Society Ordo Templi Orientis (SOTO)

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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.


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.

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Society Ordo Templi Orientis (SOTO)

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