"A.J. Rose" (Jonathan) (ajrose93) wrote,
"A.J. Rose" (Jonathan)

Dues and the OTO :)

93, all!

I don't know how much I'll be willing to comment further on this post. Nobody should feel badly if I don't -- there are issues of initiatory secrecy here; apologies in advance if I just go on to the next post.

A curious (non-LJ, and non-OTO) friend asks if I have an opinion on the current discussions about the funding of local OTO bodies, rather sniffily adding that since she thought Thelemic Orders were supposed to expel people who took money for magical instruction, she felt the current financial discussions were somehow undignified, if not mildly heretical. Smacking her upside the head, I have explained to her why the attitude toward money necessarily -- and by AC's design -- differed between OTO and A.'.A.'....but I thought I'd add here a few comments, for whatever they're worth, on the OTO dues issue itself.

As I've noted here before, AC's OTO was intended to provide "a vehicle for those whose Will it is to establish Thelema through the formula of service." Its dues structure, as set out in 1919 EV in Equinox III (1), was carefully calibrated to this end, and I strongly believe that any change to its basic structure threatens its original initiatory purpose. To cite just one example, AC had a very specific reason for not assessing any Minerval dues whatsoever -- just a one-time initiation fee -- and while I well understand why this was changed in the 1970s, I will always feel that this change will, and should, one day be rescinded. (I hasten to add that I have always paid my own Minerval dues in advance, and just sent a voluntary contribution to a local body even though I haven't attended there; my views are based on initiatory, not financial, concerns. Those who don't believe that dues issues can possibly involve initiatory concerns might ask themselves why AC -- in chronic need of funding, and always delighted to receive it through OTO -- would have refused to assess Minerval dues in the first place.)

AC's OTO dues and fees were intentionally set high, and very high indeed by the time one reached Eighth* Degree (for example, Seventh Degree involved vesting real estate in the Order). He also moved many people as high through that degree structure as he could, for very good reasons...most of which, alas, I can't discuss here.**

In trying to place OTO, particularly its local bodies, on a strong financial basis, the temptation must be very great to change the fee structure AC set out, particularly by increasing the proportion paid by those lower down the degree scale. For the record, I think this would be a grave error. I'm only a Minerval; the funding of local bodies isn't an issue that requires my comments. That said, I wonder whether a lot more people moved a lot further up the degree scale, and paying dues commensurate with those AC set out, might not be a very good idea...and indeed one of the ideas AC had in mind in the first place.

Finally, there seems to be a move on in some circles to prefer some pre-Crowley designs for OTO over Crowley's own. In my "Liber OZ"-protected opinion, I will briefly note that I cannot imagine a more fruitful ground for catastrophic mistake.

93 93/93 -- AJ

* Don't I mean Ninth? No, I don't. See Liber CXCIV.
** But wait a minute (you say) -- AC also tended to move some people directly to Ninth without the intervening degrees. Yes, he certainly did. See Liber CXCIV.

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