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Another Open Letter to the Order
(November 11, 2006)
by Zack Anderson (Fr. Peripetia)

* * *

This is in some ways a follow-up to my Open Letter to the Order, which I wrote last spring.

Anno Legis IVxv Sol in 19° Scorpio, Luna in 17° Sagittarius Dies Lunæ
In the Valley of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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

I have been trying for some time now to write an article for Agape about the II° Man of Earth Delegate position, of which I am one of the current representatives. It's nerve-wracking, and harder than you may think - writing something that you know the whole OTO is going to read. So I missed the deadline for the next issue, and many people may not read what I end up writing until after my term of service ends. That's OK with me, as long as my words are read and taken to heart. For I say to each one of us all: What the fuck are we doing?

I joined the OTO because I thought it was the greatest, most mysterious, most Holy order I had ever heard of. I joined the OTO because everything that Crowley wrote resonated deeply in the depths of my soul, and put words to the song of freedom that my heart had been singing since my inception. I joined the OTO because I thought that it was a group of initiates who were Fighting for the Freedom of the Planet. I believed Regardie's words, that we are doing "the work of the redemption of the human race". I saw an entire world that was closed to me; cut off from my reality with a gossamer veil of silk, wrapping and twisting in the darkness. I remember my first "enlightenment", when I traveled to the very center of my being, and I saw the universe rotate about me in perfect harmony and ineffable beauty. I remember how it felt to possess this new Law, and to know that I was piecing together the puzzle of the universe, one mispronounced Hebrew letter at a time.

I joined the OTO, ultimately, because I recognized that the people there, at Leaping Laughter Lodge, shared some of that same spark of wonder with me. I remember my first Gnostic Mass, and how shocked I was at its beauty... and how I was scared that the Priestess could read my mind with strange magical powers! I remember how nervous I was before my Minerval, and how I debated jumping in my car and driving off... and I remember how hard I had to try to suppress the shit-eating grin on my face when they marched me in there.

I remember how proud my dad was at my Confirmation. How people I barely knew were willing to vouch for me and sponsor me into the Fucking O T O! I mean, I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have a Lodge ten minutes from my house! Here was some obscure turn-of-the-century occult religion that I had somehow ended up devoting my life to, and there's How Many people in my hometown like me???

That was then. Flash forward to now.

I went to NOTOCON and met many of you. I actually made a point of trying to talk to as many people as I could, letting them know that I was their Delegate, and I wanted to hear their thoughts and feelings about their OTO involvement. Most of what I heard was great, like super-enthusiastic and everything. People love the OTO. When I was at NOTOCON, I saw my Brothers and Sisters come together in a grand expression of Love under Will, uniting with Beauty and Strength to celebrate our successes in promulgating the Law of Thelema and doing our True Wills.

The things that people told me they were upset about were things like wanting more study materials and formal curriculum, mentorship, feelings of isolation, concern with money, keeping members active, and the one big thing: Livejournal.

LiveJournal is great, don't get me wrong. I write a lot of stuff on LJ, and keep up with my beloved brethren on LJ. I use LJ daily. Of all the internets, it's my favorite. It's a great tool to share knowledge, research, epiphanies, cat pictures, quizzes, recipes, menstrual frustration, monetary angst, etc... But what really shines out is the bullshit known as the OTO LJ Blogosphere.

Now, I'm not calling any particular LJ's, or their owners, bullshit. In fact, most of the blogs maintained by OTO members are pretty cool. Thelemites have interesting lives, and I like getting my horizons broadened by my friends page. What I'm calling bullshit is this whole thing that has been going on since I was literally a child, which is this "Pick a topic - choose sides - go fucking nuts" debate culture that we've fostered. We all see this, and a lot of us (including myself), join in this mutual degradation of fraternity. I may have been one of the more crude elements in this phenomenon, but I fear that many people fail to recognize the sarcasm inherent in most of my comments.

But I digress. This is rambling on, but I'll get to the point: We need to seriously change the way we act towards each other. I write this to no one, and to everyone. You can't shake someone's hand at NOTOCON and spit in their face online. We can't get into pointless arguments and take sides over stupid issues that aren't really issues. Remember all the bitching from a few people about the Strategic Goals? Well, we've got them now, and how many people are talking about how to implement them? Instead, people are spending their time quibbling over nonsense.

If Crowley were here today, what would he think? Would he be proud of us... a bunch of screaming children who can't even be civil towards each other? Would he enjoy the fact that his initiates are slandering each other daily? Would he be pleased to see how his words are constantly twisted to suit people's arguments? Should Crowley ever pull a Jesus, and miraculously resurrect himself today, we would do well to take cover, because he'd be fucking Pissed. Our Prophet didn't work his entire life to provide us with the keys to change the course of human evolution forever, only to leave his legacy to us to shit upon.

Well, I, for one, am done with it. I'm done playing the debate game. I know my Will, and I know what I think Thelema is. If you don't agree with me, Fine. More power to you. Just assure me of one thing: Are you as dedicated to the Law of Thelema as I am? Are you prepared to spend your entire life fighting for the freedom of all people to do their True Wills? Are you striving to make every act in your life an Act of Love... an Act of God? Are you a God on Earth, Lord of Creation, Smasher of Atoms and Cloner of Life? Have the lessons of the Book of the Law and the sacred Initiations we undergo changed you? Are you evolving? Are you becoming a better person? Or is Thelema just a way for you to put yourself up on a pedestal? Is it some Secret Knowledge that sets you apart from the Goyim, and makes you better than all those people who are more successful than you in life? Is Thelema just an ego-trip for you? A way to talk circles around the less well-read, and assert your superiority?

What is Thelema, and what is the OTO to you? Is Thelema your own personal delusion kit, whereby you can strut about, proclaiming the Law and impressing simple folk with your Super Secret Occult Knowledge? Is the OTO just a vehicle for your own megalomaniacal urges, long gone unfulfilled by virtue of unimportance and powerlessness? Is the OTO just a way for you to be the big fish in a small, small pond? We act like we're the saviors of humanity, and we can barely pay our rents.

If that is you, then I wish you well in your endeavors, and I pray you don't fall victim to your Folly, for you probably know no better. But if you say NO, if you are the type of person that truly seeks to evolve and become a better person, One with God... a Man or Woman who truly seeks their Will, and strives to help others do the same, if that is You, then Prove it.

Let's see a fundamental change in the way we treat each other. "As brothers fight ye!" doesn't mean "call each other sonsofbitches and cocksuckers". Can we not put down our poisoned daggers for one god damned minute and focus on the Work? We are supposed to be building a foundation for the next thousand or more years. In times far distant from now, Thelemites will be studying our lives and our words. If there IS Thelemites in the future, that is. Is our legacy to be one of bitterness and divisiveness? Is this to be known as the "dark ages" of Thelema? That's what I see sometimes.

But I see so much Great things coming out of the OTO. I see members who sacrifice time and money they don't have to keep this thing alive. I see that people KNOW that this is the most important thing there is. This is THELEMA we're talking about here! This is our Birthright as Children of the New Aeon! We're finally almost Free after thousands of years of oppression, and the forces of superstition and tyranny are consolidating their power, and getting ready for the Big Fight for the Planet Earth! It's happening right now, every day, and one only has to pick up the newspaper to see it. We have this incredible tool at our disposal... we have the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The only question is: How do we use them?

If these initiations are even worth the money that we pay for them, then we should be seeing a monumental shift in consciousness amongst our brethren. Are we? Or are we all stuck in our own little Ego, and fighting like dogs over a carcass? Is Thelema a living movement of Life, Light, Love and Liberty, or is it a rotting hunk of putrid flesh? I think that we all know the answer to that question.

I want More from the members of the OTO. I want people to remember what first drew them in, what first lit that spark of wonder. Do you remember how you felt the first time that you just KNEW that Thelema was the path you found yourself walking? Remember how free and liberated you felt when you took personal responsibility for your own life, and became the master of your universe? I look back at my own short career, and I sometimes miss that sense of wonder and mystery.

That wonder and mystery isn't gone, but it's changed. I now look forward not to the day when I become an Ipissimus and Super-God-Buddha-Krishna-Pan-Crowley, but to the day when ALL men and women simply Do their True Wills. I would gladly give up any personal attainment to see people find their one true place in the universe, and to live their lives with the endless joy of doing what truly makes them happy. I want people to truly Love all things, and Understand all things.

I swear to you all, my dear brothers and sisters, that I will never rest, that I will never swerve, that I will never give up trying to spread the Law of Thelema to every person I can. I swear with all my Love for you all that I will ALWAYS devote my entire being to making the world a better place for my children, a world where they can do that which makes them truly happy without interference. I swear, on everything I hold Sacred and Holy, that I will strive to make myself the most perfect human I can, and to Perform that Great Work of which we are tasked. The OTO has given me more than I could ever hope for; not only initiation, not only knowledge, but Family.

I truly Love each and every one of you. When I was at NOTOCON, I had a mystic experience of true Love under Will... a magickal Dionysian moment of sheer ecstasy. I walked around and hugged some of you who are undoubtedly reading this. I wept; for I knew that I had found a family that spanned the globe, each one of you Free, Independent, and Shining Gloriously. I forgot the stupid netfights and blogs and podcasts, and remembered exactly WHY the OTO drew me in. I met a bunch of people who were just as dedicated to Evolution as I am, and who will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me and FIGHT for our FREEDOM!

We are the God Damned Ordo Templi Orientis! We are supposed to be the best of the best. We are the bearers of the Banner of the Word of the Law! We are the ones who they shall look back at in a thousand years and revere as Saints... if we don't let it die. If we continue to destroy ourselves with petty infighting, then we shall forever cast Thelema into the pit of obscurity. Maybe the worst could happen, and some unscrupulous characters will attempt to hijack Thelema and use it to enslave people just like Christianity or Islam...

We must not allow that to happen. We each have to dig deep into ourselves, and find the Strength to cast ego aside and come together. We have to find the Strength to forgive old grudges, and to let bygones be bygones. We have to stop fighting about things that don't really matter, and let each one do his or her Will with Beauty. We have to stop trying to always prove that we are RIGHT, even at the cost of hurting a brother or sister! We have to set aside our own personal megalomaniacal urges to have Power over one another, and let the Initiations work for us...

Remember the initiations you have taken. Remember the lessons you were taught. If you are trying with every ounce of your being to keep those sacred oaths, and making yourself better with each passing day, then I am proud to call you Brother. If you are doing everything you can to show others a glimpse of the Light which you have beheld, and living every second in harmony with the universe, then I am proud to call you Sister. Please, PLEASE, my brethren! PLEASE help me, and others like me, to make the OTO what we all want it to be! It is up to us; HB and Sabazius can't just wave a magic wand and build us Temples to the Stars! We can't just wait around for a rich man from the West to put us on easy street!

I seriously am proposing, to each and every one of you, to look inside yourself and ask your Holy Guardian Angel what you should be doing with your life, and what you should be doing in the OTO. We have the potential to have a MILLION members before our lives are over. Do we squander the greatest resource on the planet? Or do we use it to build a Glorious, Holy, Strong, Beautiful Order that will outlast us, our children and our grandchildren? Do we say that One Day, there'll be Minervals happening on the Moon?

Or do we say that it's Just Not Worth It?

I don't know about you, but I plan on living every second of my life to see that this happens. We can do it... but we have to Love each other first... with Burning Hearts.

Join me in pledging to Stop the Bullshit, and Stop the Bickering. I love you all, and I want to be the best representation of the feelings of the Man of Earth Triad I can be. I want to represent a body of initiates who transcend their own petty egos and are truly the best Thelemites they can be. I want to represent a triad who feels a burning desire to spread this Glad Word of the Law amongst the land, and who will stop at Nothing to make Crowley's Dream, and all of our Dreams, a Reality.

Maybe I've been thinking about the Agape article all wrong. Instead of angsting over word choice so as not to make myself vulnerable to attack, I should've just written what I feel... and maybe that's my job right there. I don't know... I am supposed to represent how YOU feel about the Order. Do I?

Love is the law, love under Will.

Brother Zack Anderson II° O.T.O.
Man of Earth Delegate

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