It might amuse some of you to know that during the several years when I was co-hosting the late, lamented twice-weekly magical chats on AOL (Ceremonial Magick Chat, Thelema Discussion Group) I got a reputation as something of an "OTO Zombie": that is, a reflexive defender of Crowley's group Order, its hierarchy, and all its ways.* True enough, so far as it goes: I am unapologetic in my admiration for my Order Sisters and Brothers, and for the difficult work they have elected to take on, and which for the most part do so very well. My own work has proved more individual than collective, hence my apparently permanent status as a wandering (un-Lodged) Minerval (eleventh anniversary next July!, though I was an Associate for a while before that), but my admiration and loyalty have never once flagged in that time. I share Uncle Al's understanding that a healthy organization is going to include controversy, and have avoided criticizing those whose Will it is to engage in fault-finding; I don't propose to change that policy now. But I just thought I'd state here one of my own guiding principles: Thelema having more than enough enemies in the world, I am not disposed to pick fights with its friends.
Contrary to what some would have you believe, I doubt that there's a religious (or spiritual, or magical, or whatever term you like) organization on the planet with a higher tolerance for doctrinal dissent; I am indeed living proof of that. Sure, it'd be swell if prominent OTO folks constantly talked up my (overwritten, overpriced, shabbily-produced, self-published) books, but I don't lose any sleep over it that they don't. Instead, I'm rather delighted that those In Charge have been aware for well over a decade now of my extremely idiosyncratic** views -- e.g., on the nature of Thelemic attainment, the varying purposes of Inner and Outer Orders, and the working mechanism of Magick itself -- and have never interfered with them, or with me, in the slightest. Having many years ago spent time as the equivalent of Christian clergy, I am here to tell you that plenty of such organizations (including some I continue to respect) don't begin to share such tolerance.
So, many thanks to you, Fratres et Sorores! I continue, as always, to feel honored to be your guest...and continue to count a certain warm night under the midsummer stars, in the Sacred Back Yard of the Illuminati, one of the highest points of my life. :)
93 93/93 -- AJ
* I suspect Brother B.H. would confirm this. :D
** Though unassailably correct, of course. ;)