This is a copy of the list found here, with some additional notes of interest, their differences, etc. etc.
This is always Work In Progress
If you find any errors, notify me and I will attempt to fix them as fast as I can; additional information on these groups is always welcome, also.
The branches. They all put a different spin on the system, and it gives an interesting perspective on how Thelemic thought evolved over the years.
All of them spring from Crowley.
As far as I am aware, these guys do not practice ceremonial magic to the usual, expected, extent as it was deemed “dangerous” by Seckler. Instead I hear they go with Jungian psychology.
In A.'.A.'., we train and test our initiates strictly in accordance with Liber 185 and other foundational documents. Ceremonial magick is an essential aspect of the training. Phyllis' comments about certain ceremonial practices have often been taken out of context. She was frustrated by all the beginning magicians who would jump into Enochian or Goetic work without the proper foundational training, and fry themselves in the process. So after several decades of watching this happen, she would speak very cautiously about these practices, encouraging “newbies” to focus on the basics first.
She was also aware that her natural tendency was toward mystical rather than ceremonial work, and she wrote extensively about Jungian psychology. These facts have also been taken out of context to suggest that she didn't teach or practice ceremonial magick.
–David Shoemaker (from Reddit)
Supposedly broke the grade system, claim of McMurtry being A∴A∴ is… weak, as far as I can tell, but they're a decent group, based on the material they publish.
No data as to how his branch functions beyond it being rather strict. The one time I contacted Bersson about the SOTO, he immediately went on a rant about how it's *my* true will to establish SOTO in the place I live. Personally, I think he went in the same direction as Motta; despotic, paranoid and insane1).
[Possible rumors of violence, as alleged by GM Kelly: http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/7069/bersson3.html While this must be taken with a grain of salt, it's compelling evidence of how sOTO and Bersson's A.'.A.'. lineage operates. -K]
Our Societas O.:T.:O.: sends the first Probationer degree to him, next to the first degree of the Ordo.: Astrum.: Argentum.: (Neophyte) and a degree introductory to the Golden internal Dawn of the O.: A.: A.: (Vestibule and Antechamber), after receiving the payment of the only quota of the degree: $45.00 USD.
Takes money for initiation into the A∴A∴ - not a legitimate A∴A∴ branch. One wonders why Bersson didn't explain to him that one is forbidden from taking money for A∴A∴ instruction and initiation:
There is however an absolute prohibition to accept money or other material reward, directly or indirectly, in respect of any service connected with the Order, for personal profit or advantage. The penalty is immediate expulsion, with no possibility of reinstatement on any terms soever.
–One Star In Sight
Edit: It seems Lashbrook is currently a Probationer under one Frater Azla within the Progradior lineage in Australia. Sadly, I am unable to find it anywhere online, which makes me rather suspicious. Still, he says that he will separate the A∴A∴ material from the SOTO when he hits Neophyte, which I suppose is fair enough, as “the Neophyte is still without the pale of our Order”.
A personality cult, as far as I can tell. Eales claims to be the “master” of everyone within his branch, and has absolutely no proof of attainment2). Additionally, they associate with Bersson, keeping alternating periods of Speech and Silence, which goes against A∴A∴ tradition.
The website has new, although rather weakly organized thoughts. As far as I can tell, they are one of the more reasonable branches, not making any claims of attainment.
Brazilian lineage through Frater Thor. At least as much serious scholarship as Cornelius' line. Has recently begun publishing Equinoxes in Portuguese. Criticized by the Caliphate and Gunther's lineage, despite being recognized as the Frater Superior by the majority of the Caliphate before Gunther's lineage was publicly declared.
This is the branch which allows the changes being made in the Book of the Law by the Caliphate O.T.O. See chapter 89 of Liber 333. No proof of attainment on the part of Gunther, despite his claim of representing the One True A∴A∴™.
There is suspiction that this is the same lineage, however this is not certain.
Old order by Kellner and Reuss, later taken over by Crowley, succeeded by Germer, who died without naming a successor. Succeeded by Society O.T.O. (through Marcelo Ramos Motta, later D. Bersson) and Caliphate O.T.O. (Grady Luis McMurtry → William Breeze). The Caliphate won the straight OTO name in a suit.
Largest Thelemic Group currently.
Claim of being the One True OTO™, they changed the Book of the Law (approved by Gunther), and a lot of other suspicious activity goes on with this one.
Led by Bersson. In contrast to the Caliphate, these cats actually have property. I have no information on what activities they conduct or what their political plans are.
Centered around Pittsburgh.
It seems to be led by Frater AzazIOelSet (Brandon Lashbrook), although claims descent through De Rojas… the whole thing is messy as hell.
They have some interesting OTO documents on their website.
Disbanded due to the difference between Crowley's vision and reality, as well as his reputation. The A∴A∴ lineage persists (through Frater Alion as I understand it).
Stems from the OTO by means of Kenneth Grant, who was subsequently expelled from the OTO by Karl Germer. Changed name to T.O. due to lawsuit threats from the Caliphate. Contact through Starfire publishing (I think?).
Current head is Michael Staley.
Something I recently heard of. Apparently it still functions, but I lack information.
Led by Ray Eales, hearsay suggests it uses a similar initiatory process as the OTO, save for a different mythos. No idea how reliable that information is.
[Ray formed HOOR at Motta's request after the court case. Motta originally set about forming the order but died in the midst. Ray is the Imperator. It was founded as a new outer Order of Thelema in 1992ev after things didn't work out very well in SOTO pretty much right after Motta's death in 1987 and thereafter. To put it in HOOR's own words from the 'Preliminary Thoughts' document: “Another organization [editor: This is SOTO] formerly filled this niche but owing to the great schisms of the late 1980's ev that order no longer serves Us and has, it seems, fallen”.]
(lat.: “Brotherhood of Saturn”) is a German magical order, founded on Easter 1928 by Eugen Grosche aka Gregor A. Gregorius and four others. It is one of the oldest continuously running magical groups in Germany. The lodge is, as Gregorius states, “concerned with the study of esotericism, mysticism, and magic in the cosmic sense”. Today its purpose is in working on the spiritual evolution of humanity by means of development and advancement of the individual being. This is to be attained by mental and ethical schooling of the personality and complete mastery of esotericism and occultism. The FS adopts a system of degrees, ending with the 33rd as highest degree to reach this goal. The lodge claims further no political or economical objectives. It propagates ideals of freedom, tolerance and fraternity.
Accepts the Law of Thelema.
[Gerald del Campo founded this order which tries to combine (idealistic) virtues of a knight with the thelemic/gnostic tradition with a strong emphasis on a code of conduct, charitable work.]
Info from them (reply to my inquiry):
The Thelemistas are not a “system” of Thelema as such. Rather, we strive to be a repository of Thelemic information and thought. We host a slowly-growing online library of Thelemic material, including some material original to our members. As a group, we are not affiliated with any other Thelemic organization.
However, it happens that the Thelemistas are all also members of Marlene Corenelius' clerk house of A*A*. You can think of that as a schism from Jerry Cornelius' A*A*, whose lineage is through Grady. (Yes, Grady's claim on any lineage is questionable at best, but Jerry's school – and through him, Marlene's – revises the A*A* grade system in any event, striving instead to organize itself as described in The Book of the Law: “for there are therein three grades”.)
The most active Thelemistas are principally Qabalists, but we also do serious ritual magick: all the rituals described by Crowley plus original workings of our own. We have no fear of consequence: “Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!”
[All allied organizations for the teaching of college level courses in Thelema as well as their own initiatory work. Headed by Jim Eshelman.]
David Shoemaker is the Chancellor.
Two excerpts from ICOT's FAQ page:
The International College of Thelema (formerly the College of Thelema of Northern California) is a non-profit religious and educational organization, based on the principles of Thelema. It was founded in service to the A∴A∴, under warrant from Soror Meral (Phyllis Seckler), to provide preparatory training in ceremonial magick, Raja Yoga, Qabalah, Tarot, Astrology, and much more.
The Temple of the Silver Star is the initiatory Order within the International College of Thelema (formerly the College of Thelema of Northern California.) We offer ceremonial initiation, healing work, and a complete system of training in the Thelemic “mystery traditions”, which encompass diverse wisdom teachings of the East and West. Our degree system is based on the Qabalistic Tree of Life and the cipher formulae of the Golden Dawn.
Website seems broken, which is why this is noted as inactive - there is no point of contact.
[The Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn (Order of the T.·.G.·.D.·.) is dedicated to the teachings of Aleister Crowley, Thelema and the Golden Dawn. It was founded by Dr. Christopher S. Hyatt (Frater Adonai Achad) and David Cherubim (aka Frater Aurora Aureae). The website gives a version of the history of this order, but in a nutshell Hyatt was initiated into the Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie and in 1990 he initiated Cherubim and shortly after they founded the T.'G.'.D.'. together. In 1994 ev they parted company, Cherubim left the 'Hermetic Temple and Order of the Golden Dawn' and OTO, which he had joined in 1985, and coninued to run the TGD.
TGD is based on a system of self initiation and correspondence and the website provides all the details as well as other documents and links, such as David's personal website, the Myspace Aleister Crowley Foundation etc.]
Waiting for confirmation of activity. Website explains most of what they do.
Austin Osman Spare's dream organization. As far as I am aware, it never came true.
[Echoes of this group can be found in the Typhonian Order and Cultus Sabbati, the CS is more of an Inner Order with no temple space or centralized contact, or even face to face instruction. They can be found at http://www.xoanon.co.uk/public/homepage/].
A modern take on initiation within a Chaos Magick context. They claim spiritual A∴A∴ lineage.
Honestly this doesn't look very serious, but it's a thing. We'll see whether they're active in due time.
Greenfield's new outfit, also very new, founded in the wake of his expulsion from the Caliphate for criticizing policies in the Hermit triad.
La Vey's organization, mostly religious as far as I understand it.
Mike Aquino's group. Works with the A∴A∴ system within its internal “Order of Horus”.
The Tablets of Set have much value.
Possibly defunct, website unknown].