E.G.U., E.G.C., AND O.T.O.

BY THE COLLEGE OF BISHOPS AND SOPHIAS

In recent years a misconception has arisen. Many seem to believe that Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, or E.G.C., is a ‘sub-set’ of O.T.O., and accordingly that the hierarchy of O.T.O. is the ultimate authority governing E.G.C.

This idea is fostered by partial and misleading statements on some O.T.O. websites [1].

Although this idea is finding increasing acceptance, it is absolutely false.
For the avoidance of any possible doubt, all we need to do is consult the Frater Superior of O.T.O.’s own essay on the Gnostic Catholic Church:

“The EGC is not the exclusive domain of the O.T.O. It exists independently as well.” [2]

He goes on to say:

“[The E.G.C.] is a loosely organized scattering of bishops engaged in experimental theology, without universally-recognized central authority […] These E.G.C. groups deserve our respect and friendship […] Of these various churches, a few share our name of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica or a variant such as Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis or Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis.” [2]

Confusion has arisen over the O.T.O. regulations instituted in 1991 e.v. [3] which brought in degree-based requirements for E.G.C. positions, for example:

“It is a prerequisite for recognized ordination as a Priest or Priestess of E.G.C. to be a member of O.T.O. in good standing of at least the degree of Knight (or Dame) of East and West.”

It must be emphasised that such regulations are only applicable within the administrative confines of O.T.O.

We should also consider what the essential factor is underlying an E.G.C. Priest/Priestess Ordination, or Bishop Consecration. Hymenaeus Beta, discussing his own Consecration, wrote:

“From my earliest magical training I was taught that apostolic succession, like all other grades and titles, was ultimately hollow. What mattered was the ‘afflatus’ the presence of the Holy Spirit in the properly-prepared Gnostic initiate.

[…]

It is not on the historical ‘apostolic succession’ (as defined by Christian theologians) that I rely, but on the certain knowledge that my consecrator was possessed of the ‘afflatus’, pneuma, cosmic consciousness’, energized enthusiasm, or whatever you wish to term it, necessary to true Gnostic consecration. It is this essential energy that the Gnostic Mass was designed to induce in its officers. Their success in this is the key to the efficacy of the Mass.” [2]

This focus on personal gnosis seems very different to the regulatory approach adopted within O.T.O. since 1991 e.v., when he writes:

“Bishops of E.G.C. shall only be recognized as such […] if they have been duly initiated into the first part (Theoricus subdegree) of the VII of O.T.O.” [3]

This regulatory shift has been a key factor in our coming to understand the need for a gnostic church operating independently from the E.G.C. We believe that allowing the desire for power, obedience and authority to take precedence over personal gnosis is anathema to Gnosticism.

NOTES
  1. See for example “The Gnostic Catholic Church officially ceased to exist outside O.T.O. in 1908…” T. Apiryon; History of the Gnostic Catholic Church – Note 3 https://oto-uk.org/egchistory.html
  2. Hymenaeus Beta;“On the Gnostic Catholic Church”, The Magical Link, Vol III No 4, Winter 1990 e.v.
  3. Hymenaeus Beta;“New E.G.C. – O.T. O. Policy”, The Magical Link ,Volume V, No 3 Fall 1991 e.v.
Original Publication Date: 2018 e.v.