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Group Information
Title Society Ordo Templi Orientis
Founder Marcelo Ramos Motta (aka Frater Parzival)
Description

Alternate Names of the Group: Sometimes called OTO or Ordo Templi Orientis, after a larger and better known group which SOTO claims they are the true version thereof. SOTO was always tiny (less than 100 members at its height over several countries) Current Reported Leaders: David Bersson (Frater Sphinx) of Pittsburgh, PA William Barden (Frater Thelema) of Melbourne, Australia SOTO, a so-called fraternal organization was incorporated as a church in 1978 after Motta reportedly had a falling-out with the three remaining contemporaries of the founder of OTO (Aleister Crowley, 1875-1947) who had joined together and restarted OTO in California after 1969. Motta was, allegedly and by his own admission, an alcoholic who suffered from extreme paranoid delusions (for example, he reportedly believes that he was the real target of the JFK assassination, the CIA and Israeli secret service were targeting him for decades, etc.)

Behavior
Control
1. Regulation of individual's physical reality
  a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
  b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
  c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
  d. How much sleep the person is able to have
  e. Financial dependence
  f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations

2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals

3. Need to ask permission for major decisions

4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors

5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).

6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails

7. Rigid rules and regulations

8. Need for obedience and dependency.

Motta required all members to keep diaries and submit them to him regularly. All correspondence was sent to him for review. He was the sole decision-maker and all commitments in life were subject to his approval, especially any involvements with anyone outside the group. If you said or did anything he disapproved of, various levels of sanctions were imposed by him; his manner was so hostile and abusive that he drove away all but the most devoted followers. He made everyone sign letters patents (which were unenforceable contracts) which required you to pay 1000 times your annual salary if you revealed anything he declared to be secret. Nude photos of candidates for membership were required with your application along with photographs.

Information
Control
1. Use of deception
  a. Deliberately holding back information
  b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
  c. Outright lying

2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
  a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
  b. Critical information
  c. Former members
  d. Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think

3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
  a. Information is not freely accessible
  b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
  c. Leadership decides who “needs to know” what

4. Spying on other members is encouraged
  a. Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control
  b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership

5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
  a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
  b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources

6. Unethical use of confession
  a. Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries
  b. Past “sins” used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution

Motta twisted all facts, repeatedly, to suit his present needs; he rewrote the history of himself and others to fit in with his belief of being the true persecuted heir of Crowley. All information was on a need to know basis, with the decision of who needed to know what entirely in his hands. Strangely, he felt a need to prove his case by copying the documents in his keepingthis is what eventually led me to the certainty that his true story mutated over time and his explanations of his behavior and the motives of others made no sense other than fulfilling his need for proving the plot. (I joined in 1979 and left in 1985.) Mottas published writings (circulating on the Internet now) were entirely one-sided, self-serving and filled with lies, misstatements, libels (proven so in a US Federal Court in 1985). Since Motta had the intimate diaries of everyone involved, he could hold out any aspect of your life as proof you were insane or demonically possessed. In particular, masturbation was the king of all demonic acts and all members had to confess this terrible sin.

Thought
Control
1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
  a. Map = Reality
  b. Black and White thinking
  c. Good vs. evil
  d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)

2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".

3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.

4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
  a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
  b. Chanting
  c. Meditating
  d. Praying
  e. Speaking in "tongues"
  f. Singing or humming

5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate

6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful

Motta had an absolute and privileged contact with the Truth and no disagreement was ever tolerated. If you didnt agree quickly enough, it was proof you held some other thought. All those outside the cult were evil and meant to do you harm and cause your destruction. Family members were especially suspect, or anyone espousing a different religion. Anyone who disagreed with anything Motta believed was denounced as a Christist, traitor, morally insane, Zionist, spy. He was the FINAL judge, jury and executioner of the entire world. Questioning him was fatal to your membership and his threats and accusations made more than twenty years ago are still being used as the basis of libels and death threats against those who had the good sense to get away from him or denounce his abuses of others. Anti-Semitism, homophobia, anti-Catholicism; these were rephrased with cult language into virtues and to question them meant you were sick. All religions of the world were to be ritually cursed every time you encountered any symbol of them.

Emotional
Control
1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.

2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.

3. Feeling-stopping. Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling "homesick" or feeling "depressed" or feeling "resentful".

4. Excessive use of guilt
  a. Identity guilt
    1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
    2. Your family
    3. Your past
    4. Your affiliations
    5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions
    6. Social guilt
    7. Historical guilt

5. Excessive use of fear
  a. Fear of thinking independently
  b. Fear of the "outside" world
  c. Fear of enemies
  d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
  e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
  f. Fear of disapproval

6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.

7. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".

8. Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
  a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
  b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.
  c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
  d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly"; "brainwashed by family, counselors"; seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.

Motta claimed a unique and privileged access to the Truth and anyone who questioned his spiritual authority was therefore insane and diseased and had to be cut off. Motta wrote in his SOTO Constitution that members could call for the elimination of the culprit for anyone expelled for crimes against SOTO. In other places he makes it clear that traitors should be killed. Motta plotted the murder of several people and in fact one of his late followers in Britain, Jeremy Charles Ellis was convicted of making bombs to blow up an English publishers warehouse (Motta believed he owned the copyrights of Aleister Crowley and sued Samuel Weiser of ME over this in 1984and he lost). Leaving SOTO was your magical death. Now the true followers, most especially David Bersson, routinely (daily?) threaten former members and enemies, including myself, with death, eternal damnation and a stream of abusive, libellous, privacy-invading invective and lies. Everyone who left their group or who disagrees with them will be ceaselessly defamed because we all should have been executed years ago for our crimes.

Group
Websites

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