February 1990 Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter (March and April events) Mailed free withi

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

February 1990 Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter (March and April events) Mailed free within 100 miles of San Francisco California Copyright (c) O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1990 e.v. Limited license is hereby granted to reproduce this file without fee, with this message intact. This license expires February 1991 e.v. unless renewed in writing. No charge other than reproduction costs is permitted under this license to the receivers of copies of this file without O.T.O. written permission. Ordo Templi Orientis P.O. Box 2303 Berkeley, CA 94702 USA Temple Location: 588 63rd St. Oakland, California (Entrance in back, to the right) Phones: Lodge/Temple: (415) 655-4942 Messages Only: (415) 454-5176 Compuserve: 72105,1351 ************************************************************************* Raid Update The Berkeley Police Review Commission has been conducting interviews and holding hearings since the last issue of the "Thelema Lodge Calendar". A partial determination has been rendered by the PRC in regard to one complainant. The Berkeley Police Review Commission makes internal recommendations to the City regarding conduct of officers and complaints by citizens. In the partial determinations (more pending after April), the Commission found that insufficient evidence had been presented for direct religious persecution to be sustained on a split 2 to 1 vote. The dissenting opinion was given at length. The Commission did find that the affidavit (hence the search warrant itself) and the performance of the search were tainted by religious prejudice. Certain of the charges brought by Brother S. against officer conduct were examined, with verbal abuse and improper arrest being sustained. The greater part of the charges are still under hearing and review. The sequence of events leading up to the raid: A dispute between tenants at 8th Street and the property immediately behind on 7th Street in Berkeley degenerated into accusations and petty complaints to the BPD. Most O.T.O. member tenants at 8th Street were not involved, only non-O.T.O. tenants below the main unit and a tenant in the detached cottage. This dispute proceeded to the point of restraining orders, harassment and varying abuses against persons and property. A former love relationship had broken up and a new one had been formed, with considerable acrimony resulting over who had what rights of access to property and privacy. The landlord of both properties used individuals from 7th street in dealing with maintenance and business on 8th street. An effort was made to improperly involve local O.T.O. in the matter by a certain party or parties on 7th street; to wit, O.T.O. was amorphously threatened with retribution if local O.T.O. leaders did not force the party in the 8th street cottage to leave her home. Local O.T.O. held that it could not intervene without becoming libel to civil tort and gross impropriety. The situation degenerated further, resulting in building inspections and a rent strike. The building inspections determined that the cottage and the lower units on 8th street were in numerous code violations, and the landlord's capacity to rent those units without major renovation was challenged by the City of Berkeley. C., a renter on 7th Street, made a complaint to the Berkeley PD about "missing wood". C. has testified that she made extensive comment about alleged drug use on the 8th street property, implicating O.T.O. Documents of an unidentified nature belonging to O.T.O. were given at that time to Officer Robles. C. further testified that she alleged O.T.O. to be a "Satanic" organization involved in abuse of minors. Officer Robles testified that he made a check on C.'s name and came up with no old charges. Following this episode, C. informed officer Robles that the landlord wanted to talk to him. C. also informed the landlord that officer Robles wanted to talk to him. It is not clear whether either landlord or officer initiated these efforts at contact. The landlord expressed concern that he would have a legal liability if he did not look into an allegation of drug use on his property, and he made arrangements to admit officer Robles to the 8th street property. Officer Robles and another officer posed as plumbers at the instigation of the landlord and gained entrance to the upper unit on 8th street without knowledge of their identity by the tenants. Officer Robles later testified that he read "The Ultimate Evil" and "Satan Wants You" in an effort to research O.T.O., somehow missing the fact that the latter book attacks the former and dismisses O.T.O. from involvement with "Satanism". Using a copy of the "Thelema Lodge Calendar" provided by C. (who is not on the mailing list for the TLC!) and his other information, officer Robles sought and obtained a search warrant. This warrant was executed 9/29-30/89 e.v. That's the news and background in brief. Now for highlights from the interviews and sworn testimony. Officer Robles admitted giving an orientation talk to the other officers participating in the raid. This talk advised the officers that the raid was on a possibly "Satanic" organization and that they should be prepared to enter dwellings containing many dangerous weapons. He also advised officers that evidence of child sacrifice might be found. Nothing of this was mentioned on the search warrant (which focused on drugs). Officers participating in the raid gave varied testimony, some remarking that there are numerous comments about "Satanism" during the raid and some not remembering any. One officer remarked that he just wandered about the rooms because they were "like a museum." Other officers made similar remarks. Officers testified about uncertainty in who arrested whom for what. At least one officer admitted signing an arrest sheet containing charges unknown to him --- this officer had arrested one of the residents on 63rd Street in Oakland for failure to give a true name. One of these charges was "possession of an IV unit". Officer Robles testified that he had said "I.D. card" to a secretary and that he had been misunderstood to have said "IV unit". Hence one individual was arrested and charged with failure to identify himself AND with possession of what later turned out to be his I.D. card! All persons arrested for being under the influence of narcotics who gave urine samples had the lab report come back clean, no narcotics. Despite this, one officer adamantly insisted that he never makes a mistake in determining such intoxication by eye examination. The houses were video taped, and that taping was characterized by officer E. to be complete filming of every room with emphasis, if any, on the evidence of alleged crime. Officer E. maintained that religious decorations and altars were not singled out. The video tape was shown during the PRC hearings. According to witnesses at the hearings, this tape did not show any of the alleged pipes, containers and other materials associated with drugs in the charges later dismissed, or any other charges outside of pyrotechnic (fireworks) chemicals owned by one person at 63th street not arrested during the raid. Witnesses to the tape viewing remarked that less than half of the rooms were shown on the tape, and that nearly all the tape was comprised of segments on books, religious paintings and religious articles. The Police Review Commission commented on the evident bias of the tape. There was a surprise witness. C. came before the PRC and requested the right to testify. She admitted contacting officer Robles, but denied that she had said anything about the O.T.O. members in the main unit at 8th Street dealing, buying or distributing drugs. She testified that she knew some O.T.O. members were into drugs because she had sold cocaine to such people at an unspecified time in the past. C. stated that she had only been in the upstairs unit on 8th street once since the residents had moved in --- by crawling in a window to secretly observe a Vth Degree initiation with C.D. She did not describe anything of the initiation, but C. never reached beyond Ist degree O.T.O. membership before her resignation on 3/12/86 e.v. from O.T.O. membership, according to Grand Lodge records (not made public unless a public statement about them is made by the member/former member as in this instance). C. testified accurately regarding her Minerval (3/7/81 e.v.) and Ist degree (9/25/82 e.v.) initiation dates, but she stated that her resignation occurred about one year later than Grand Lodge records indicate. C. made vague assertions that she possessed higher degrees and that her crawling in to observe the Vth Degree initiations was at the instruction of an unnamed IXth Degree, one year after her resignation from membership in O.T.O. by her own account and two years by O.T.O. records made the day of her resignation. C. also stated that her words to officer Robles about an animal sacrifice by O.T.O. were not by her actual witness but from hearsay. She capped this by the remarkable utterance that to kill a chicken or a Mexican was equally murder in her eyes. This reporter is thankful that officer Robles, of Mexican birth, was out of the room when his star witness made that statement to the PRC. O.T.O. is proud of its many Hispanic members, and of the wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds in its membership both here and abroad. The PRC determined that C. was not an adequate witness for basing the raid, and one member of the commission advised the police to read "Satanism in America" by Carlson and Larue (reviewed last year in the "TLC") in preference to the works cited by Officer Robles. C. expressed a desire to have nothing to do with O.T.O., a view in perfect accord with O.T.O.'s own wishes. Unfortunately, the present legal business is likely to drag on for quite a while Watch this space. It's getting interesting again! --- Bill Heidrick, Treasure General of O.T.O. international. Grand Treasure General of O.T.O. USA. NOT Treasurer of Thelema Lodge (There seems to be some confusion about my Office, so will I take a moment to clarify. I do print and mail the "TLC", primarily at my own expense to give service to the local O.T.O. Lodge. I can't get the time to go over to the East Bay much more than twice a month, owing to my Grand Lodge duties. This is my way of supporting Thelema Lodge, a place of many happy memories and current friendships. Thelema Lodge was the Grand Lodge of O.T.O. until early 1986 e.v. when Agape Grand Lodge was re-established with offices in New York and California for general management of the national and international O.T.O. Owing to my work with the Grand Lodge, I cannot participate as an officer on the local level without conflicts of time and/or interest. Usually I style myself "TSG" for "Thus Spake the Gopher" in my writings for the "TLC" --- an allusion to the wonderfully diverse and plentiful tasks the Grand Lodge generously finds for me.) ************************************************************************* February 1990 Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter (March and April events) Mailed free within 100 miles of San Francisco California Ordo Templi Orientis P.O. Box 2303 Berkeley, CA 94702 USA Temple Location: 588 63rd St. Oakland, California (Entrance in back, to the right) Phones: Lodge/Temple: (415) 655-4942 Compuserve: 72105,1351 ************************************************************************* Please feel free to forward this file to any BBS willing to take it

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank