MEMOIRS OF AN A.'.A.'. INITIATE
by J. Edward Cornelius
by Erica M Cornelius
Why are people around the world told to avoid Jerry Cornelius and his writings? It’s because of what he knows!
In this book, J. Edward Cornelius recounts the history of the A.’.A.’. from its inception to the present, but mainly documenting a period when the Order as a whole was under direct threat of extinction from within.
It began when a newly formed A.’.A.’. lineage of ex-Marcelo Motta students from the late-1980s under the leadership of a supposed new “World Teacher” came out and declared itself, by extremely odd and convoluted logic, to be the sole heirs to Aleister Crowley’s legacy. It then demanded that all other A.’.A.’. lineages acknowledge their sole authority. And when other lineages quite predictably told it to get bent, it tried to strong-arm its A.’.A.’. rivals into submission by using the worldly might of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) against them. However, it appears this A.’.A.’. branch never counted on their intended new subjects fighting back, and they certainly never counted on their targets, and specifically the present author, keeping such scrupulous notes and documents about the real order and character of events.
In the end, this other lineage under the new “World Teacher” was defeated by the facts, strategically wielded by a soldier of Freedom. Despite our extremely critical stance on the events discussed, we present this book as an instructive history, not as an attack. For example, we have no problem acknowledging this other lineage’s right exist as legitimate A.’.A.’., albeit not as the only legitimate branch.
Unfortunately, the danger to the A.’.A.’. has not yet passed; these Restrictionists are still traveling around the world spreading their faulty and deceptive version of our Order’s history to people who don’t know any better. After all, it has been twenty years since the history of the events portrayed in this book occurred and multiple generations have come and gone since then, and naturally the new recruits in both OTO and A.'.A.'. wish to believe the best about those who run what used to be Crowley’s A.’.A.’.. This book will reveal the Truth, and it will ask some hard questions which these guys can’t answer.
($48.07 in California, incl. tax)
plus Postage & Handling;
we ship Priority Mail:
$11 U.S., $31 International
This is a 6x9 hardback book, red cloth, gold foil, 88 total pages. There are only 200 copies signed by the J. Edward Cornelius.
To purchase our books with PayPal, use address firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your correct mailing address. Also, if paying by check, contact us for further details at Cornelius93@aol.com.
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
"Hi Jerry, I have been enjoying your newest book as I give it my initial read. It may be one of the most valuable first hand accounts of an important phase in the development of Thelemic culture and should become valuable to both Initiates and ethnographers as time passes.”
- James Fitzsimmons, New York, New York, USA
"If you’re a newcomer to the A.’.A.’. or OTO, and aren’t familiar with the conversations about lineages that have transpired over the last twenty years, you may struggle to get through this one. You should at least have a working knowledge of who Grady, Jerry, Motta, Gunther, Phyllis, Wasserman, DuQuette, HB, and Sabazius are. If not, have no fear: The authors have painstakingly included forty pages of endnotes that will assist you in understanding the players, their motives, and any other issues you may be unfamiliar with.
What Cornelius offers in this book is a sobering look at modus operandi of the OTO as it sought to establish the authenticity of the Motta folks, and Gunther specifically, as the only legitimate A.’.A.’. Lineage within the OTO. Cornelius begins by establishing his legitimacy through Grady, whom was in turn initiated by Phyllis Seckler, who has initiated by Jane Wolfe, who was initiated by Crowley. Depending on your prejudices, you may have to suspend your disbelief.
After establishing Cornelius’ authority in the matter, he supplies an overwhelming amount of material in the form of emails, letters, and journal entries that demonstrate the back-handed and pathetic attempts to expel Jerry from the Order after he Published Red Flame #7 and posted material on Koenig’s website in '99-’00. HB and others appear absolutely pathetic in this book as they try to use any means possible to get rid of Jerry and silence his students.
Unfortunately, not much has changed within the Order. Members are still being expelled or threatened with expulsion for aligning themselves with the wrong people or retaining some modicum of independence. The leadership still uses backhanded channels to accomplish this, like using recordings of classes given at local bodies as evidence of oath-breaking. They may, as the text suggests, even gone so far as to edit their official documentation of meetings. This book certainly seems key to understanding the current climate within the Order.
I appreciate the inclusion of primary sources, and passages from out of print and hard to acquire issues of Red Flame. I also appreciate that the author doesn’t characterize himself as wholly guiltless, or as some kind of saint. The included correspondence shows that Cornelius was livid, and after reading the book, I don’t fault him for that.
I would almost consider this a companion to On Getting A Bullshit Meter, as the two work together very well in helping a reader understand the perverse thinking that can infect a cult, and what the consequences look like."
-Jason Inman, Prescott Valley, Arizona, USA
Tony Iannotti of Jersey City, New Jersey, writes, "Got it yesterday, and read through it as fast as possible last night, thank you!.
I'll be going back for a better read, but wow, for such a good part of it you really gave me a flashback to that thing that we did in that place with that guy, I'll never forget it. I think you make it completely clear what you were going through and trying to do. (And accomplished!)
I am especially glad to be reminded that we were able to communicate as well as we did at such a distance and almost entirely electronically. So many friendships get messed up without face to face, or at least voice to voice communications, even without such dramatic circumstances.
I am totally looking forward to The Confessions of an OTO Initiate, even though I wish you would start that with your Minerval initiation, to start at the beginning. Maybe Volume II?"
Author Jerry Edward Cornelius answers Tony: "I am glad you enjoyed the book. And yes, formatting the original piece made me aware of how hard we all fought the ‘restrictionist’ mode of thinking. So much of that period has been forgotten over time, so much we should never forget. The aeon is still young, and old ways strong. I remember Grady telling us at Brocken that just because people call themselves Thelemites, it doesn’t make them Thelemites. By their actions you’ll always know them. That is never so true as it is today. Anyway, ‘Memoirs of an O.T.O.’ is done and formatted, but there are two or three books head of it in our schedule. My early years of the OTO is primarily in my autobiography, perhaps some day I’ll pull it out and make it into a separate book."
"Memoirs is a valuable resource for anybody interested in A:.A:. lineages especially regarding their relationship with the O.T.O. and offers in an in depth account from the trenches of a significant Aeonic battleground. For readers unfamiliar with the territory and players involved, detailed background information is provided with meticulous endnotes."
-An Unaffiliated Thelemite