Greetings Mogg,

mandrake wrote:
> I just wonder - maybe its none of my business - whether there is some 
> internal mechanism , whereby you can bring your leadship to account - 
> and if you are able to talk about that?

Although I've heard OTO members put out different interpretations, I 
myself believe, and have had members of US Grand Lodge confirm, that the 
only "secrets" within OTO are those directly related to initiations.  
So, I consider myself free to talk about anything but the specific 
contents of initiations, and perhaps specific confidential bits of 
information I may be privy to that would be a violation of another 
persons privacy--but the latter is just basic ethics.

So, yeah, I can address your question.  There really is no direct 
mechanism within OTO for the general membership to hold the leadership 
accountable.  Ostensibly, they could rally others within the higher 
grades to take up their cause, but that's pretty much it.  Lacking that, 
the only recourse a member unhappy with actions not directly related to 
them has one course--leaving.  In this way, OTO is truly hierarchical, 
and I wouldn't want to suggest otherwise.  When I made my point earlier 
I only trying to suggest that it is not monolithic (just as the Catholic 
church is not really monolithic despite its centralization around the 
Vatican).  My own observation has been that members within the lower 
grades who have issues with the leadership's actions usually are able to 
gain a voice in policy, if at all, through informal channels, as there 
is no formal channel for doing so.

Now, if a member feels that they have a grievance that relates directly 
to them, there are formal channels for addressing that through an 
Ombudsman's office, at least within US Grand Lodge.  So, if you feel 
directly harmed, you can seek to bring the leadership to account for 
that through specific formal channels.  But if you simply disagree with 
the direction, all you can really do is make your disagreement known.

One potential exception, of course, is the office of the revolutionary, 
whose job it is to depose the current sovereign within a grand lodge.  
So, if one is in strong disagreement, one could potentially secretly 
join the cause of the revolutionary.  There are supposed to be two 
revolutionaries within any grand lodge.  I think US Grand Lodge is the 
only lodge that currently has an appointed revolutionary (there is only 
one, and it is a recent appointment), and the identity of that 
revolutionary is secret.  Based on my conversations and interviews, I'd 
say that some members do seem to hold the belief that if they are in 
strong disagreement with the present leadership, it is not merely their 
right, but their duty, to try to topple that leadership--either from 
without or within.  I'd have to go back into my notes and transcripts to 
really get specifics on this--I don't have time for that kind of 
detailed work, but this is one of the questions I do hope to address in 
formal writing in the future.

Let me add, though, that my own knowledge is primarily based on local 
body participation and observation of actions on the grand lodge level 
in the United States.  I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the 
specific workings of the International Leadership or about other grand 
lodges.  When I set out my project as a researcher, I constrained myself 
to the specifics of looking at the order on a local body level, and 
really only concerned myself with even grand lodge issues as they 
affected the local body.  Of course, I have my own knowledge of those 
workings because I've been a member for quite some time and because I 
work as editor of Agape, the US Grand Lodge newsletter.

I hope that helps address your questions.  The institutional mode of 
management is definitely one of my areas of interest, and I hope to 
specifically address in my future writing some of how members understand 
the hierarchical structure of the order to integrate with the seemingly 
individualist ethos of Thelema.  Again, though, a responsible account of 
that requires a kind of detailed work I won't be able to do for some months.