(02/02/1946) Karl Germer to Grady McMurtry

February 2, 1946.

Dear Grady,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Your letter of January 26th with copies of your report and exhibits to A.C. reached me a day or two after I received a long letter from Jack with a copy of his to A.C. I have replied to him, without consideration of your report or any of the statements.

Let me congratulate on your report: it gives the immediate impression of balance, justice, keen observation, lack of bias, just what such a report should be. I am sure Aleister will like it.

The only criticism I have is that you have not interviewed or reported on a number of personalities. I mention Meeka Aldrich, both Canwrights, Betty (Sarah Northrup), Maria Prescott, Gene Wood, I leave out some others. You display in many cases such an excellent talent for character picture, that it would have been of interest to have your description of the others too. But I realise that the time was short.

I hope Jack’s break with Betty is final. But if she is really so hostile to the Order, and if she has no interest in the Work, I wonder how she could stop being a subversive influence as long as she keeps being around at all.

The various remarks on Max are interesting. I have not seen him for 18 years. I had my conflicts with him in those days on difference on policy, devotion, and actions. But the way he has behaved in the years since I am back in the U.S.A. proves that he as learned. I know Frederic did not fully approve of him. But I did not let that weigh too heavily because F. was attached to Smith, whose influence on all, without exception, has been extremely powerful and lasting.

I don’t know about your loan to A.C. However, I am sending you to-day three copies of the Tarot, insured. Let me know when they arrived safely. I have a supply of the prospectuses on the Book of Thoth which Max had printed, and of which I also enclose a copy; If you want more you can have them. I also have a few original prospectuses left, and I am sending one along too, for your use in selling. I don’t know what to advise about the price. I have only five copies left now, and I believe this is the rest of the edition. So there is no reason why we should not ask our own price. I don’t see where the OPA would come in at all. This is not an American production, and we will always be in a position to justify a price we set. There is only one bookdealer in the East who has received a few copies, and I believe they are all sold. He wanted some more, but I refused. Nobody in the middle West got any. About the West Coast you will be better informed than I.


About your financial arrangements with A.C. I know nothing. I know only that you sent him $80 regularly for a time. And I believe I remember now that you did make a larger contribution, was it for the completion of the Tarot? In any case It would be better you would tell me, because A.C. has no kncak [sic] to attend such matters.

Keep these three copies and use them the way you proposed. There is only one proviso: after you have sold the first copy try and send me my cash outlays which is about $3.50 per copy for duty, cartage, etc. and postage now. That is $10.50 in all.

I have no news yet from anybody that Jack did send the first installment on the payment for Wilkinson. The last I had from A.C. was that he was worried about it, because he had signed that contract and had not received Jack’s money. I have had and still have a hell of a time to drum everybody to keep me informed as a routine on all such matters. Jack first wrote he would send the checks through me.

Up to now I have been able to make my monthly transfers regularly, and keep the proceeds from sales of Tarot copies as a last reserve in the bank. But I am depleted now, and I may have to touch that reserve if I do not get increased contributions.

What do you want to do about you IX° fees ($14 per month)? I do not want to press this point now, considering your unsettled position. Still, you can, perhaps, let me have your ideas. Do you want to take up some sort of occupation in your profane life?

It is correct that Sascha and I plan to go to California in the summer for about three months. We would drive, go by the Northern route, and down to San Francisco from Oregon. Sascha has some professional friends in S.F., and we want to stay there two days, then proceed South to Los Angeles. She has been offered an attractive temporary job at a University, but it may take a month or two before she will get the final o.k. We would leave end of June, or early July.

I congratulate your rank of Captain, and Sascha was happy when she heard it. Still, all armies seem to be the same: they like to confirm such a raise just before saying goodbye.

A.C., will doubtless write you about your plan to incorporate the O.T.O. – a thing that should have been done before – and your setting up a Lodge in S.F. I do hope you succeed. I agree with your views as against those of Jack. But in all this: Success is your proof! There are different approaches for different personalities. Do write A.C. direct on your questions in your last paragraph re policy for running a lodge. I wish I had made an extra copy of my reply to Jack. One thing I stated again, as I want it understood: I have no experience whatever in lodge affairs, rituals, ceremonies, the Mass. The lodge system does not appeal to me. I have always refused to give advice in those matters. My way of approach to the Mysteries has been different from all others. I am sort of a lone wolf.


I have just read your letter to A.C. over again, and I thought I better add a word on the Jack/Max issue. I refer to your remark on page 1 under (1) that “all Jack lacks is an experienced instructor.

When it was necessary for me to appoint somebody to take Smith’s place, and when it showed that Jane who had been appointed temporarily by A.C., was and felt herself completely inadequate, I had to face the problem: how can I combine Jack’s personality, aspiration, integrity and leadership with Max’ knowledge in Magick, Qabalah, and the occult sciences together with his 25 or 30 years’ experience in Thelema and lodge work? Jack was in N.Y. I liked him. All reports from Jane and others showed him as the second in command and influence under Smith, a member of Agape for some years, partaker in the Mass on many occasions (he told me he knew the Mass mostly by heart), and the only man that was anywhere in view.

Yet I saw his magical and spiritual immaturity.

It was for this reason that I discussed with Jack the plan to take Max into the lodge, and for him to assist Jack in the spiritual and magical angle of lodge work. I thought that once that old antagonism between Smith and Max had been eliminated, a wholehearted cooperation of Jack/Max might become possible. I had even though that Max might be able to benefit Jack in his magical growth.

I had not counted with Jack’s dependence on Smith and the latter’s great ascendancy on his mind; nor with Betty’s power and influence. What I had never suspected was that Jack would break his pledge and keep up his personal relations with Smith. He had signed a pledge not to infringe on the strict injunction of Baphomet to cease all contracts with Smith: Starting a magical appointment with such a flagrant break of one’s own pledge is bad. I am still of opinion that it has been the cause of all the troubles through which Jack has had to go.

But after all we have to learn, all of us, through bitter experience. Once you enter the Work of the Gods, you have to learn a different yardstick, as well as that Their Ways are different. The unfortunate thing is that Jack never had the direct tuition of 666/ I am sure he has pulled through and will do so further. I hope he is shedding Smith’s influence completely, and also that he will get Betty out of his blood. All the statements are unanimous in that her influence was bad.

About Mary Garden and the Cefalu affair: Jane should know the real facts. It is a pity I am not in California, otherwise I could have answered questions. Betty May herself (wife of that boy’s whose name won’t come at the moment, the one that died at Cefalu) wrote in her book how A.C. cried and wept. I have red [sic] A.C.’s diaries and know how he had hoped to make a sort of magical successor out of him. All those stories came from those newspaper reporters who were in the service of Horatio Bottomley and one another, enemies of A.C.’s and eager for a scoop.

I think I have covered all I have on my mind.

Again best of luck.

Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally


(02/02/1946) Karl Germer to Grady McMurtry (pg.1)

(02/02/1946) Karl Germer to Grady McMurtry (pg.2)

(02/02/1946) Karl Germer to Grady McMurtry (pg.3)

NOTE: Thank you to Frater Orpheus for providing this material.