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Tell Me Why I’m Still in the OTO: My Memoirs of Being in Ordo Templi Orientis Between 1993 and 1996 by J. Edward Cornelius

$65.00

All in all, I remembered that this was a time in the Order’s history when the leadership was working hard to project a squeaky-clean, Masonic image and to establish worldwide domination of Thelema (both OTO and A.’.A.’.). The bulk of the Order’s efforts were spent on creating a façade, little on the quality of the interactions, rituals, and relationships of its members. It was a time when, if you didn’t conform to Breeze’s views, you were expelled or pushed out of the Order. The greatest tragedy of this period is when I learned that Breeze and his cronies didn’t know the truth behind the Caliphate and why Aleister Crowley had created it and so they discarded the title from the OTO. Breeze was also ignorant of the fact that Grady Louis McMurtry had signed the original OTO Charter as a Magus 9=2. At this point I began examining Breeze and Scriven’s leadership under a microscope, and the image wasn’t good. In the end, myself and Marlene bought a house, and she closed Pangenetor Lodge due to a conflict over OTO policies. I also released Red Flame, A Thelemic Research Journal No.1-2 to rave reviews. The joyous moment in my life came with the birth of my son, Faustus. All this and far more, is graphically quoted from diaries, letters, lodge records and Fifth Degree Records.

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There is so much unknown history about the early years of Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) under Bill Breeze. Rather than leaving Thelemic history to be told by propagandists who obfuscate facts and mutate their stories so that they come out smelling like roses, I love to write as one of the few movers-and-shakers in OTO who kept good records! In many ways, I watched as Bill Breeze gutted Grady McMurtry’s OTO. He rapidly appointed Fifths to the newly formed Electoral College and he handed out Rose Croix charters regardless whether the recipients demonstrated that they understood the secrets of the degree. Notably, Breeze himself was only a Fourth Degree when he took over as Xth Degree; hence the problem. As a result, many of the newly appointed Bay-Area Fifths were unenlightened as to the true mystery of their grade. In a word, these mysteries were known as Agape—a true Love for all humanity and not just what Breeze demanded of them. Disgusted, I stepped down as head of the local Nebt Het Chapter of the Rose Croix (Fifth Degree) in the Bay Area. At the same time my then-wife, Marlene, a Fifth Degree, was given a Lodge Charter, and she formed Pangenetor Lodge. She attended the local Nebt Het Chapter. What she witnessed was a travesty. Her records clearly show the problem which I had suffered. I released “An Epistle on the Black Room Fifths,” which discusses in-depth the reason behind the Fifth Degree failure in the OTO. I also released “The Opposition: A Lengthy Philosophical Rant from an Eighth Degree.”

This was a period of chaos, when David Scriven simply assumed X° and then rapidly became a Hidden Master. This was also a period when Breeze and J. Daniel Gunther attempted to whitewash their A.’.A.’. history. In particular, I witnessed how Breeze blocked the distribution of Marcelo Motta’s book which published how Breeze was expelled from the A.’.A.’. and how Gunther quit the Order. It was a period when Breeze changed the OTO into a cult of personality, how he illegitimately claimed the titled of O.H.O. (Outer Head of the Order) at the March ‘96 Supreme Council Meeting in Texas, informing all OTO Lodges and bodies worldwide that they were now under his dominion. He then began pushing The Tunis Comment in an attempt to control and silence people, enabling him to push his A.’.A.’. over all others. The Restrictionist movement in Thelema was born and as such Breeze began claiming that everybody in the world who belonged to other lineages were frauds unless they acknowledge that there is only one valid A.’.A.’.—his.

All in all, I remembered that this was a time in the Order’s history when the leadership was working hard to project a squeaky-clean, Masonic image and to establish worldwide domination of Thelema (both OTO and A.’.A.’.). The bulk of the Order’s efforts were spent on creating a façade, little on the quality of the interactions, rituals, and relationships of its members. It was a time when, if you didn’t conform to Breeze’s views, you were expelled or pushed out of the Order. The greatest tragedy of this period is when I learned that Breeze and his cronies didn’t know the truth behind the Caliphate and why Aleister Crowley had created it and so they discarded the title from the OTO. Breeze was also ignorant of the fact that Grady Louis McMurtry had signed the original OTO Charter as a Magus 9=2. At this point I began examining Breeze and Scriven’s leadership under a microscope, and the image wasn’t good. In the end, myself and Marlene bought a house, and she closed Pangenetor Lodge due to a conflict over OTO policies. I also released Red Flame, A Thelemic Research Journal No.1-2 to rave reviews. The joyous moment in my life came with the birth of my son, Faustus. All this and far more, is graphically quoted from diaries, letters, lodge records and Fifth Degree Records.

This book is 6×9, red cover, no dust jacket, 392 pages. Every book is a signed copy. There are only 200 hardbacks available.

REVIEWS:
​JS from Iowa, USA says, “I haven’t laughed out loud reading a book in a long time.. This is very entertaining as well as a fantastic historical memoir of events that took place. So far I am loving this read!!!”

MW from England says, ““It is really great to have the true story all set out in black and white (in Jerry’s own unique style) and to have an antidote to the rubbish that is being churned out by the OTO in an attempt to justify themselves. I find it hard to understand why so many people seem to be taken in by the transparently obvious deception.

I am very much looking forward to A Line in the Sand [i.e. the next installment]. More juicy – great!

What appeals to me is that Jerry is not sensationalising things, he is stating the facts. It is the facts which are sensational. I really don’t think you could make them up! Those of us who are old enough to remember know a good deal of the story. One would have had to have been living on another planet with no internet not to have realised something was seriously amiss. However, it is great to hear it all straight from someone who experienced it firsthand.

I am sure there are an awful lot of people who are very grateful to Jerry. There is bound to be opposition from people wanting to protect their own interests, or who do not want to acknowledge that they have been duped! However, whilst I think it is a real shame the OTO has developed in this way, I tend to take the line ‘each to their own.’ What I strongly disapprove of is where people are being misled and deceived, and I reckon it might be that things are legal, but morally it is way off beam! The Present OTO only really bears the name, and it’s operation is a million miles away from Crowley’s vision of the organisation.

I find it very interesting that the hierarchy of the OTO have remained publicly very quiet. To me that speaks volumes. If a single iota of Jerry’s book was not factual they would almost certainly bring it to everybody’s attention, waving overpaid lawyers around, and baying loudly. Some attempt is made to try to ignore Jerry, or to try to discredit him, but again that says everything to me.

… I love the footnotes, which are almost a book in their own right. Certainly, a fabulous source of reference.”

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