On Membership
Joining OTO is possible only through initiation. Like primitive societies, we expect a consonance and quality from our tribe, and we measure and nurture this in initiations. This is in contrast to vulgar society, whereby being born in a certain location brands you with a certain identity and entitles you to all the rewards – vulgar culture, national debt and herd morality. To join OTO, you must initiate, and for this you must apply.

The application process for OTO is quite simple. You are required to be free, of full age and of good report. Technically, free simply means that you are not awaiting incarceration or something else that would damn your freedom of motion.

Of full age means, under United States Grand Lodge, 18+ for 0° and I°, 21+ for II°+. It also means that you have spent the mandated minimum amount of time in any grade. I°=9 months, II°=1 year, as the III° and so on.

The requirement most worth discussing is being of good report. This means that we have no reason to distrust your character, namely that you haven't crossed our path in the past and that there are two people who are willing to “sponsor” you to initiate. These two people must be of that degree or above, with the exception of the 0°, where the sponsors need to be at least I°. The issue of sponsorship is discussed fully by the Grand Master of the OTO in the United States, Sabazius X°, here.

When considering an application, in light of On Sponsorship, sponsors may reflect on your character, intelligence, diligence and familiarity with our system. As Sabazius X° wrote, "Free" may refer to their ability in "voluntarily taking and keeping a binding oath to the Order." Your character and diligence reflect your ability to be true to your word, but also your intelligence and familiarity with our philosophy and material would determine if you are likely to honestly and confidently take an oath in media res and subsequently keep it true. Sponsors are therefore responsible for ensuring that the applicant is not making a poorly informed - errant - decision. Many people coming to OTO seeking a generic spiritual experience, or a dramatized thrill, or counter-culture fellowship may ultimately become disenchanted by the specificity of our path.

Conversely, the specific or general goal of the aspirant is not for us to judge! Those applying for initiation (seeking sponsorship) do well to attend public events and become acquainted with the initiated. Their ability to evidence basic familiarity with our ways will go far in proving their character and diligence to any sponsor. I recommend the following books to begin that familiarization. While these may not be the most captivating and esoteric occult tomes, they do address fundamentals which may be lost on someone who's only studied Crowley's esoteric writings. These are:

The Book of the Law

The Law is for All (or THIS similar and freer alternative)

The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley

The Equinox: Vol. 3 Num. 10

The Equinox: Vol. 3 Num. 1

Some of these can be found at your local library. The main branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library on Goodwood Boulevard in Baton Rouge has several volumes of Crowleyana. Additionally, Pelican and Alombrados both have complete collections available for viewing.

Again, these books are designed to provide a rudimentary familiarity with our system and philosophy so that you, the inquisitive wayfarer, might feel more confident in determining whether or not initiation is right for you. Therefore, you might pursue this or some such similar reading list before you resolve yourself to join. But bear in mind that the experience for which you prepare and prime yourself is unknown to you, so over-preparing could last forever. Once the 0° is taken, our mysteries and their working become much more apparent.

A competent and sociable person should have little difficulty securing sponsorship for the 0°. However, this initiation is no initiation – the 0° is a prologue to the I°, which is variously titled “Birth” and “Initiation.” Paraphrasing Crowley, the 0° is a statement on the condition of the soul in this time and place, a statement on the universe. 0° shines light on that which has already come to pass, where beginning starts with the I°. Sabazius X° refers to sponsorship for the I°, "When sponsoring candidates for full membership in our Order, who are to become Men and Brothers, or Women and Sisters, consider whether they are truly worthy of your fraternal trust, and the fraternal trust of all your sworn Brothers and Sisters in the Order. Consider whether they are worthy to be admitted into our homes, our temples, and our lives; for once they are sworn to us, we are all sworn to them."

Crowley included this prologue in his series of degrees to stand in contrast to Freemasonry, which begins at the I° and at that earliest moment demands everything of the candidate. Crowley wanted to give a glimpse at our whole system and our greatest mysteries to the candidate prior to obligating them to our system, the I°. This gesture is extremely helpful, as it allows the curious outsider a meaningful and powerful interface with a cultural phenomenon that is increasingly rare or profaned – initiation.

Remember: initiation into OTO is by request, not by invitation. Don't wait for somebody to tap you. Also, it's worth noting that here in Louisiana, we (Alombrados and Pelican) schedule initiations as we get applications, so you need to be pro-active in your pursuit of sponsorship and submission of your application. Most likely, your Minerval initiation would happen within 2-3 months of your paperwork submission.

As a final point, remember that initiation is not simply for personal psycho-spiritual gratification. We bind ourselves together not only to benefit one another, but also to benefit the larger society. All around us we hear the death-rattle of modern living. The idealism of the nation-state has become the cold-steel reality of the surveillance state, optimists being skull-fucked by cynical tycoons who delight in warping humanity for material power. The inane irate majority hold high the death-shroud of their jealous god, smearing it with their septic blood and daily declaring new wars against fake coalitions. Children are prostituted to a divisive decadence, praised all the while for their muffled submission. These are the end times, and we are building an Ark, a mighty vessel of cypress and steel, wherein we happy few will welcome the dawn.