The letters O.T.O. represent the words Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the Orient, or Oriental Templars), but they have also a secret meaning for initiates. The Order does not proselytize, nor does it seek actively new members. However, those who aspire with sincerity and modestly will be welcome in the O.T.O.
The structure of O.T.O., like that of the ancient mystery schools, is based on a staged series of initiations or degrees. In the rituals of these degrees, O.T.O. seeks to instruct the individual by allegory and symbol in the profound mysteries of nature, and thereby to assist each initiate in discovering his or her own true identity.
The aims of the O.T.O. can only be understood fully by its highest initiates; but it may be said openly that it teaches Hermetic Science or Occult Knowledge, the Pure and Holy Magick of Light, the Secrets of Mystic attainment, Yoga of all forms, Gnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakta Yoga and Hatha Yoga, and all other branches of the secret Wisdom of the Ancients.
In its bosom repose the Great Mysteries; its brain has resolved all the problems of philosophy and of life.
It possesses the secret of the Stone of the Wise, of the Elixir of Immortality, and of the Universal Medicine.
Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man.
It also possesses in every important centre of population a hidden Retreat (Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum) where members may conceal themselves in order to pursue the Great Work without hindrance.