Resources for O.T.O. Leadership


U.S.G.L. Websites

Yahoo Groups


This bibliography contains four sections:

  • Works Explicitly Regarding O.T.O.
  • General Leadership and Organizing
  • Organizing Manuals for Analogous Groups
  • Philosophical Approaches and Classics
As a leader (or aspiring leader), you may benefit from simply choosing some of these to study on your own. Consider the possibilities of group study within a local leadership team, however. You can put together a seminar in which each participant chooses one book to read, and then presents to the others those ideas that she finds relevant to the work of the local body.

Works Explicitly Regarding O.T.O.

Publications of the U.S. Grand Lodge, including:
  • Camp, Oasis, and Lodge Master's Handbook
  • E.G.C. Manual
  • Minerval Guide

Crowley, Aleister. Liber Aleph vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom or Folly. 93 Publishing: New York, 1991. Like "Khabs am Pekht," (in Equinox III:10), this book was addressed to Frater Achad (Charles Stansfeld Jones) as a leader of the Thelemic movement, and includes wisdom or folly "On the Ordering of Things," "On Directing Disciples," "On Different Works of the Illuminators" and on other topics pertinent to O.T.O. and Thelemic organizing.

Hymenaeus Beta, ed. The Equinox, Volume III, Number 10. 93 Publishing: New York, 1990. This "ancestor worship" issue of The Equinox is indispensable for official papers describing the plan of the Order under Crowley, as well as important pieces of Thelemic political philosophy. It reprints the relevant portions of the 1919 "Blue Equinox" which inform the Order's institutional agenda.

General Leadership and Organizing

Aron, Elaine N. The Highly Sensitive Person. Broadway Books: New York, 1996. There are two types of people in the world: those who find it useful to divide people into types, and those who don't. Even if you disagree with the diagnostic typology underlying this book, you may find its approach to sensitivity helpful when dealing with sensitive, "mystical" people, particularly if you are one.

Beer, Jennifer E. with Stief, Eileen. The Mediator's Handbook. New Society Publishers (NSP): Canada, 1997. A standard reference on the topic, in-print for over two decades. The authors intended this text to be useful in "corporations, government agencies, community organizations, schools, or any other situation where there is a need to build bridges between diverse perspectives.

Benton, D.A. How to Think Like a CEO: The 22 Vital Traits You Need to be the Person at the Top. Warner Books: New York, 1996. Not just oriented towards commercial corporations, this book describes traits and tactics appropriate for leadership in any context.

Block, Peter. Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-interest. Berrett-Koehler: San Francisco, 1993. A call for reform in commercial management, full of important ideas regarding leadership dynamics in any organization, this book emphasizes a model of participatory leadership that is "democratic" in spirit, without requiring the stereotypical trappings of democratic governance or exposure to their perils.

Boylan, Bob. Get Everyone in Your Boat Rowing in the Same Direction: 5 Leadership Principles to Follow So Others Will Follow You. Adams Media: 1993. A useful management primer.

Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. Simon & Schuster: New York, 1989. The fact that this book is ubiquitous in profane management is no reason to ignore it. See if you can distinguish the essential principles from the management-fad jargon, and what tacit elements of Thelema made this book such a success.

Collins, Jim. Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't. Harper Collins: New York, 2001. Although addressed to leaders in commercial business, all of the basic issues in this book are relevant to organizations that want to transcend competence and achieve excellence. Based on empirical research studies, some of the resulting advice is decidedly counter-intuitive.

Fussell, Paul. Class: A Guide through the American Status System.Touchstone: 1992. It is very helpful for a leader to recognize what individual members" class-based assumptions might be. As Crowley points out in'thien Tao" (q.v.), our "aristocracy is not an aristocracy because it is not an aristocracy." Although a little outdated, this book is a quick and entertaining introduction to class distinctions in American society, and should help to avoid their na"ve replication in the O.T.O. context.

Gardner, John W. Self-Renewal. Harper & Row: New York, 1965. A profound and important treatment of the philosophy of leadership. This book is oriented towards organic models and addresses both the ongoing renewal of the persistent leader, and the renewal of the society through the succession of leaders and change of organization. Also noteworthy is the text Leadership Papers (1988) by the same author.

Hersey, Paul and Blanchard, Ken. Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources. Prentice Hall: New Jersey, 1982. This is a standard textbook in college level organizational management classes. Principally a book on the theory of applied behavior sciences, it covers all the major theories and models of delegation, participation, salesmanship, persuasion and leadership. This book discusses the basic ingredients of effective human skills, and lays out in unambiguous language everything a leader needs to know about directing, changing and controlling human behavior from a scientific perspective. Often called the "managers book of black magic" or "the book of management Jedi mind tricks" (really!), this book covers a variety of relevant psychological and sociological models.

Hillman, James. Kinds of Power: A Guide to Its Intelligent Uses. Doubleday: New York, 1995. This text is a piece of "industrial psychology" aimed at business executives, but all of the issues that it raises are pertinent to the work of the Order. Chapter topics include "Growth," "service," "Office," "Authority," and "subtle Power," among others. Hillman is a Jungian analyst and depth psychologist.

Kaner, Sam et al. Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. New Society Publishers (NSP): Canada, 2000. A manual and sourcebook for facilitators and leaders who seek to encourage full participation of a group. While a Man of Earth body is technically under the arbitrary rule of a single Master, the effectiveness of that Master will depend on the development of inclusive, sustainable agreements within the membership, leading to broad-based activity and involvement.

Kouzes, James M. and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge. Joey-Bass: San Francisco, 1995. An effective primer on ethical and transformative leadership.

Magretta, Joan (with Nan Stone). What Management Is: How It Works and Why It's Everyone's Business. Free Press: New York, 2002. A frank and useful primer on management theory, largely devoid of buzzwords, and directed to the most general of audiences. Very useful for local body officers of all sorts.

Mindell, Arnole. The Leader as Martial Artist: Techniques and Strategies for Resolving Conflict and Creating Community. Harper Collins: New York, 1993. A more esoterically-oriented leadership approach. This book applies vital force theories to the issues of leadership and group facilitation.

Morrisey, George L. Morrisey on Planning. (3 vols.) Jossey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco, California, 1996. These books are addressed to organizational leaders. The topics of the three individual volumes are I) Strategic Thinking: Building Your Planning Foundation, II) Long-Range Planning: Creating Your Strategic Journey, and III) Tactical Planning: Producing Your Short-Term Results.

Sherman, John, ed. The New Robert's Rules of Order. Barnes & Noble: New York, 1993. Modernized edition of the basic canon of parliamentary procedure for English-speaking societies. Use of Robert's Rules in small group meetings could be counterproductive, but a thorough understanding of parliamentary rules and their motives is an asset in leading and managing any meeting. Knowledge of the rules also embraces a peculiar sort of magick art that can give an individual an "edge" in any meeting where they are employed.

Organizing Manuals for Analgous Groups

Amber K.. Covencraft: Witchcraft for Three or More. Llewellyn: USA, 1998. Despite some sectarian Wiccan emphasis, this book includes interesting and useful tips on training, group dynamics, counseling, networking, and community relationships, as well as some material on pastoral counseling. Scalability issues with the coven model will make this book most useful to Camp leadership.

Bobo, Kim and Kendall, Jackie and Max, Steven. Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. Steven Locks Press: Santa Ana, California, 2001. A manual used by the Midwest Academy in its training seminars for leadership in progressive interest groups.

Callaghan, Kennon L. Twelve Keys to an Effective Church. Haper & Row: San Francisco, 1983. This book was a cardinal influence on my paper "Models for Development of O.T.O. Local Bodies." It includes all sorts of elaborate metrics for church development, some of which are highly applicable to O.T.O. bodies.

Greer, John Michael. Inside a Magical Lodge: Group Ritual in the Western Tradition. Llewellyn: St. Paul, 1998. A thoughtful book about the operation of modern esoteric groups based on the Freemasonic lodge system. It is not a "how to" text for O.T.O. Man of Earth bodies, however. For example, in his section on "Principles of Lodge Governance," Greer includes a requirement that governing offices be held by election from the local membership, whereas our body masters must be appointed by the Electoral College of the Senate. Many of the ceremonial recommendations and business advice are superfluous in light of the preexisting rites and institutional mechanisms of O.T.O.. Still, there are many valuable ideas in this book.

Herrmann, Arthur. Designs Upon the Trestleboard. Macoy: Richmond, 1957. A manual for Masonic Lodgemasters. Of particular interest are the chapters on "Setting the Craft at Work," "How to Stimulate Lodge Attendance," "Some Ideas on Programming," and "How to Improve Your Memory."

Kretzmann, John P. and McKnight, John L. Building Communities from the Inside Out. Asset-Based Community Development Institute: Chicago, Illinois, 1993. A guide to "asset-based community development." The context is that of neighborhood communities, but there are many lessons and ideas pertinent to the work of volitional communities like a local body.

Nomolos, Yaj. The Magic Circle: Its Successful Organization and Leadership.International Imports: Toluca Lake, 1987. This slender text, styled "an occult group leader's handbook," has some commonsense advice about organizing, in a hilarious, earthy style. It is addressed to ad hoc organizers, more than those operating within their obligations to an Order such as ours, but it is still entertaining and thought-provoking. Don't let the Crowley misquotes and juvenile power-mongering put you off. It's not pristine wisdom of the ancients, but it's a fun, provocative read.

Roberts, Allen E. The Search for Leadership. Anchor Communications: Highland Springs, 1987. Roberts is a popular author on Freemasonry, and this book collects his essays, articles, and papers on the practical work of lodge organizing and cultivation of leadership. While much of the book is addressed to the peculiar institutional issues of contemporary Masonry, there is plenty of material relevant to O.T.O. work as well.

Philosophical Approaches and Classics

Battin, Margaret P. Ethics in the Sanctuary: Examining the Practices of Organized Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Battin points out how religious bodies and organizers have often been excused from ethical criticism, and develops an approach to some of the ethical problems common among religious organizations. She draws on both the discipline of professional ethics and "everyday" ethical notions commonly used in criticizing the derelictions of leaders and teachers. The issues in her principal case studies are confidentiality, informed consent in decision making, and paternalism. The book provides valuable fodd for thought for any O.T.O. organizer, as well as EGC clergy.

Cleary, Thomas (trans.). The Book of Leadership and Strategy, in The Taoist Classics, vol. I. Shambhala: Boston, 1999. Also published separately. Goes into greater detail regarding the leadership themes of the Tao Te Ching (q.v.)

Cleary, Thomas (trans.). Zen Lessons: The Art of Leadership. Shambhala: Boston, 1989. Epigrams and parables about leadership, from Chinese Song dynasty sources.

Crowley, Aleister. The Tao Teh King. Red Wheel/Weiser: 1995.  A new translation with a commentary by the Master Therion. This is the most exalted and yet practical of the Chinese classics. Also called Liber LXXXI

Crowley, Aleister. "Thien Tao, or The Synagogue of Satan" in Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light. Teitan: Chicago, 1990. An early and pivotal "political essay" by Crowley, to which he continued to refer much later in life.

Franklin, Benjamin. Poor Richard's Almanack. Peter Pauper Press: Mount Vernon, New York: 1732. "Being the choicest Morsels of Wisdom, written during the Years of the Almanack's Publication, By that well-known Savant, Dr. Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia." Not an overabundance of good advice; good for what ails you; lightens the heart when the tasks of leadership seem to make the days a bit cloudy.

Khawam, Rene R. (trans.) The Subtle Ruse: The Book of Arabic Wisdom and Guile. East-West Publications: London, 1980. An English translation of the Raqa"iq al-hilal fi Daqaiq al-hiyal ("Cloaks of Fine Fabric in Subtle Ruses"), written c. 1300 e.v. as a compendium of diplomacy, applied psychology, and subterfuge, in the form of numerous narratives and examples.

Lao Tse. Tao Te Ching. (trans. Stephen Mitchell) Harper & Row: New York, 1988. Many other worthwhile translations and editions are also available, including Crowley's (above) and Ursula LeGuin's. "And so the Master shapes without cutting, squares without sawing, trues without forcing. He is the light that does not shine."

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Bantam: New York, 1984. "It must be understood, that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." Again, many translations and editions are available.