, Bradford Verter, Angela / Angie Bowie, Christopher Hyatt, Ingo Heinemann, Manfred Ach, Dominik Tischleder, Harald Szeemann, Phyllis Seckler, Helen Parsons Smith, Gerald Suster, Timothy d'Arch Smith, Mark Parry-Maddocks, Johannes Maikowski, Daniela Siepe, Colin Wilson and others.
["Thélèma, Bulletin du Mouvement de Thélème en France (Ordo Templi Orientis et Astrum Argentinum)", VIII;26, Château Thébaud, 1991]
MP3 / YouTube recordings:
Marcelo Ramos Motta speaks; Oscar Schlag speaks; the voices of W.W. Webb, Michael P. Bertiaux and Annemarie Aeschbach (the female successor of OHO H.J. Metzger in Switzerland); and a grandson of Carl Kellner who remembers his grandfather: with many 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.