CROWLEY, Aleister; Theodor Reuss. O.T.O. Rituals and Sex Magick Oxford, I-H-O Books, 1999.
4to., laminated cream card covers, printed in red, black and gold; lettered in black to spine and gold to rear cover; title page reproducing the front cover, with a black and white photograph of Theodor Reuss; pp. [xi], 12-498, [ii]; together with numerous black and white reproduced images; essentially a fine copy of a hard to find work, with some light creasing to the spine.
Scarce edition edited by the final living executor of Aleister Crowley's estate, A. R. Naylor.
The Ordo Templi Orientis, or the Order of the Temple of the East is an occult initiatory organisation founded at the beginning of the 20th century by the German-speaking occultists Carl Kellner, Heinrich Klein, Franz Hartmann and Theodor Reuss. Later, it went on to be significantly shaped by the English author and occultist Aleister Crowley. Originally, it was modelled after and associated with European Freemasonry such as Masonic Templar organisations, but under the leadership of Crowley it was reorganised around Crowley's Thelema, which became its central religious principle.
Reuss met Aleister Crowley while living in London, and in 1910 he admitted him to the first three degrees of O.T.O. Two years later, Crowley was placed in charge of Great Britain and Ireland, and was advanced to the X° (tenth degree). In 1914, soon after World War I broke out, Reuss moved to the United States. It was around this time that Crowley decided to integrate Thelema (his own spiritual philosophy) into the O.T.O. system, rewriting the initiation rituals of the first three degrees, and in doing so removing most of those rituals' ties to Masonry. Relations between Reuss and Crowley began to deteriorate in 1921 after the two exchanged angry letters, and when Reuss died on October 28, 1923 without designating a successor, Crowley laid stake to the claim. Despite a significant lack of evidence, Crowley was elected Outer Head of the Order (or O.H.O.) by the remaining administrative heads of O.T.O.
The publication is highly controversial, not least because it includes virtually all the known "secret" rituals of the O.T.O., including much previously unpublished material. Indeed the publication of the book triggered a copyright challenge against the publishers by the O.T.O., which ultimately resulted in the book's withdrawal from sale. Also included here is the full text of Crowley's A.M.R.I.T.A.