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Freemasons vs. Ordo Templari Orientis

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posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 12:26 AM
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Hey, all. Today I went down to the local freemasons' lodge so I could get some answers straight from the horse's mouth. It was pretty cool in there - they showed me around a little bit let me meet the head dude there - a 32rd Degree Mason in the Scottish Rite. It was pretty casual - people were in shorts, t-shirts, and jeans. The guy that greeted me at the door was a nice guy named Fred - the Worshipful Master for his blue lodge.

I let them know I was interested in joining, but I had my reservations after having learned about Crowley and his OTO. I asked if they followed any of the OTO practices, and he said "oh HEAVENS no! We don't do any of that stuff! They get into black magic and sex worship and stuff. That's NOW what we're about." He let me know that the Baphimet God of the OTO is not at all a part of Freemasonry. The official Freemasonry stance is that the OTO is a clandestine group and a breakaway from Freemasonry.

He also said anyone that is found to have joined the OTO gets the boot from Freemasonry. That came as QUITE a relief that the Freemasons are in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY sympathetic to the OTO.

Anyway, he showed me where they eat dinner once a week, and gave me some pamphlets. He said that all I have to do is ask to join, but before I can I have to hang out with them at their social occasions for a while so they can get to know me before admission. I encourage anyone who is interested in Freemasonry to just go down to the local lodge and get the pamphlets and talk with people there. I had a really good experience.

Even though the Freemasons want Masonry to be a part of the man's life and a part of his whole family's life (the social interaction part) I am not sure if I want to let my wife and kids know if I join. I don't want to be deceitful or lead a double-life, but I would like to have membership as a freemason be something that I keep quiet until a time of need. Or maybe I've misread things.

Any Freemasons out there, please set me straight if I've gotten anything wrong.




posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:00 AM
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My British perspective is a little different from your (presumed) American one, but your experience is not untypical. Freemasons are a nice bunch of people.

I didn't know membership of the OTO is banned though - that may be a peculiarity to your state.

As far as getting the family involved... you don't have to ram it down their throats but I would certainly discuss joining with your partner and secure her agreement. She's more important that freemasonry, after all.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:14 AM
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I see your wisdom in that. The Worshipful Master made it clear that Freemasonry does not want to get in the way of a man's personal path with God, his occupation, or his family. I am just having a hard time trying to bring up the topic with my wife. She has no clue whatsoever that I have been thinking about it.

There is a Shriner's Hospital in my state (yep, I'm in the US). Once in a while their charities make the news. I betcha that would be a good way to squeeze something in.

"Hey look - the Shriners. They're part of the Freemasons. Boy, they sure sound interesting. Good bunch of guys." I could see how it goes from there.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 07:29 AM
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Even though the Freemasons want Masonry to be a part of the man's life and a part of his whole family's life (the social interaction part) I am not sure if I want to let my wife and kids know if I join. I don't want to be deceitful or lead a double-life, but I would like to have membership as a freemason be something that I keep quiet until a time of need. Or maybe I've misread things.


After petitioning, the lodge will form an investigating committee. They will want to
sit down with both you and your spouse to meet you and see what kind of folks you are,
as well as answer any questions you might have. IMHO, any man that joins Masonry without the
full support of his wife is doomed to fail as a Mason. The investigating committee should
discourage you from joining if you do not have the support of your wife.

In short, be open, be honest, and talk with your wife before making any decisions. You'll find that she will be a large part of your Masonic life.

[Editted for spelling]

[edit on 3-8-2005 by AngelWitch]



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by trinitrotoluene
He let me know that the Baphimet God of the OTO is not at all a part of Freemasonry. The official Freemasonry stance is that the OTO is a clandestine group and a breakaway from Freemasonry.
He also said anyone that is found to have joined the OTO gets the boot from Freemasonry. That came as QUITE a relief that the Freemasons are in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY sympathetic to the OTO.


At present, there is nothing forbidding O.T.O. members from becoming Masons, just as long as they meet the other qualifications. Actually, this is one of the reasons that Crowley revised the O.T.O. rituals, viz., so that membership in O.T.O. would not conflict with membership in Masonry or other fraternities. Nevertheless, O.T.O. is an extremely small organization, and there are probably only a handful of Masons who also belong to O.T.O.

I would, however, like to add the "Baphomet" is not a god of O.T.O. "Baphomet" is actually just another of Crowley's personal titles.


Even though the Freemasons want Masonry to be a part of the man's life and a part of his whole family's life (the social interaction part) I am not sure if I want to let my wife and kids know if I join. I don't want to be deceitful or lead a double-life, but I would like to have membership as a freemason be something that I keep quiet until a time of need. Or maybe I've misread things.


I would recommend that you be straight-up with your wife about it. Indeed, after you petition, the Membership Committee will probably want to visit you at your home, and talk to you and your wife, giving both of you the opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns. Also, it will be hard to keep your membership a secret if, after you're made a Mason, you wear a Masonic ring, have Masonic decals on your car, and show up at the local parade in a fez and go-cart!



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by trinitrotoluene
Even though the Freemasons want Masonry to be a part of the man's life and a part of his whole family's life (the social interaction part) I am not sure if I want to let my wife and kids know if I join. I don't want to be deceitful or lead a double-life, but I would like to have membership as a freemason be something that I keep quiet until a time of need. Or maybe I've misread things.


That's really not a good idea for a number of reasons. First of all, you shouldn't be keeping secrets from your wife! Second of all, the people that interview you will likely want to meet your wife and make sure she is supportive of you joining, since there is a time commitment involved in Freemasonry.


Cug

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 10:45 AM
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What's with the vrs stuff?

BTW the fellow you talked to wasn't that versed in the O.T.O. but really that's not unusual. as far as being members of both, that's no problem. In fact we have someone on this board who is a member of the O.T.O. and is a Mason.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Cug
What's with the vrs stuff?

BTW the fellow you talked to wasn't that versed in the O.T.O. but really that's not unusual. as far as being members of both, that's no problem. In fact we have someone on this board who is a member of the O.T.O. and is a Mason.


I thought a portion of the OTO ritual denied the existence of God or the importance of that existence. You cannot do that and be a Mason, they are incompatible.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by No1tovote4


I thought a portion of the OTO ritual denied the existence of God or the importance of that existence. You cannot do that and be a Mason, they are incompatible.


O.T.O. does not deny the existence of God, it only denies the existence of the common concept of God. O.T.O., which was primarily founded upon oriental mysticism, is Qabalistic and Pantheistic in nature. Like the eastern philosophers, most Thelemites consider God to be the sum total of the forces of nature. I am neither a member of O.T.O. nor a Thelemite, but can respect much, and even agree with some, of their tenets.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

O.T.O. does not deny the existence of God, it only denies the existence of the common concept of God. O.T.O., which was primarily founded upon oriental mysticism, is Qabalistic and Pantheistic in nature. Like the eastern philosophers, most Thelemites consider God to be the sum total of the forces of nature. I am neither a member of O.T.O. nor a Thelemite, but can respect much, and even agree with some, of their tenets.



There was a portion of his original post in the "joining" thread he created that spoke of something members had to sign saying "There is no God but Man". This seems to be directly discounting the importance of the existence of the Architect, and is incompatible with current Western and Eastern religions. The Eastern religions believe that all things that live and are part of nature are all part of God, the Western ones believe that God brought all of these into existence.

Was this an incorrect assertion on his part? It seemed he was well researched on this subject before questioning the link between OTO and Freemasonry...

(removed my original quote to save room)

[edit on 3-8-2005 by No1tovote4]



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by trinitrotoluene
Hey, all. Today I went down to the local freemasons' lodge so I could get some answers straight from the horse's mouth. It was pretty cool in there - they showed me around a little bit let me meet the head dude there - a 32rd Degree Mason in the Scottish Rite.


A good half of the masons on this forum are in the Scottish Rite (which generally means they are a 32nd degree mason), and another half are also current or Past Master of their lodge.



I let them know I was interested in joining, but I had my reservations after having learned about Crowley and his OTO. I asked if they followed any of the OTO practices, and he said "oh HEAVENS no! We don't do any of that stuff! They get into black magic and sex worship and stuff. That's NOW what we're about." He let me know that the Baphimet God of the OTO is not at all a part of Freemasonry. The official Freemasonry stance is that the OTO is a clandestine group and a breakaway from Freemasonry.

He also said anyone that is found to have joined the OTO gets the boot from Freemasonry. That came as QUITE a relief that the Freemasons are in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY sympathetic to the OTO.


The information you received is VERY incorrect. OTO is neither an "offshoot" of Freemasonry, nor is it clandestine. Clandestine refers to a group of formerly regular masons, or lodge of masons, who have lost their recognition but continue to meet as masons.

As for the OTO, it was formed as a completely separate organization that simply used Freemasonry's structure and rituals. Many organizations have done that, but none are associated with Freemasonry.

And, also, NOBODY gets booted from Freemasonry because they are a member of the OTO. I am very good friends with a mason who first joined the OTO, and actually became a mason because of his experience in the OTO. There similarity in some rituals could cause a conflict of interest in a member of both orgs, but that is a personal situation more than anything else.



I am not sure if I want to let my wife and kids know if I join. I don't want to be deceitful or lead a double-life, but I would like to have membership as a freemason be something that I keep quiet until a time of need. Or maybe I've misread things.


Unfortunately you cannot join without letting your wife know, unless you lie to your lodge and tell them you are not married. A lodge would NEVER want to risk the possibility of causing problems in the mason's family life, and will usually not admit you if your wife is not OK with it.

[edit on 3-8-2005 by sebatwerk]



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by No1tovote4


There was a portion of his original post in the "joining" thread he created that spoke of something members had to sign saying "There is no God but Man". This seems to be directly discounting the importance of the existence of the Architect, and is incompatible with current Western and Eastern religions. The Eastern religions believe that all things that live and are part of nature are all part of God, the Western ones believe that God brought all of these into existence.


The document he was referring to is Liber Oz. The quote "There is no God but Man" is actually quite consistent with eastern philosophy, especially Taoism, Buddhism, and some branches of Hinduism. Mohandes Gandhi himself was quoted as confirming his belief that "the people in total are God", which seems to be very close to what Crowley was saying. In other words, it's not denying the existence of a Deity, but is instead identifying Deity with humanity.

In my opinion, this is a far cry from discounting God's importance. Instead, it places God in a very important position. From this viewpoint, God is not a distant, ethereal entity outside of any comprehension. Instead, God is the very Life and Intelligence of Man.


Cug

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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Masonic Light is doing a good job explaining things about the O.T.O.

But to expand a bit...

Some of the major misunderstandings people have with the O.T.O., Thelema, and Crowley are:

1) The O.T.O., Thelema, and Crowley are not the same things.

a) Thelema is a philosophy or religion (Something Thelemites can argue for days about) received (or created if you must) by Aliester Crowley.

b) The O.T.O. is a fraternal group that existed before Thelema was born, and before Crowley joined. Crowley changed the O.T.O. into a Thelemic group. Not all Thelemites are members of the O.T.O. and there are quite a few who "HATE" the O.T.O.


2) Many people look at the O.T.O. and Thelema with Judaeo Christian eyes and their view is obscured because of it.

a) We do not read our main Holy Book the "Book of the Law" the way a Christian reads the Bible, as the literal "word of God." The interpretation of the text is left up to the individual Thelemite to come to his/her own conclusions using Crowley's comments as a guide.

b) Quite a bit of comments in the Book of the Law are speaking directly to Crowley, not to others.

c) We do not look at the Prophet of Thelema (Crowley) the way Christians look at Jesus. We do not use Crowley's life/lifestyle as a guide to the way we should lead our lives. Each individual as a "True Will" or calling in life that they must discover and follow. This is unique to each individual.

d) Thelema is more related to eastern religions than the "Big 3." In fact Ceremonial Magick (something many Thelemite do) is often called Yoga for the Western mind.

3) The O.T.O. is a group with a Masonic past (Note: Not a ©®Freemasonry past, the history of Masonry in the late 1800's is full of various offshoot groups and schisms, and the O.T.O. is the result of that.) and a Thelemic present and future. Any similarities are a product of the past.

4) For the most part modern Thelemites are anti-dogma so much that now it seems the Dogma of Thelema is anti-Dogma. ;-) In a nutshell what this means is one Thelemite might look at a concept 180 degrees diffrent than any other Thelemite. So you can't say Thelemites believe in X 100% about anything other than some basic concepts.

5) Leading Thelemites is like herding cats. Currently the O.T.O. has enough problems getting the local body's to move up and stop meeting in someones living room. Controlling the world is laughable.

6) The O.T.O. is small. They have been holding steady at about 4000 members the last few years.

7) The Sex Magick stuff is like a carrot on a stick, most members never reach that high in the order (In 2002 there were 89 members higher than V) if your intrest lies in just that you would be better off studying Tantric Yoga.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 03:18 PM
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Very true, Cug. One thing that you said I'd like to respond to, for the sake of those interested but just don't know where to look:


Originally posted by Cug


7) The Sex Magick stuff is like a carrot on a stick, most members never reach that high in the order (In 2002 there were 89 members higher than V) if your intrest lies in just that you would be better off studying Tantric Yoga.


Crowley liberally poured hints as to what this almighty "secret" really was all about in practically every other page in every book he had ever written. Personally, I think he just wanted us all to guess at it, while having a laugh at our expense.

The inner meanings of sex magical formulae can indeed be found by studying Tantra, as Cug mentioned above. For those (like me) who are just too damn curious for their own good, and want to know the whole story of Crowley's sex-alchemical secrets, a good job has been done by Donald Michael Kraig in his book "Modern Sex Magick", available from most large bookstore chains.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
In my opinion, this is a far cry from discounting God's importance. Instead, it places God in a very important position. From this viewpoint, God is not a distant, ethereal entity outside of any comprehension. Instead, God is the very Life and Intelligence of Man.


But wouldn't this mean that the concept of a SUPREME BEING is, if anything, inapplicable to this point of view?


Cug

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 03:43 PM
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Ok that reminds me of some other things.


Crowley did not add the Sex Magick to the O.T.O. it was already there.

One of the sources of the Sex Magick stuff was the American Paschal Beverly Randolph. Who btw founded the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis one of the older Rosicrucian organizations in the States. (Who somehow never mention his involvement in Sex Magick)

You can't read Crowley in a vacuum, in other words you pretty much have to read everything he wrote to understand the meaning behind things. and you have to read many many books by others. (Take a Look at the A.'.A.'. reading list sometime it's huge)

Re Kraig's book. I didn't much care for that one. It had a bit too much of a "New Agey" feel for my tastes.


Originally posted by sebatwerk
But wouldn't this mean that the concept of a SUPREME BEING is, if anything, inapplicable to this point of view?


I understand what your thinking, you might want to read HierX's post in the big O.T.O. thread we had a while back when I asked him the same question.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
The document he was referring to is Liber Oz. The quote "There is no God but Man" is actually quite consistent with eastern philosophy, especially Taoism, Buddhism, and some branches of Hinduism. Mohandes Gandhi himself was quoted as confirming his belief that "the people in total are God", which seems to be very close to what Crowley was saying. In other words, it's not denying the existence of a Deity, but is instead identifying Deity with humanity.


So you will know where I sit before you know where I stand: I am a Buddhist.

It is somewhat consistent with Buddhist philosophy, but not exactly, it negates a whole portion. Each thing that is alive is part of God, not just Man. When Ghandi stated "The people in total are God" it is significant to note that he would be speaking of the animals and all other living entities in that. Each in the Hindu religion you can be depending on your level of progression.

While it may be close, it is very important in Buddhism to understand that all things alive are connected and that Man is not the ultimate form of life, all things are linked and we are all responsible for it.



In my opinion, this is a far cry from discounting God's importance. Instead, it places God in a very important position. From this viewpoint, God is not a distant, ethereal entity outside of any comprehension. Instead, God is the very Life and Intelligence of Man.


It specifically denies, especially in western religions, the Deity as a separate entity. Thus it specifically requests many who enter to deny a major portion of their religious beliefs. That document would be less uncomfortable for Eastern religions, to be clear, but it still does not encompass the belief in Deity expressed by those religions either, it also places directly Humanity on the same level as Deity, which would also be against many of the specific edicts and teachings of Western Philosophies. This is against Masonic tradition in that it asks one to change their beliefs to fit the Brotherhood and not creating a Brotherhood that fits all beliefs.

IMO These Fraternities would be mutually exclusive for the reasons listed above.

(edited to fix quote areas.)

[edit on 3-8-2005 by No1tovote4]


Cug

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by No1tovote4

It is somewhat consistent with Buddhist philosophy, but not exactly,


Well if it was consistent with Buddhist philosophy, then it would be Buddhist document not Thelemic.




It specifically denies, especially in western religions, the Deity as a separate entity.


Not exactly, I have a feeling that this is beyond my ability to explain clearly but here is my feeble attempt. A popular Thelemic writer said "It's all in your mind... You just don't know how big your mind is!" so God is in your mind, but that's not all of God. I'm sorry but that's the best explanation I can think up right now.


Thus it specifically requests many who enter to deny a major portion of their religious beliefs.


Not really, Remember this is a Thelemic document, the O.T.O. is a Thelemic Group (well membership to the first 3 degrees is open to all, but you really wont get anything out of it unless your a Thelemite) Signing this to a Thelemite is no diffrent that say a member of the Knights of Columbus signing something professing their Catholic faith. (Just an example, I don't know what the KoC do)



This is against Masonic tradition in that it asks one to change their beliefs to fit the Brotherhood and not creating a Brotherhood that fits all beliefs.


No change of faith if one was a Thelemite.



IMO These Fraternities would be mutually exclusive for the reasons listed above.


IMO these Fraternities are mutually exclusive on morals. The Masons teach something that is pretty close to Christian Morals... Thelemic Morals are something very diffrent. But that's all up to the individual do decide for himself.

[edit on 8/3/2005 by Cug]



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by sebatwerk


But wouldn't this mean that the concept of a SUPREME BEING is, if anything, inapplicable to this point of view?


I would say no. Crowley speaks from the viewpoint of a mystic, not an atheist (Crowley himself was a member of a Masonic Lodge in France that, although irregular, required the belief in a Supreme Being).

There is a mystical interpretation of the biblical quote about man being created in the image of God that says that God manifests Himself ultimately in Man. Likewise Dr. J.D. Buck, in his book "Mystic Masonry", makes a similar claim: "humanity in toto" is God. Whether or not Buck and Crowley were right or wrong in this assumption, the viewpoint expressed is consistent from the mystical perspective. In it, God is indeed the Supreme Being, because He is Supreme over His individual manifestations, i.e., us.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

Originally posted by sebatwerk


But wouldn't this mean that the concept of a SUPREME BEING is, if anything, inapplicable to this point of view?


There is a mystical interpretation of the biblical quote about man being created in the image of God that says that God manifests Himself ultimately in Man. Likewise Dr. J.D. Buck, in his book "Mystic Masonry", makes a similar claim: "humanity in toto" is God. Whether or not Buck and Crowley were right or wrong in this assumption, the viewpoint expressed is consistent from the mystical perspective. In it, God is indeed the Supreme Being, because He is Supreme over His individual manifestations, i.e., us.


I understand what you are saying, but I still question the possibility that such an abstract concept, as the one you put forth, can indeed be defined as a single being. I guess it really depends on what your interpretation of 'supreme being' actually is, and at that point we would just be getting way too technical to do this discussion any good. Thanks a lot for your input, ML.

[edit on 4-8-2005 by sebatwerk]



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