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O. T. O.

An Intimation  with Reference to the  Constitutionof the Order

This Intimation is presently being implemented in theUnited States--
the most significant recent development was the institutionof the
Electoral College. Unlike the Constitution proper, whichhas a
decidedly international emphasis, most of its clausesgovern national
operations. This Intimation should be closely studiedin conjunction
with the Constitution, the Open Letter and other relevantpapers
published in this volume by those who are concerned withthe future
direction of the O.T.O., in the United States and abroad.It first
appeared in The Equinox III(1) (Detroit: Universal, 1919).Paragraph
numbers have been supplied for reference purposes, andit is followed
by a synthetic, diagrammatic representation of the Intimations
prepared by the New York Constitutional Study Group.--H.B.


ANY PROVINCE OF THE O.T.O. is governed by the Grand Masterand those
to whom he delegates his authority, until such time asthe Order is
established, which is the case when it possesses elevenor more
Profess-Houses in the province. Then the regular constitutionis
automatically promulgated. The quotation is slightlyadapted from an
address in one of the rituals.

1. This is the Constitution and Government of our HolyOrder; by the
study of its Balance you may yourself come to apprehensionof how to
rule your own life. For, in True Things, all are butimages one of
another; man is but a map of the universe, and Societyis but the same
on a larger scale.

2. Learn then that our Holy Order has but Three True Grades;as it is
written in The Book of the Law: The Hermit, The Lover,and the Man of

3. It is but for convenience that these grades have beenseparated
into Three Triads.

4. The Third Triad consists of the degrees from Minervalto Prince of
Jerusalem. The Minerval degree is a Prologue to the First;the degrees
subsequent to the Third but pendants to it. In this,the Man of Earth
series, there are then but Three Degrees; and these Threeare One.

5. The Man of Earth takes no share in the Government ofthe Order; for
he is not yet called upon to give his life to it in service;and with
us Government is Service, and nothing else. The Man ofEarth is
therefore in much the position of the Plebian in Romein the time of
Menenius Agrippa. But there is this marked difference;that every Man
of Earth is encouraged and expected to push on to thenext stage. In
order that the feelings of the general body may be represented,the
Men of Earth choose four persons, two men and two women,from among
themselves, to stand continually before the face of theFather, the
Supreme and Holy King, serving him day and night. Thesepersons must
not be of higher rank than the Second Degree; they mustvolunteer for
this service at the conclusion of that ceremony; andtherefore they
give up their own prospect of advancement in the Orderfor one year,
that they may serve their fellows. This is then the firstlesson in
our great principle, the attainment of honour throughrenunciation.

6. The degree of Knights of the East and West is but abridge between
the first and second series; but it is important, forin that grade a
new pledge-form must be signed, and the new Knight vowedto devote his
life to the Establishment of the Law of Thelema.

7. The members of the Fifth Degree are responsible forall that
concerns the Social welfare of the Order. This gradeis symbolically
that of beauty and harmony; it is the natural stopping-placeof the
majority of men and women; for to proceed farther, aswill appear,
involves renunciation of the sternest kind. Here thenis all joy,
peace, well-being on all planes; the Sovereign PrinceRose Croix is
attached equally to the higher and the lower, and formsa natural link
between them. Yet let him look to it that his eyes areset on high!

8. In this degree the Most Wise Sovereign of each chapterwill appoint
a committee of four persons, two men and two women, toarrange for all
social gatherings, banquets, dances, the performanceof plays, and
similar pleasures. They will also endeavour to promoteharmony among
the Brethren in all possible ways, and to compose anydisputes by tact
and friendliness without formal appeal being made toany more
authoritative tribunal.

9. The next grade, that which lies between the Fifth andSixth
Degrees, is called the Senate. This is the first of thegoverning
bodies, properly speaking, and here we begin to insistupon
Renunciation. For within this body is the Electoral Collegeof the

10. The principle of popular election is a fatal folly;its results
are visible in every so-called democracy. The electedman is always
the mediocrity; he is the safe man, the sound man, theman who
displeases the majority less than any other; and thereforenever the
genius, the man of progress and illumination.

11. This electoral college consists of Eleven Personsin each country.
It has full control of the affairs of the Men of Earth,appointing
Lodge Masters at will. It has however no authority overthe Chapters
of Rose Croix.

12. Persons who wish to be appointed to this College bythe Supreme
and Holy King must volunteer for the office. The appointmentis for
Eleven Years. Volunteers must renounce for that periodall further progress
in the Order. They must give evidence of first-rate abilityin

i(i) Some branch of athletics.

(ii) Some branch of learning.

13. They must also possess a profound general knowledgeof history and
of the art of government, with some attention to philosophyin

14. They must each live in solitude, without more thanthe necessary
speech even to casual neighbours, serving themselvesin all respects,
for three months continuously, once at least in everytwo years. The
President will summon them at the four seasons of theyear, and if
necessary at other times, when they will deliberate uponthe affairs
placed in their charge. All applications to pass to theFifth Degree
must receive their sanction. Appeal from their decisionsmay however
be made to the Supreme Council.

15. The Sixth Degree is an executive or military body,and represents
the temporal power of the Supreme and Holy King. Eachmember is
amenable to military discipline. Singly or in concertwith his
comrades, each Knight is vowed to enforce the decisionsof authority.

16. The Grade of Grand Inquisitor Commander follows. Hereevery member
has the right to a seat on the Grand Tribunal, whichbody decides all
disputes and complaints which have not been composedby the Chapters
of Rose Croix or the Lodge Masters. Its verdicts arewithout appeal,
unless a member of the Electoral College give sanctionto take the
case to the Areopagus of the Eighth Degree. All membersof the Order,
even of higher grades, are subject to the Grand Tribunal.

17. The next grade is that of Prince of the Royal Secret.Every member
of this degree is devoted to the Propagation of the Lawin a very
special manner; for this grade is the first in whichthe Beginning of
the Inmost Secret is declared openly. He will therefore,by his
personal exertions, induce one hundred and eleven personsto join the
Order, before he may proceed to the Seventh Degree, exceptby special
order from the Supreme and Holy King.

18. The Seventh Degree is, in military language, the GreatGeneral
Staff of the Army of the Sixth Degree. From its membersthe Supreme
and Holy King appoints a Supreme Grand Council.

19. This Council is charged with the government of thewhole of the
Second Triad, or Lovers. All members of the Seventh Degreetravel as
Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Order, andreport, on their
own initiative, to the Supreme and Most Holy King, asto the condition
of all Lodges, and Chapters; to the Supreme Council,on all affairs of
the Second Triad; and to the Electoral College, on thoseof the Third.

20. The Eighth Degree is a Philosophical Body. Its membersbeing fully
instructed in the Principles of the Order, save in onepoint only,
devote themselves to the understanding of what they havelearned in
their initiation. They have power to reverse the decisionsof the
Grand Tribunal, and to compose all conflicts betweenany of the
governing bodies. And this they do upon the great principlesof philosophy.
For it will often occur that there is contention between
two parties, both of whom are right from their own pointof view. This
is so important that an illustration is desirable. Aman is smitten
with leprosy; is it right that men should circumscribehis liberty by
isolating him from his fellows? Another holds back landor some other
necessity from the common use; is he to be compelledto surrender it?
Such cases of difficulty involve deep philosophical principles;and
the Areopagus of the Eighth Degree is charged with theduty of
resolving them in accordance with the great principlesof the Order.

21. Before the face of the Areopagus stands an independentParliament
of the Guilds. Within the Order, irrespective of grade,the members of
each craft, trade, science, or profession form themselvesinto a
Guild, make their own laws, and prosecute their own good,in all
matters pertaining to their labour and means of livelihood.Each Guild
chooses the man most eminent in it to represent it beforethe
Areopagus of the Eighth Degree; and all disputes betweenthe various
Guilds are argued before that Body, which will decideaccording to the
grand principles of the Order. Its decisions pass forratification to
the Sanctuary of the Gnosis, and thence to the Throne.

22. Epopts and Pontiffs of this exalted grade are boundto live in
isolation for four consecutive months in every year,meditating the
mysteries revealed to them.

23. The Ninth Degree--the Sanctuary of the Gnosis--issynthetic. The
prime duty of its members is to study and practise thetheurgy and
thaumaturgy of the grade; but in addition they must beprepared to act
as direct representatives of the Supreme and Most HolyKing, radiating
his light upon the whole world. Yet, from the natureof their
initiation, they must veil their glory in a cloud ofdarkness. They
move unseen and unrecognized among the youngest of us,subtly and
loftily leading us into the holy ineffable mysteriesof the True

24. The Supreme and Most Holy King is appointed by theO.H.O. His is
the ultimate responsibility for all within his holy kingdom.The
succession to the high office of O.H.O. is decided ina manner not
here to be declared; but this you may learn, O BrotherMagician, that
he may be chosen even from the grade of a Minerval. Andherein lieth a
most sacred Mystery.

25. The Electoral College possesses one most singularpower. Every
eleven years, or in the case of a vacancy occurring,they choose two
persons from the Ninth Degree, who are charged with theduty of

26. It is the business of these persons constantly tocriticise and
oppose the acts of the Supreme and Most Holy King, whetheror no they
personally approve of them. Should he exhibit weakness,bodily,
mental, or moral, they are empowered to appeal to theO.H.O. to depose
him; but they, alone of all the members of the Order,are not eligible
to the Succession.

27. The O.H.O., as the supreme authority in the Order,will act, in
such an emergency, as he may see fit. He may himselfbe removed from
office, but only by the unanimous vote of all the membersof the Tenth

28. Of the Eleventh Degree, its powers, privileges, and
qualifications, nothing whatever is said in any grade.It has no
relation to the general plan of the Order, is inscrutable,and dwells
in its own Palaces.

29. There are certain important financial obligationsin various grades.

30. The Electoral College of the Senate is vowed to poverty.All
property, earnings, or salaries are vested in or paidover to the
Grand Treasurer General. The members subsist on the charityof the
Order, which is extended to them in accordance with theiroriginal
rank in life.

31. These remarks apply equally to the Supreme Grand Council,and all
higher degrees.

32. In the Seventh Degree it is a qualification to vestsome real
property in the Order; and no one is admitted to thisgrade without
this preliminary.

33. Those members of the Order who have given all to itmust obtain
the money for their initiation fees and subscriptionsfrom the Third
Triad, whose honour is thus concerned in the unselfishsupport of
those who have abandoned all for their sakes.

34. The Grand Treasurer General is appointed by the Supremeand Most
Holy King; he may be a member of any grade whatever;but he must, on
accepting office, take the vow of poverty. His authorityis absolute
in all financial matters; but he is responsible to, andmay be removed
at will by, the Supreme and Most Holy King. He will appointa
committee to assist him and advise him in his work; andhe will
usually select one person from each of the governingbodies of the

Such is a brief outline of the government of the O.T.O.It combines
monarchy with democracy; it includes aristocracy, andconceals even
the seeds of revolution, by which alone progress canbe effected. Thus
we balance the Triads, uniting the Three in One; thuswe gather up all
the threads of human passion and interest, and weavethem into an
harmonious tapestry, subtly and diligently with greatart, that our
Order may seem an ornament even to the Stars that arein the Heavens
at Night. In our rainbow-coloured texture we set forththe glory of
the whole Universe--See thou to it, brother Magician,that thine own
thread be strong, and pure, and of a colour brilliantin itself, yet
ready to mingle in all beauty with those of thy brethren!

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