The district court awarded plaintiffs use of the name "Θελημα" on the ground that plaintiff Smith used it first, in 1962 e.v. The court erred. Plaintiff Smith first used the name in 1971 e.v. RT 334-5, 367. This argument was made below in defendants' post-trial brief at 36-7, CR 101. It is subject to substantial evidence review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a).
Defendants also contend that on First Amendment grounds the district court erred in trying to award plaintiffs the sole right to use the name "Θελημα". Θελημα is the name of a spiritual system like "Judaism" or "Islam" and cannot be appropriated. This is a question of law subject to de novo review... It was made to the court below in defendants' post-trial brief at page 19, CR 101. It is subject to substantial evidence review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a).
WHEREFORE, defendants pray that the district court's opinion be vacated and the case remanded to the district court so that it may issue a new opinion consistent with the arguments set forth in this brief.Date: March 27,1986 e.v.
In order to produce a thorough evaluation of the California court proceedings, a whole book might have to be written, in which pathos and bathos would be inextricably mixed.
The above appeal makes it quite clear to the attentive reader that the "district court" in question - in fact, a certain Charles Legge (no relation to the great scholar, one hopes), a political appointee who was involved with American "intelligence" work in California during the McCarthy/Hoover witch-hunt of the Fifties - either paid no attention whatsoever to the evidence and the testimony because he had already decided beforehand that Motta should lose, or deliberately distorted the evidence because he had already been briefed beforehand that Motta should lose, or a mixture of both.
Short of mental incompetence, there really is no other explanation for such a patent subversion of the evidence and of the facts.
The judge was so anxious to squash Motta that he even attributed first use, by Motta, of "Θελημα Publishing Company" in 1962 e.v., to Helen Parsons Smith, who in 1962 e.v. must have been too busy to worry about Θελημα, since she, also, allowed Mrs. Germer to die slowly of starvation.
One of Motta's "disciples", Martin Patrick Starr, who had failed a serious ordeal (see next section of these O.T.O. News), appeared and testified for plaintiffs. Mr. Starr's testimony in California was in such amazing contradiction to his previous testimony in Maine (when he still thought, or thought he thought, or pretended he thought that Motta was a fine person and his Holy Guru) that Motta's lawyer actually introduced excerpts of Mr. Starr's Maine testimony so the judge could compare what had been said in Maine to what was being said in California. One of Mr. Starr's statements was to the effect that Motta is a habitual drunkard; but the "judge", lacking Abraham Lincoln's wit, failed to remark that the McMurtry gang should learn what brand whiskey Motta got drunk on, to see if it would do them as much good as it did him. (Johnny Walker Black Label, when he can afford it, which is seldom.) Mr. Starr is constitutionally unable to metabolize alcohol at a normal rate, and gets violently sick on a very few drinks. He denied categorically under oath that this was so.
In fact, had the "judge" been judging anything, he would have to have decided that either Mr. Starr had committed perjury in Maine or was committing perjury in California; or that he was mentally defective.
In indirect response to this testimony, Motta mentioned that he had typeset much of Equinox V 3 and all of Equinox V 4 himself; something that any habitual drunkard would have found very hard to do, as can be deduced by anybody who takes the trouble to examine a sample of either book. (All the true O.T.O.'s books had been introduced as evidence for the court's inspection.) Mr. Legge pounced on this statement by Motta to declare, among his "findings of fact", that Motta's Θελημα Publishing Company did not really exist or edit books. This means that everybody who has been willing to shell out forty-four dollars for one of the Equinox V series must be an absolute donkey. It is curious, however, that if Motta's books do not exist, the McMurtry gang should now be maneuvering to try to appropriate his copyrights along with Crowley's...
At least two hours of court proceedings were dedicated to a learned disquisition of the size of Motta's penis, about which Motta was invited to testify. Mr. Starr had already testified that during his sojourns at Motta's headquarters the latter could not stop talking about how small his penis was... At the end of this profound and important investigation, when Motta was dismissed, James Wasserman waited for him and, although he had been required in writing never to address Motta again in his life, said earnestly: "I was never party to the circulation of those letters on the size of your penis."
He seemed to think this would matter much more to Motta than the fact that he had delivered O.T.O. property and Motta's property into the hands of thieves!
Apparently the only person in court who by this time was not very much interested in the size of Motta's penis was Motta himself.
This shows something of the level of intellectuality and respect for the law on which Mr. Legge conducted his court. Even for gay San Francisco, one might think this was getting too ridiculous. At least at the federal level.
Motta's private correspondence with several of his pupils was eagerly produced and discussed (it had been provided the McMurtry gang by Mr. Starr). When, however, defendants tried to request that Seckler be made to produce her "magickal diaries" for the occasions of the three robberies, Seckler objected to the court: "They are religious documents, Your Honor!" The objection was sustained, and Seckler was allowed to read sections of her "diary" having to do only with the last so-called "theft". On this occasion she broke down and sobbed artistically for two or three seconds. Motta does not know if she shed any tears, because he avoided looking at any of plaintiffs: Apo pantos kakodaimonos.
Although Motta's correspondence with his Instructor was surely at least as much of a religious activity as Seckler's diary writing, and although Motta's correspondence with his pupils was surely at least as much of a religious activity as Seckler's diary writing, the court chose not to raise the issue. Obviously, unequal treatment under the law was what Motta was supposed to get; and he got it.
When plaintiffs' counsel tried to make Motta reveal the identity of his pupils and Motta thrice refused to answer, invoking the First, the Fourth and the Fifth Amendments of the American Constitution, the court complained peevishly, "I don't want to make a First Amendment issue out of this."Naturally not, since he wanted McMurtry to win.
William E. Heydrick, McMurtry's grey eminence, was not made to testify in detail about the moneys he admitted getting from the American government. Naturally not, since Heydrick's type of personality reminded Motta strongly of Oskar Schlag's and Gerald Yorke's, and since most of the money for the California lawsuit was provided through Heydrick. To crown the comedy, the last letter Motta had written Mr. Starr, and which had served as pretext to Mr. Starr's moral somersaults, was presented to the judge for reading - but only the first page. The second page, plaintiffs' counsel said, was so utterly obscene that he apologized for showing it to the court and would not enter it into the records.
Almost word by word what had been said at Ida C. Craddock's trial! Cf. Equinox V 4, p. 593. The judge heard this with a straight face and gravely consented to this McCarthy-type maneuver.
However, Motta being of a higher Grade than Ms. Craddock, he neither consented to go to jail nor was so gracious as to commit suicide. And the entire text of the letter will be found in the next section of this account.
In short, a fine time was had by all. Except defendants, of course. And due process and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights. But, as everybody in the world knows by now, these latter are having a hard time under Ronald Reagan and his financial backers.
Many years ago, Motta by "accident" met a homosexual engineer who was a spiritualistic medium and who, at table with Motta and Motta's mistress, suddenly stated urgently that some spiritual entity had a message for Motta. "The Woman of the Night", he said, "wants to speak with you." Motta arranged not a seance, but a magickal Invocation, and obtained a communication that years later proved important.
We cannot go in depth into this matter, which is confidential and is not the point of this story. After the Ritual, Motta once in a while met this engineer - both played chess at the local chess club - and was invited to the house of the latter, where he was timidly propositioned and gently begged off. His contact with this person was duly communicated to his Instructor. Motta, in money troubles, sold his collection of The Equinox I to this individual; and a month later his Instructor lived up to the title by instructing Motta to break with the person at once.
Motta could not understand what was so urgent about it, since he did not attach great importance to this individual. But the latter coming to visit Motta in Motta's office, which doubled as Motta's Temple, Motta obediently refused to let him in, told him that he did not want to see him again, and asked him not to seek to change the situation.
The man acquiesced promptly and went. The point is, when Motta closed the door on him, Motta felt an acute wrench in the region of his stomach and was momentarily dizzy and weakened. He was very surprised. Only then he understood that this individual had gotten into his guts much more deeply than he had realized. However, his Instructor had noticed.
The situation, naturally, yields to hindsight. The homosexual engineer, who had propositioned Motta sexually, had been refused, but had insisted that he wanted to be Motta's friend, had bought Motta's cherished collection of The Equinox at a time when Motta was in serious financial difficulties. He had bought the collection very cheaply. He was a well-to-do man and well connected. Had he been a real friend, he would have helped Motta find a paying job, or simply loaned Motta the money, instead of taking advantage of Motta's situation to buy a rare book collection for a pittance - especially one he knew Motta prized. He was simply weaving a web around Motta's difficulties, through which he hoped eventually to ensnare the inexperienced Aspirant into his bed, and perhaps into his board. The magnetic links were being slowly strengthened through the Manipura without Motta noticing.
One point of this story is that Motta obeyed his Instructor although he did not perceive the urgency of the instruction, and although he disagreed with the need to break with a person whom he considered harmless. Another point is that Magick is much simpler, and much more immediate, than the inexperienced think. One's Circle must be protected, one's Aura can be invaded, one's Invocations must be uttered with a pure, sincere and (if possible) flaming heart, and one's obedience to one's Superior and one's respect for him or her must be absolute.
Naturally, this last is a very undemocratic concept. But it is simply a matter of contract, as any fool who has had a chance to inspect the Oath and Task of a Probationer of the A.·.A.·. should be able to tell (but fools rush in where angels fear to tread). The contract says that the Instructor is supposed to judge your conduct; it does not say that you are supposed to judge the conduct of the Instructor. It also says that you can leave the Order any time you feel like it.
What is the situation of an "aspirant" who judges the conduct of the Instructor and refuses to obey him or her, yet insists that he or she, the "aspirant", remains a member of the Order?
(Naturally, in such cases the Instructor is wrong, or unfair, or a charlatan, and unfit to represent the Order, while the great He - or she - is right, and fair, and neither a traitor nor a liar - especially not so to himself or herself.)
Crowley wrote of such "aspirants" in a note to Liber 418: "When the aspiration (Neschamah), the natural protection against all lower forces, is sullied, befooled, or weakened, the wretch becomes an easy prey to grosser forms of temptation. We see in fact only too often a man of the utmost probity and intellectual integrity, who errs in some strictly spiritual matter, lose every trace of rationality, and throw off all moral restraint, becoming the helpless victim of ludicrous and hideous temptations which had never threatened him before in his whole life. His nature is so radically corrupted that his friends believe him to have become insane. But his fall is quite logical, as a tumbling steeple may crush the perfectly sound structure beneath it."
Outstanding examples of such errors have been Charles Stansfeld Jones, Jack Parsons, Wilfred T. Smith, Francis "Israel" Regardie, Kenneth Grant, Grady McMurtry and Louis Culling (Seckler's case is special and far more serious, and Helen Parsons-Smith has always been a moral wimp, therefore does not count). James Wasserman and Martin Patrick Starr now join the roll.
If one supposes that Wasserman was sincere at the beginning (which is debatable and irrelevant), his mistake came from letting himself get homosexually involved with one of Phyllis Seckler's "disciples". His letter to Motta of August 18 1976 e.v., reproduced elsewhere in this book, is a remarkable psychological document. It has all the earmarks of demonic obsession. But, we repeat, only if one supposes Wasserman was ever sincere when requesting to become a Probationer under Motta.
In the trial in California, Wasserman stated in court that Motta had had a most constructive influence in his life, and that he owed Motta deep gratitude for Motta's teaching. He sounded very sincere. Motta thought at the time, and still thinks, that it is a pity that he was never able to teach Wasserman to stop being a thief and a perjurer. Compliments from such people are worse than meaningless.
Let us consider Mr. Martin Patrick Starr's case. Again, let us suppose for a moment that Mr. Starr was sincere when he requested to become a Probationer under Motta, and was not sent him by Phyllis Seckler, with whom he had been associated previously.
Mr. Starr appeared in court in California as a surprise witness for the Reagan government gang (McMurtry & Co., we add for the benefit of our more naive readers). He stated under oath that Mr. Motta was an alcoholic, that Mr. Motta spent all his time talking of nothing but the small size of his penis, and that Mr. Motta was a sloppy editor who maimed Crowley's texts. He introduced as "evidence" copies of Motta's private letters to other pupils, which theoretically were confidential documents and totally irrelevant to the proceedings. By appealing to arguments ad homine he - under the guidance of the California gang's special agent - did his best to undermine Motta's case.
The curious fact in this matter is that just one year previously, in Maine, Mr. Starr had testified under oath that Mr. Motta was a sincere, honest, admirable, strict and legitimate representative of the O.T.O. - and that McMurtry and the California gang were not.
What happened during this year to change Mr. Starr's testimony under oath, and Mr. Starr's supposed allegiances, so radically?
Some time before, in a telephone conversation, Motta had been talkative enough to reveal to Starr one of his favorite techniques to test the moral stamina of a pupil: he makes himself as thoroughly unpleasant as he can.
The public disclosure of this technique will not decrease its value: Motta's talent at making himself unpleasant is unmatched: he goest straight for the "sore spot", which is worse than going for the jugular. Besides, Mr. Starr knowing this, all American "intelligence" services and their subsidiary services in other countries - such as MI 5 and MI 6, for instance - already know it. As to the Mossad, it is not subsidiary to American "intelligence" services: it is American "intelligence" services which are subsidiary to it.
Subsequently, Mr. Starr had written Motta a letter stating, "No matter what you do, I will not resign from the O.T.O."
Now, this is really waving a red flag before the Bull. Mr. Motta took note of his disciple's Magickal Pledge (always supposing Mr. Starr was a disciple) and bid his time. Without going deeply into Mr. Starr's private affairs, some time ago the young man had planned to rent an apartment with a woman and share it with her. Motta ordered him not to do so. Mr. Starr obeyed, which was counted in his favor. The woman, who had represented herself as an O.T.O. candidate, at once cut contact with both Mr. Starr and the O.T.O., which showed her real intentions.
Alas! Mr. Starr's resistance to female wiles was not equated by his resistance to male wiles. He systematically, and of his own whim - we cannot under the circumstances say of his own volition - cut contact with homosexual lovers, and wrote in his Record that he had done so; two or three days later he was back in bed with the person, and did not seem to realize he had broken the word he had given to himself, and which had been magickally sealed by being written down in his Record. For a long time Mr. Motta did not know of this, but felt the effects. On August 28 of 1984 e.v. he wrote Mr. Starr the following letter: Care Frater; Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Your letter of the 23rd: You are under very serious attack - much more serious than I had thought. I cannot trace the origin, because you are not sufficiently frank in your communications with me. It may be one of your lovers or acquaintances; it may be connected with your copying sections of the insane ravings of that unhappy man, Parsons. The mind of a great human being is a like a garden of many plants, where one always picks the flowers of one's choice - like "cunt and cocaine" instead of "coffee and cigar"... This was a reference to a passage in one of Crowley's writings in which "the two C's" were mentioned. In the context of the passage in question, Crowley could have meant nothing but "coffee and cigar" - he was in a public restaurant and had just finished a meal. Mr. Starr's inclinations led him to the conclusion that Crowley must have meant "cunt" and "cocaine", to which he jokingly referred in other occasions with the same cipher. ... I have seldom seem more obvious evidence of the influence of Choronzon - unto which there be Restriction in the Name of Babalon! - than in Parson's "Belarion" obsession. Poor man. Your letter made me actually physically sick, such was the residual force of your hostility; you being my pupil I am, of course, open to you. First, you force me to repeat that you will not go to England to copy anything at the Warburg; I am the person who will go to England. I made this very clear in a letter to X... Motta's then lawyer. Motta's point was that Starr, who was always protesting lack of funds, had breezily offered to fly to England and copy things at the Warburg, instead of offering his Instructor the money to do so - Motta being much more qualified to decide what was worth copying at the Warburg than he. ... I put up with your "forgetfulness", but should you actually defy my decisions at any time, rest assured that I will expel you at once. You do not have the necessary strength of character to withstand the pressures you would be under if you went, and you are making this fact very clear by your present attitude.
You can, of course, go to England at any time you please; but you will not do so under O.T.O. authority, for I will cut all contact with you permanently if you disobey me in this matter.
The insolence, insincerity and covert rebellion hidden behind the polite and formal facade of your letter pained me so much that I was tempted to cut A.·.A.·. contact with you. Please take a good look at the last paragraph of your Oaths of Probationer and Neophyte. You owe me, your Instructor, reverence, duty and sympathy. I can see you reply: "You are not the A.·.A.·. !" I have been told that before. The person who told me that I eventually was forced to cut contact with. Years later, he exhibited the same symptoms Parsons did, albeit on a much lower scale, for he was a much lesser man...
This person had printed and sold Motta's first translation of Liber AL in Portuguese as his own, alleging that Motta's published text - product of ten years' revision of the first draft - was imperfect. Unfortunately for the Brasilian would-be-Weiser, Motta still had the first draft in his archives, as well as his entire correspondence with the thief. ... Yes, I am not the A.·.A.·.; but I am as much of the A.·.A.·. as you will ever see, if you persist in disrespecting me.
Do not send me any diaries right now, it would be a waste of time for me to read them. Send me nine months from now whatever diaries you start from the date of your receipt of this letter. Then we will see.
You seem, naturally, to have missed the main point that I wanted you to get in my letter to Ms. Y., which was that, if I am breaking all links with a woman who has spent ten times more money on the Work than you ever did, who served me faithfully as long as I was willing to be her lover, with whom I was intimate for ten years, and whom in my heart I still hold in great regard, it will be much easier for me to do the same with you, who up to now have served me solely in the interests of your own ego, who have been insolent to me in the presence of profanes, who send me false letters full of covert hostility, and whom I have never been intimate with. Nor, after this latest letter of yours, will I ever be... During Starr's last visit to Motta some months before (when he had copied the material he eventually handed to the California gang - whether already intending to do this or not it is difficult to say, and irrelevant here), he had made sexual overtures which were gently refused. But Motta does not believe that Starr's subsequent fury against him was that of a suitor - suitoress?... - scorned. The problem was deeper and simpler at the same time. Motta took time out to read what records he already had from his pupil and verified not only Starr's tendency to break with a male lover and then take the fellow up again a few days later as if nothing had happened, but also another, deadlier problem developing: Starr had eventually fixated himself on another homosexual, a Jew who was a Zionist sympathizer and regularly sent contributions to "Israel". On discovering that his lover did this, Starr had, of his own initiative, given the man an ultimatum: either he would stop this practice, or Starr would cut with him. The lover refused to stop, and Starr wrote a full page in his record to the effect that he was cutting with the fellow. Three days later the record read that they were back together. No explanation was given.
Motta wrote to his homosexual pupil, pointing out this serious weakness in the Wand, and said in effect: "It is none of your business if your lover sends money to 'Israel' unless you are contemplating a permanent relationship...
No real Thelemite would contemplate a permanent relationship of any kind with an "Israeli" or a Zionist, any more than he or she would contemplate a permanent relationship of any kind with a Christist; particularly a Roman Catholic. Phyllis Seckler's daughter accused by Mrs. Germer married one, and in her letter to Motta Mrs. Germer explicitly stated that the girl's brother in law was a member of the gang who robbed her.
... But if you once make an issue of it and then go back on your word, this is a very bad Magickal break, and you are in trouble. Either you are consistent in your behavior, or disaster will follow."
As Crowley put it a long time ago: "... From all this it follows as a matter of course that the next requisite is obedience. The purpose of the disciple is to obtain the mastery over his or her own lower self, and for this reason he or she must not submit himself or herself to the will of his or her lower nature, but follow the will of that higher nature, which he or she does not yet know, but which he or she desires to find. In obeying the will of the master, instead of following the one which he or she believes to be his or her own, but which is in reality only that of his or her lower nature, he or she obeys the will of his or her own higher nature with which his or her master is associated for the purpose of aiding the disciple in attaining the conquest over himself or herself. The conquest of the higher self over the lower self means the victory of the divine consciousness in the human being over that which in us is earthly and animal. Its object is a realization of true manhood and womanhood, and the attainment of conscious immortality in the realization of the highest state of existence in perfection."
Naturally, the question always remains: Is the "master" really allied to my divine consciousness or is he (or she) just maneuvering to keep me his or her psychic slave? The question is unanswerable. It should be Neschamah who dictates the choice - and it usually does, when the Aspirant is sound, and the aspiration sincere.
But suppose Neschamah is "sullied, or befooled, or weakened"? Alas for the disciple, and often alas for the teacher! As Crowley put it elsewhere (Liber 333, Ch. 45: "White is white' is the lash of the overseer; 'white is black' is the watchword of the slave. The Master takes no heed." And he proceeds to explain: "The ruler asserts facts as they are; the slave has therefore no option but to deny them passionately, in order to express his discontent."
The alternative, of course, is to stop being a slave. But this is so very uncomfortable! Freedom is such a responsibility! And thus the following, as monotonously often before and after, came to pass: