Ordo Templi Orientis (Roanoke, Virginia)
The Ordo Templi Orientis (Roanoke, Virginia) was one of
several ritual magic groups to emerge in the 1970s. Karl Germer
had served as outer head of the order for 15 years
(1947–62), but after his death, the order endured a period of
leaderlessness and corporate chaos. While several leaders
stepped forward with papers and claims from either Aleister
Crowley or Germer, Robert E. L. Snell put forward other credentials.
He suggested that the mission of the OTO was to facilitate
the movement of humanity into the new age of the Aeon
of Horus, which had been announced by Crowley in 1904. Snell
suggested that leaders must validate their role by their allegiance
to the Law of Thelema (Will), the primary principle
guiding the order. He also claimed direct contact with the secret
chiefs, those preternatural beings (similar to the Theosophical
Society’s Great White Brotherhood) believed to be ultimately
guiding the order.

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