U.S. O.T.O. Grand Lodge
Other U.S. O.T.O. bodies
Book Reviews
Review by Fr. Mutatio est Stabilitas

The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites
By Martin Starr

Teitan Press
November 2003
Hardcover, 432 pgs

Martin Starr's The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites represents an enormous amount of research and personal correspondence on the author's part. His access to the major caches of Thelemic archival material as well as first person testimonials to the events reported in the book make The Unknown God an excellent piece of scholarship. Starr does a wonderful job of piecing together disparate bits of information to reconstruct the narrative of the early Thelemic movement in North America. The only detractor to this book is an unfortunate preponderance of editing mistakes. While this does not harm the overall achievement that this book represents, it does prove to be distracting.

In this storyline, we are brought from the days of Agape Lodge #1 in Vancouver to Smith’s death in 1957. This time frame included the founding of Thelemic Orders such as C.F. Russell's infamous Choronzon Club and Achad's short lived Psychomagian Society. It saw Frater Achad become Crowley's spiritual son as a Master of the Temple and his fall into dispersion in the Abyss. Smith's work included the founding of Agape Lodge #2 in Los Angeles and the first complete and regular performance of the Gnostic Mass. Smith was also witness to the fascinating work and untimely death of Jack Parsons.

Frater 132 (Smith) was a noteworthy figure in Thelemic history. After Achad, he served as honorary Grandmaster X° of the United States. He was a tireless and relentless supporter of Thelema. He was often at odds with Crowley and Germer about how to best promulgate the Law of Thelema. This eventually led to Crowley assigning him the work of Liber CXXXII. Crowley stated that Smith was a god incarnate and set Smith the task of fulfilling his godhead. Was Smith a god incarnate? Did he ever fully realize his godhead? Pick up a copy of The Unknown God and find out.