Ordo Templi Orientis – Frater Hrumachis

Ordo Templi Orientis logo

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Join Greg and Dean in this episode, recorded on April 26, 2009, as they delve into the distant cousin of Freemasonry—the OTO. For the show, they’re joined by Frater Hrumachis who was the Former Public Information Officer for the U.S. Grand Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.

This was a particularly rough episode, for a variety of reasons. On its surface, the episode had more than a few audio issues (sorry for all the popping). This was also a hard subject to explore for the hosts. I’ll let you listen to see how that evolved in the show. And then this was one of those “lost” episodes that only resurfaced a decade after it was recorded.

We plan to discuss the Order’s history including its early Masonic roots in European Freemasonry as well as the Order’s  modern operations of philosophy and its path of esoterica and fraternity under the teachings of Thelema.

Most importantly, we want to explore what the Thelemic practice is, what it isn’t, and why its relevant to the OTO and how it applies to each of us.

This subject came to mind as I had the unique opportunity recently to attend a Gnostic Mass with LVX Lodge of the O.T.O. a short time back. The mass is presented as an open ceremony that is the public face to the orders otherwise private activities.

For those unfamiliar with the O.T.O., it is a separate philosophical system from Freemasonry whose origins are tied to some late 19th century founder, Karl Kellner, who had feet firmly planted in Freemasonry. In Kellner’s original formulation, the O.T.O. was to serve as a Masonic Academy of sorts that would enable all Freemasons to become familiar with all of the Masonic degrees.

In lieu of a broader exploration, essentially the Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of Oriental Templars) was an esoteric order founded on the idea of re-instilling the esoteric ideas of magik (self development, not hocus pocus) and mysticism into a system that at that time had essentially excised out most of its esoteric leanings. Essentially, it formed and took shape in the absence of these things in the preeminent system of the age, especially as Aleister Crowley took over after his introduction to it in 1910.

It seems to me that in its original context this system was it adopted as a similar practice of the craft and only later did it evolve into their present participatory rites.

I think we may be surprised how many similarities we share and the few differences between one another.  For those who have never before heard of the OTO, this program will be an excellent primer to open that door, and for those who have crossed paths with the order,  this will be an excellent rediscovery of a past member of the Masonic family and put to rest some of the misconceptions that may exist.

More on the Ordo Templi Orientis:

Posted in Featured, Masonic Central and tagged , , , , , .

A devoted student of the Western Mystery Traditions, Greg is a firm believer in the Masonic connections to the Hermetic traditions of antiquity, its evolution through the ages and into its present configuration as the antecedent to all contemporary esoteric and occult traditions. He is a self-called searcher for that which was lost, a Hermetic Hermit and a believer in “that which is above is so too below.” Read more about Greg Stewart.


  1. These OTO people are out of reach; madcaps, pseudofreemasons, etc. Here in Danmark their former leaders have gone further and started a new church, The neo luciferian church. With the help of the madcap M. Bertiaux.
    Why dont you people go study R. Steiner and his excellent works instead of wasting time and energy on Reusz, Crowley, and such silly wannabees…

  2. “Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Lsw”
    Yeah, that sounds real Masonic. It is not Masonic, nor is it even Gnostic. It tried to acheive greater influence and membership for itself by saying it had Masonic secrets at the pinnicle of membership in the order.
    Come on, the OTO belongs on a Masonic podcast as much as a long discussion of the Crafts influence on potato chips. I am ashamed that this podcast is giving it a forum, I will keep my mind open and listen, but this is most likely the last time I will.
    I am curious if the hosts will as how the OTO’s sodomy and coprophagia relate to the Hiramic legend

  3. Shiva it’s Bro. Theodore Ruess. If you are going to speak ill of someone at least know how to spell their name.

    Some of the very best Brethren I know are Thelemites. What a shame that they are the victims of such profane abuse.

  4. “These OTO people are out of reach; madcaps, pseudofreemasons, etc.”

    “I am curious if the hosts will as how the OTO’s sodomy and coprophagia relate to the Hiramic legend”

    I think freemasons should be the first to realise how ones enemies will spread lies and attempt to vilify. Giving them a chance to offer their own POV is a good thing, IMO. I am convinced (from the few Thelemites I know) that they are seekers of Light too, but we each have our own path.

  5. Here are my opinions:
    I do tend to feel a little uncomfortable with the OTO primarily due to Crowleys hand in it. I think that Crowley was clearly on his own journey of illumination, and had certain creeds and dogma which he impressed on to the OTO. I think this is a shame because I’m sure that before Crowley the OTO was probably quite secular and quite liberated from creeds and dogma.

    I also think that it is a shame that the EGC part of the OTO has lost it’s true Christian Gnostic style which was advocated by Doinel, Papus and the later leaders of the Universal Gnostic Church.

    However!! As with all paths of spirituality, I think that the OTO is a valid method of spirituality which is suited to certain types of people. Plus it does also teach some valid things which I think are universally true, such as the need for a united humanity… we are all humans, and we should stop bickering and just get on with living in peace and harmony. To this idea, I will always try my best to get on well with those people in the OTO, even if I disagree with some of the beliefs of the OTO.

    Ad Lucem!

  6. Cari Fratres et Sorores

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    While thank you for those lovely words, I do take it like good humor when others really know who and what they talk about, and call us out of reach. 😉
    Well there is a reason why the former leader of O.T.O. Denmark, is as you say. Former. . .

    Well sorry to hear you think this, however I know several Masons that actually do want to know more about O.T.O. so having a talk about the Order on a Mason podcast I don’t see as a problem. And as the Order was founded on and was based for Masons I would say that the history of it really do have some merit.

    Indeed Crowley did take his ideas and formulated a new way for the O.T.O. in regards to the M.M.M. but saying that he put on creeds and dogmas that wasn’t there and making it none secular, makes it sound like he made a sect out of it. Yes the EGC is now a part of the O.T.O. and The Book of the Law, have been taken into the order as a holy text.
    But remember that normal Dogmatic systems have a person or several that tells you what the holy texts means and how to understand them, the book of the law tells you that you are the one to comprehend it and not to preach to others what they should think it means.

    Love is the Law, love under will.


    ~ o ~
    o | o

  7. I’m also questioning why masonic central and this site have included the OTO? IMHO freemasoninformation.com has become more and more irregular. I’m beginning to think that this site has at it’s heart the destruction of our ancient and honorably fraternity, the leftist ideologies seems to flow freely on here at the expense and or destruction of true masonic traditions and values.

  8. Derrick, please keep in mind that FI is *not* a lodge, so it can not be “irregular” – unless the admins decide to have the fried Mexican platter.

    Masons that we now consider to be among our greatest and most enlightened brothers have written things that even now seem to border on the mystical. Yet I think few people would call Mackey, Pike, or Hall “irregular” now.

    Listeners were specifically told that OTO is *not* Freemasonry, and has no connection to Freemasonry, except for the very tentative connection that a large number of OTO members are also Freemasons.

    Personally, I found the speaker to be a bit flighty and disorganized in his thoughts and presentation of the material. I would have liked to have learned a bit more on the factual side, and would have welcomed a bit more depth in his explanations of various aspects. But that was a failing of the speaker, and nothing to do with political agendas or “leftist ideologies.” It makes me wonder if you and I were listening to the same show.

  9. Oh, and by the way, the expression is:
    “And if it harm none, then ‘do what thou wilt’ shall be the whole of the law.”

    Puts a distinctly libertarian spin on it, which not uncoincidentally, is rather in line with many of our Masonic ideals.

  10. I would like to say that I acommend Masonic Central for having someone from the OTO on the show to clarify some things about the organization. For an organization that is considered by many to be related to Masonry, there isn’t a whole lot of good information out there about the OTO.

    I learned a lot about the OTO that I never knew before, including the fact that I am completely uninterested in becoming a member of that organization. But isn’t that a good thing to learn?

  11. I assume FI will also put together a podcast on Morminism, seeing as it is another religion that seems to have a conncection with Freemasonry. (That is an acutal suggestion)

    I really appreciate the work that all those inovled put in, Lord knows I don’t have the time or patience, but what bothers me most about this particular episode is that it was by far the most advertised, at least to me. I recieved several e-mails and Facebook invites about it, which really made it appear that OTO was and is an essential part of Freemasonry.

  12. First, let me say that I’m a bit surprised to see what it takes to bring listeners (and comments) out of the woodwork.

    For the near 40 shows we’ve done, this is the first thats garnered so many comments and so much discussion, so we MUST be doing something right. But it does tell me that it takes something pretty profound to bring everyone out, even when they have strong negative opinions.

    So let me say, I appreciate everyone who ‘s listened and left a comemnt.

    Now, to some of the specific points.

    I would love to have someone on about Mormonism, and may try to bring somone in later in the year. My only concern is that it may be hard to find somone with a wide enough understanding of Mormonism and Freemasonry to see the same parallels that Freemasons do. But, perhaps that will be part of the fun.

    As to the issue of regularity, I appreciate all the comments in support of the show and the site. As indicated, I think you will find all of our pedigrees and credentials in order. From the stand point of the owner/operator much of what goes in to the site is based on what we find and what is of interest to us on or about Masonry. Perhaps some may think that it comes close to “irregularity” but that does not change the fact that it is not a topic still to be discussed. If no one else will raise the questions, then I can think of no better a place.

    And, as this is an open forum, I invite any reader to submit a counter point, so long it is well thought out and refrains from personal or ad hominem attacks. Opinions or op ed is welcome. Or, if you have a show idea, send them in.

    In the mean time, I’m glad were causing so much concern and conversation. What it tells me is that we are doing our job.


  13. Derrick,
    What a shame it is that you are so afraid to grow and learn. I am curious why someone like yourself would even want to be in a society based on enlightenment? Perhaps the Clampers would be a better fit for you?

    How do the OTO fit under Masonic regularity or irregularity? They are a seperate and distinct organization. Masonic definitions do not apply.

  14. Derrick,

    I assure you there is nothing sinister in the inclusion of OTO on Masonic Central or this site. We are tried brothers of the craft who take our own time and money to provide a centralized location for information pertaining to, or of interest to, Freemasons.

    We neither endorse nor promote any specific line of thought or reason (see the disclaimer on Masonic Central), but rather wish to give ALL Masons a place to go to acquire more knowledge.

    You are more than welcome to submit a guest article (the Sojourners section), or a review for consideration. We welcome all intelligent Masonic related material. This does not necessarily guarantee a spot on the site, but rather, as a real magazine operates, a place in the appropriate section per the Editors discretion.

  15. Cari Fratres et Sorores

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Well collect the questions and what you wanted a bit more factual knowledge about and send them in to FI, I’m sure they would like to put on more if they get more questions.
    Or just ask away here or send further questions to O.T.O.

    Just wanted to note a thing you said.
    “I assume FI will also put together a podcast on Morminism, seeing as it is another religion that seems to have a conncection with Freemasonry. (That is an acutal suggestion)”
    I just want to clarify this, as you imply that O.T.O. is a religion with a connection to Freemasonry. This is really far from the truth. O.T.O. Isn’t a religion, Thelema is.
    O.T.O. welcomes members from different religions, as long as you welcome the fundamental idea of “Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the Law”.
    However I would love to hear a program about Morminism, so hope Greg can find someone who can combine the two.

    And yeah it was advertised greatly, but I think that comes with the whole, Oh My God, someone from OTO on a masonic podcast, I need to tell everyone I know about this. And then from there it is even more advertised than any other podcast.

    It is good you found something that works for you, as well as for others, but what might not work for you, might work for others. What you find a foolish mix of things, others find as a Great way of looking at all aspects of life and finds therein the things that work for them.

    Love is the Law, love under will.


    ~ o ~
    o | o

  16. Hari Om out there!
    Nice to read all your words here, allthough I dont agree with several of you. I was a pupil of http://www.narayana.dk from 1976 until Swamiji died in India 1988. Two norwegian OTO people (and friends of mine) have visited Jimmy Page in Scotland a few years ago. They came back with lots of books. Sent me several. Crowley mix it all together: yoga, kabbala, tarot, religion, christianity, satanism, R+C, freemasonry etc. Rajneesh was a fool in that scale too. Sexuality has to be understood in the right spirit in order to make spiritual progress. Siddhis can be gained in several ways, but I dont like you people taking drugs, herbs, listening to egoistical teachers preaching, or reading foolish books. God bless you people, and may you OTO sadhakas grow spiritually.
    Om Shanti Om…

  17. It is disconcerting to find so many Masons expressing opinions that fly in the face of intellectual curiosity.

    Is our Craft to be dogmatic? Are we a religion with fixed theology that needs to be intolerantly held to? Would any fellow Freemasons portend to prescribe the proper method of interpreting our symbolism? I should hope not!

    Isn’t it about time that more of us Freemasons spent time studying the rich influence of our Fraternity? So many of us stumble in relative darkness when trying to provide insight into our rich symbolism. How about instead of critiquing phenomena based on prejudice, we evaluate it on its merits?

    I commend MC / FI for having someone from the OTO on the show and I hope they relentlessly continue their illuminating efforts.


  18. @Tom Accuosti:

    Oh, and by the way, the expression is:
    “And if it harm none, then ‘do what thou wilt’ shall be the whole of the law.”

    Tom, this just isn’t true.

    You are conflating two different aphorisms: the Law as known by Thelemites, which is taken from their Holy Book, The Book of the Law, Liber AL, and the Wiccan Rede, which isn’t a law, it’s advice.

    The Law of Thelema is, using the wording from Liber AL:
    “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (AL I:40) and
    “Love is the law, love under will” (AL I:57)

    The Wiccan Rede is
    “An it harm none do what ye will.”

    I’ll also suggest that the Wiccan Rede, which is not a commandment, is very specifically worded so as to NOT address action which cause harm – only actions which do not cause harm are addressed.

    For further reading on the Rede, I suggest http://www.paganlibrary.com/ethics/wiccan_ethics_rede.php


    This webpage isn’t a Lodge, doesn’t speak FOR a Lodge, nor FOR a Grand Lodge, nor does it presume to speak for Freemasonry in general.

    Has Grand Lodge-itis (inflammation of Grand Lodge due to infection or injury) so affected you that you must rush out to silence anyone who speaks, with and around Masons, of anything with which YOU disapprove?

    Once upon a time, Masnos were considered, by the Catholic Church, of being flawed and anti-Catholic because of Freemasonry’s encouragement of free thinking.

    What happened to you, Derrick, that you would now try to tell a Mason what they can and cannot host on THEIR webpage, which THEY pay for?

  19. Cari Fratres et Sorores

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Well said, and hopefully more of such shows will be there for more to hear.

    hehe wauw, maybe you should take your own advice and sit down and meditate before writing here 😉
    But please refrain from making personal attacks towards another person even if you do not agree with him or what he stands for.

    Ok a little history, and I mean very little:
    The O.T.O. Denmark got its charter from Theodor Reuss to Carl William Hansen (Ben Kadosh) in 1921, since Carl never got the rituals he just initiated to IX directly. Later on Grundal Sjallung member of the O.T.O. created Ritus Hauniensis and during his time as Rex Supremus for O.T.O. Denmark he used this to initiate people in the Three degrees of this system.

    The M.M.M. part of the O.T.O. rituals are a creation of Crowley yes, he wrote them after receiving the old O.T.O. manuscripts, seeing that he could redo how it was worked, and as he had long time thought of rewriting the masonic rituals which he thought flawed, in some ways missing symbols or correct names, and not because Lodge of England asked him to. They were rewritten over the years based upon the old O.T.O. rituals, as the official rituals of the O.T.O. isn’t Crowley’s, they were made by Dr. Karl Kellner and Dr. Franz Hartmann, both of them the founders of O.T.O.

    The idea of the old rituals containing the secrets of all freemasonry, the Gnostic Catholic Church, the martinists, the Sat Bhai, the Rosicrucians and so on, within the first 0-VII degree, was true then. The VIII-IX was then the real great mystery where in the alchemical knowledge of duality and the process of creation being given to the initiates, and it needed both men and women as both were equal in that process and therefore it was open for both men and women.
    All this was a part of the rituals before Crowley got his VII and then IX degress from Reuss, these were given to Crowley after Crowley had published his book of lies, which Reuss saw contained the secrets of the IX degree of the O.T.O.

    But you say Breeze mixed it all up, like how? he randomly picked up some degrees and put them together or what?
    And what does The Previous Danish Supremus Rex using Ritus Hauniensis have to do with this at all, or are you on a rant? 😉

    “People use pseudonyms and pen names hiding themselves.”
    hehe, well that is funny coming from well you, as you are using a pseudonym. The one whom you attack is actually open about who he is, and even gives people insight into his life as a mason.

    Love is the Law, love under will.


    ~ o ~
    o | o

  20. A short note:
    Will the true Mr. Thomas Munkholt please stand up!

    “Keep your big mouth shut! You silly swedish rite masons think you are “the knights templars of today”. All your silly psycho dramas. Your Adoniram (Hiram) legend; your fake stories about J. de Molay and all your silly knights templar psycho dramas. You and your masonic websites. DDFO and their present leaders are filled with shit and suspicion. They very cleverly placed a former MI5 agent in DDFL who succesfully infiltrated it all and thus made a lot of revolt. The press dont write about this anymore. Why? DDFO and DDFL (danish freemasons) wont tell anything. What is the matter with you people. I love the Craft, and I do accept certain higher degrees; but certainly not those from the swedish rite”
    Im no fan of this internet. When shit comes to honour, things go wrong. Big babies and childish people speak their silly mind. There is absolutely no control here. People use pseudonyms and pen names hiding themselves. I have got a right to complain; but people shouldnt have the right to publish nor to open webblogs or silly forums. Close the door Mr. Munkholt, and go away! Why dont you close down your masonic web?
    OTO mention Kellner, certain yogis, and even P.B. Randolph. So far soo good; but remember the Grand Lodge of England told Crowley to rewrite his rituals. They didnt like him. He stole some of the old R+C rituals from his teachers or God knows what. The OTO rituals are Crowleys invention, but Breeze have mixed it all up today. The old danish OTO used Ritus Hauniensis (taken from Droit Humain, Emulation, Stability, and two other french rituals) and certain higher degrees not to be mentioned here. Here at last:
    Sorry to have created anger in some of you! Calm down. Do some meditation. Sit down. Be still. Still the mind! Go back! Go back to where you came from! Find yourself! Be yourself! Dont be a silly brainwashed parrot robot. Wake up!
    Om Shanti 🙂

  21. I don’t understand all of this hostility and bad blood. I am puzzled at the actions of “enlightened” men.

  22. Well Raum it has become the nature of American Freemasonry to become a very controlled Craft with centralized power in Grand Lodges who tell us who are really the one and only true Masons and thus refusing Recognition to many other legitimate expressions of the Craft. In some cases they even refuse their members Masonic discourse with other Obediences. For a good example look at the Grand Lodge of West Virginia. Then notice Masonic research societies forming which exclude other thought and are a closed society.

    For about as good an explanation of this mentality as I have yet seen I refer you to The Euphrates on this site written by Terence Satchell. The two fine articles on “Two Schools of Masonic Thought” >>>> “Collectivism & Individualism” will define what the problem is here.

    Freemasonry is not the Institution itself just as Christianity is not the Church. Freemasonry is a philosophical thought and a way of life. As such it should be open to a free discussion without charges of irregularity or being of a clandestine nature. May I remind everyone that this Masonic Internet Site is not a Lodge or a Grand Lodge nor is it a tyled Communication. This is a non judgmental discussion and sharing of information which you are free to agree with or disagree with, to take it or leave it.

    I am appalled that Freemasons would seek to ban, bury and eliminate thought with which they disagree or which their Grand Lodge disapproves of. Free speech is a basic human right in a free country. The Liberty which a free society insures is a virtue for which American Freemasonry is supposed to stand for. It is the cornerstone upon which toleration and non- judgmentalism rests. If you think that you gave up your Civil Rights and Inalienable Rights to become a Mason, then you are not part of the solution, you are the problem.

  23. Hari Om !

    I have asked FI to remove my opinions/remarks written by me here. I didnt intend to create such an egoistical stir.
    Br. Thomas: Sit down! 🙂 No need to blow up freemasonry the way you do!
    So simple is that!
    Br. Ditlev:-) What you write about the old danish OTO can be found here on the web allready. We even have some excellent research books about OTO written by P.R. Koenig.
    It is a fact that when W. Breeze took over OTO, lots of the old people left by themselves or was thrown out. It had something to do with their gnostic church within the OTO. The same thing happened to scientology at about the same time. Others (or businessmen) took over, and some of the old ones went away not satisfied.
    I was born Bjarne MacGregor-Emmer in Løkken DK. Since 1977 Bhagavan Sri Swamiji (www.narayana.dk), famely and friends have been calling me Shiva Nataraja brahmachari. So simple is that!
    Stay well!
    BeeHive and have a nice summer!
    Love herefrom…

  24. My Brothers,

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Greetings and Peace,

    I am sorry to see that my interview on this podcast has raised so much contention among you. This was certainly not my intention. My intention was to inform and provide information and insight that might enlighten you to the aims and purposes of our august fraternity and how both of our fraternities can work collectively toward the freedom of the individual and the establishment of the Universal Brotherhood of all Humankind.

    My we reach beyond any differences we may perceive and find the Unity that brings us together in the bonds of fraternity.

    Be well.

    Love is the law, love under will.

    In L.V.X.,

    Frater Hrumachis

  25. 93 Brothers and Sisters!
    As both a Freemason and a Thelemite member of the OTO I appreciate this educational podcast!

    Thank you!

    Gno yourself and you will gno the Universe!

    May the LVX be with you!


  26. I did a google search and wanted to see if there was a connection with Prince Hall and OTO.

    I found out that OTO was started by Karl Kellner and not Alister Crowley. The OTO by Karl Kellner seems to be in line with freemasonry and civilization. The one by Alister seems to be in line with sexual drives and industry expansion to the entertainment.

    However, in relation to psychoanalyst, Alister Crowley is Freudian. Sex increases your will. Kellner is Jungian. Will will get you thinking of romance. Romance has it’s connections with dreams and civilization. As to sex as the object, has it’s connections with drive and primative cave instincts to protect things.

    I think Benjamin Banneker is connected to Kellner. Wilt Chamberlain and sports as a whole, entertainment and city advertisement of them is connected to Crowley.

  27. What a bunch of silly schooltired frickin fuckheads you are here on this website. Thomas Munkholt is a silly traitor to honest freemasonry. His wife if a highdegree member of Le Droit Humain. They use a childish version of the ancient anmd accepted scottish rite constructed by Grunddal Schallung and hisd freshs connections. DDFO and DDFL, and UGLE dont accept them .
    SO SIMPLE IS THAT! So you letter/correspondance frickin OTO folks go to hell! Stay back! Have you frickin satanists ever heard about Ayrshire or Rosslyn?
    I know what Im talking about; so close down this internetwebpages. You are a bunch of fuckheads who should have a serious beating all over. Salling Petersen and his perverted jewish wife will get their reward very soon. And so will all you correspondance pseudo freemasons too.
    You may sit down Thomas!, but you stink!
    I hope you understand my language. Crowley was worse.
    Fuck you OTO vanabees.

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