Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
There has been a great deal of discussion about the A.'.A.'. and
College/Temple of Thelema on this list of late. Unfortunately, much
misinformation has been floating around, and I'd like to try to address
a few points. It is not my intention to argue points of opinion or
perspective. For example, we've all seen 1,000 flame wars on the "real
A.'.A.'.", and so on. When I say "The A.'.A.'." I am speaking of the
curriculum established by Crowley and Jones, transmitted through
teacher-student relationships down to the present time. If this is not
what you believe the A.'.A.'. to be, that's fine--I'm using this term
as a means of discussion, not asserting its absolute truth in any
sense. I just want to present a few basic facts about these
organizations, as I have come to know them, to correct some
oft-repeated errors. I am responding specifically to a few things in a
recent post by "Bythor".
Fallacy #1: The C.O.T. and Jane Wolfe A.'.A.'. lineage "charge for
Within this lineage of A.'.A.'. , money is not and has never been
charged for initiation. The lineage honors the traditional Student
curriculum established by A.C. as one means of approach. It also
honors completion of Course One of the College of Thelema as an
alternate way of fulfilling the Student requirement. I think this is
where some confusion has arisen regarding money. The College assesses
a single modest fee for each Course (each course lasts for 1-2 years),
just as any College would, to cover its own expenses (mostly printing
and related supplies). The Temple of Thelema also charges very modest
fees, to cover its expenses (again, mostly printing, rental space,
etc.) just as any working Order tends to do. One does not join the
A.'.A.'. by joining the T.O.T. or C.O.T., but this *can* be an
effective way of preparing for one's admission as a Probationer, as an
alternative to the traditional Student curriculum. This alternate
method of approach to Probationer is the only such deviation from
A.C.'s curriculum in any Grade.
Fallacy #2: The Temple of Thelema is a "rip off" of the O.T.O.
As a member of both organizations, I find this myth to be a bit
humorous. These two Orders are completely different in ritual style,
aims, administration, and every other dimension of organization I can
think of. The underlying philosophy of Thelema is the primary area of
overlap. The T.O.T. is based on the basic pattern of the Golden Dawn
degrees, with Thelemic philosophy, modern psychology, and a century of
input from other Western mystery schools interwoven into its
curriculum. It is absolutely *not* the case, as "Bythor" asserts,
that the T.O.T./C.O.T. practices "OTO ritual". Again, anyone familiar
with both Orders would never confuse them.
There were a number of personal attacks in Bythor's post. Since these
relate mostly to the personalities, motivations and behaviors of
others, including living persons, I'm not going to go into it here. I
*would* like to say, for the record, that my participation in O.T.O.,
C.O.T., T.'.O.'.T.'. and A.'.A.'. has been a beautiful and fulfilling
experience. I have met many people through this work who have gone on
to be my dearest friends and colleagues. All of these groups have a
great deal to offer, in my opinion, for those who are seeking what they
teach, and find a spiritual home with them.
It is wise to approach *any* Order with caution and care, and I
appreciate the importance of critical thinking and discussion, as has
occurred on this list lately.
I invite further discussion on these matters if there is interest, or
if I have been unclear in my responses to the above issues.
Love is the law, love under will.
Provost, College of Thelema
Grand Imperator, Temple of Thelema