Society Ordo Templi Orientis (SOTO)
The Society Ordo Templi Orientis (SOTO) is one of several
groups to emerge following the death in 1962 of Karl Germer,
the outer head of the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis). In the English-speaking
world the OTO had been headed by Aleister
Crowley until his death in 1947. Crowley appointed Karl Germer
as his successor. Germer, however, was inactive during
much of the 15 years of his administration, which allowed contact
with many of the order’s members to be broken. When Germer
died, several different people emerged to lead the leaderless
organization. A Brazilian, Marcelo Ramos Motta
(1931–1987), claimed that on his deathbed, Germer had appointed
him as the new head. Motta was not at the time sufficiently
advanced to assume the office, but over the next years
he completed his initiate work and assumed control of a reorganized
order, which he named the Society Ordo Templi
Orientis.
Through the society, Motta issued in 1975 the first of four
massive volumes of a revived Equinox, modeled on the journal
Crowley had published early in the century. Each issue contained
writings by Motta and documents that supported his
claims, as well as writings by Crowley. Various issues of the Equinox
also denounced the rival claimants to OTO leadership who
came forward. The issue came to a head in the United States
when the OTO sued the SOTO on several legal actions. The
publication house Samuel Weiser was caught in the middle as
the publisher of both organizations. The primary ruling occurred
in 1985, when the court declared the OTO, then led by
Grady McMurtry, to be the legal entity who owned all Crowley
copyrights and trademarks. In effect, the court turned back all
Motta’s claims to OTO lineage and leadership.
It may be contacted throught the Parzival XI O.T.O. Foundation,
P.O. Box 979, Belconnen, ACT 2616 Australia.
Sources
Motta, Marcelo. Letter to a Brazilian Mason. Nashville, Tenn.
Troll Publishing, 1980.
———. Manifesto. Nashville, Tenn. Society Ordo Templi
Orientis in America, 1978.
———. The Political Aims of the O.T.O. Nashville, Tenn.
Ordo Templi Orientis in America, 1980.
———. Thelemic Political Morality. Nashville, Tenn. Society
Ordo Templi Orientis in America, 1978.