Ordo Templi Orientis

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Primary symbol associated with the Ordo Templi Orientis.

The Ordo Templi Orientis, also known as the Order of the Temple of the East, the Order of Oriental Templars or simply the OTO, is an international occultic and paramasonic organisation. It was founded in Germany and Vienna between 1895 and 1906 by figures such as Carl Kellner and Theodor Reuss. It gained the most infamy however, when Aleister Crowley became associated with it and introduced his Thelema based upon his writings The Book of the Law, with its central concepts; “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" and "Love is the law, love under will.”

Similar to many subversive societies, OTO membership is based on an initiatory system with a series of degree ceremonies that use ritual drama to establish fraternal bonds and impart its teachings. The Ordo Templi Orientis also includes the self-styled Gnostic Catholic Church, within which it performed the alleged Gnostic Mass. After the death of Crowley there has been internal disputes as to who is the legitimate successor. Some other noted members have been Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca and L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

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