The History of SOLAR LODGE
Book I - Inside the Order
The Story Continues . . .
A New Grand Lodge
One day, word was brought regarding a certain three-story mansion for sale at 2627 Menlo Avenue (see photo >), about two blocks away from the 30th Street headquarters. Everyone liked it. It cost $36,000. Buy!
Now this new mansion was inhabited by prostitutes and drug dealers, and they were all black - both in their skin color and in their mood at being told that they had to move. In fact, most of them didnt budge an inch.
When the day of possession came, a group of seven members went to the house, walked in the [unlocked] front door, and marched up to the third floor - a vast open area destined to become the new temple. Walking up the polished wood staircase, the "intruders" were met with glares and mean snarls, but they continued in a detached manner.
After locking themselves inside the third floor, Shiva began the banishing ritual. During the brief ceremony, arguing, shrieks and cries came from the downstairs area. After the ceremony, the house was empty - completely deserted by the previous tenants, and nothing was ever heard from them again. This is an example of Practical Magick.
The new house was wonderful! It was designated as a I° house - That is, no one was allowed there unless they had taken the I°. Of course, casual, outside visitors who were there for business or socializing never knew about any of this.
Shem took over the 30th Street house, having moved in from Manhattan Beach. This house was designated as the 0° house, and the induction of students as well as the 0° ceremonies now took place here.
It was at this point that Shem purchased a heavy-duty, retired, telephone company truck complete with winch and crane, two electrical generators, an arc-welder, a new Toyota Land Cruiser, plus an entire assortment of tools and building supplies.
His largest purchase was composed of three metal buildings that had to be dismantled and moved by the Order. The first, an office building, required four weeks to take apart and move to Menlo Avenue in rented trucks. The second building, a huge quonset hut, took an additional four weeks. When the time came to dismantle the third building, a huge garage, there was only one night left before reaching the 8-week deadline that had been established under the terms of the purchase agreement. One member described that night:
"We arrived at the site on a Sunday evening, a little before sunset. We only had one night to take apart and move a building. It had taken four weeks to do the same with each of the previous two buildings.
"Suffice it to say that at Dawn, twelve hours latter, there was no building left. It was on our trucks. The large, rented truck was classified as a five-ton (load) vehicle, and by law, each axle could not legally carry more than 10,000 lbs. On the way home, Vulcan could not resist taking the obviously overloaded truck through a public scale. The front axle weighed in at 8,000 lbs.; the rear axle was carrying a whopping 16,000 lbs.! The entire load was safely set down in the back yard at Menlo Avenue."
The Orders bookstore, The Eye of Horus, was moved from the USC location to a new address on 8th Street.
All of these activities led into a weekly ritual: The members would work all week and then on Friday afternoon the trucks were loaded. After viewing the first-run TV voyages of the starship Enterprise, the trucks would begin to roll out. Rental trucks, pickup trucks, a Land Cruiser with a huge, flatbed trailer, and finally a rented Semi that was used to transport two 10,000 gallon gasoline tanks and a D-4 Caterpillar.
Week after week the supplies were carted out to the desert plateau, and there they were assembled into new buildings. Additional materials were constantly being bought on the new and used market.
Shem put the steel buildings together with help from selected members. A swimming pool was fashioned out of one of the huge 10,000 gallon gasoline tanks - Two wells pumped massive amounts of water for irrigation and storage in a water tower tank.
Back in Los Angeles, a humorous event occurred: One night the membership was holding a routine ceremonial meeting. You know the kind: Everyone in black robes with hoods and wearing their ceremonial daggers. During the ceremony, a next-door neighbor (at 2631 South Menlo - see photo >) decided to practice on his drums. He had done this late at night on other occasions, but on this night, it was warm and all the windows were open - the irritating noise was impossible.
The Order dispatched a seductive female over to invite the neighbor to attend their "party." And he came. Ha! .He, a young black man, sat down in the library with a room full of black-robed Caucasians. The honkies were pleasant, and they inquired about his health and lifestyle while avoiding similar questions from him. ("Who are you people?"). Eventually, after refreshments were served, he was politely reminded about the irritability of noise. He acknowledged that he understood and he seemed to promise to restrain his drum playing late at night. However, he did not stop. After a few days, he was back to making a racket at midnight and 1:00 AM. How to solve the problem? Buy! That next-door mansion was a mere $28,000.
Thus Solar Lodge expanded to two, three-story mansions on Menlo Avenue. A print shop was installed in the basement of the new house for printing of literature and the re-printing of rare books. That made a total of five houses in Los Angeles. And it didnt stop there.
The accumulation of supplies went on - day in and day out. The Friday night convoys and the weekend construction activities continued - week in and week out. New members continued to arrive, and the yoga, the magickal ceremonies, and the initiations never slowed down.
By 1968, everyone involved was putting all their effort into the Order. There was not much money to put in, except for the well-heeled dentist, Shem, who essentially financed the whole project. The desert retreat was guarded by a permanent resident member who assumed the name of Dave Solar, and the mailbox on the highway simply said, Solar.
There is one further matter to reveal prior to moving on to the conclusion of this cycle. During the time accounted for above, the Order progressed on (relatively) firm spiritual principles. The money came from honestly-run businesses, not from the bleeding of the membership. The only way to preserve this type of integrity is to maintain the standards of initiation. Every magickal group you can name has gone down in flames when it varied its standards in order to increase material gain rather than to maintain correctness.
Solar Lodge, under the direction of Capricornus, and the administration of Shiva, maintained strict policies of work to be done (yoga, magick, divination, astral projection, etc.), books to be read and understood, and difficult exams to be passed prior to any initiation. But then . . .
One day, Shiva was standing on the wide stairway at the Menlo Avenue mansion. He looked down and saw Medusa, who was a member of the probationary degree. Shiva approached Capricornus in her bedroom and said, "Medusa is downstairs! Who allowed a probationer to even know about this house?" "Its all right," replied Capricornus, "She will be taking the first degree next week."
Shiva said, "No she wont! She's flunked the first degree exam twice, and miserably at that. I dont expect her to pass it on her third attempt in the next few days. Shes not ready!" Capricornus assumed her dictator pose and proclaimed, "She is getting the first degree whether she passes the exam or not! And shes getting it because we need her as a worker, and she is willing to work!"
And that, dear reader, is when the internal seed of disorder was sown into the fertile ground of Solar Lodge. The standards had suddenly been altered in order to allow entrance to an unqualified candidate just because she was willing to work. Later, others were admitted to grades in a similar manner. Shiva was forced to relax the rules and standards. Even though this occurred in 1968, its effects were not evident for some time to come.
Rollin, Rollin, Rollin on the River
One morning Capricornus decided that she was prepared to retire to the desert. Shiva and Shem agreed - but only on the condition that Sol was not to be a factor in the move nor a mover of future events. It was well known that Sol required comforts and that he had a strong attachment to the city.
So, all three agreed and the new plan was announced. In order to speed things up a bit, the Order bought the commercial facilities at the nearby (almost a ghost) town of Vidal. This included a gas station, a cafe, a bar, a house, a motel, an abandoned post office, and a small grocery store. The payments? No money down and $300 per month. Cheap enough! Buy!
Then the Order rented the old Post Office building in the town of Blythe. This would serve as the new location of The Eye of Horus, and that symbol stood forth on the storefront.
Then the move out from the city began. Staffing was needed at the Vidal complex, at Solar Ranch, and at the store in Blythe. A few members remained in Los Angeles to look after the apartments. This was the time of maximum expansion. The businesses in L.A. were moved to the desert. Some members took jobs nearby in Blythe. Shem moved his dental practice to Blythe. Others retained their jobs in L.A., but visited on the weekends.
A quick inventory would include:
SOLAR LODGE - June, 1969
Total Active Membership: 50 Initiates
LOS ANGELES: Five apartment houses: #1 - The first 30th Street property, a duplex a two bedroom house with a one bedroom unit attached - rented out to non-members. #2 - The original 30th Street two-story mansion with six apartments and a separate, two-apartment building in the back yard. #3 - The third property on 30th Street, a three bedroom house with four courtyard rental units in the back yard. #4 - The first Menlo Avenue mansion - three stories with seven private rooms, a common area ("living room"), a fully decorated and consecrated Temple on the third floor - stocked with high quality magickal instruments plus a separate kitchen and a library, with a four car garage and two more rental units in a rear building, and a candle factory in the basement. #5 - The second Menlo mansion, three stories with six private rooms, a third story Temple, a rental unit in the rear over a garage, and a print shop in the basement. All with nice yards for stockpiling goods and materials. A total of 34 bedrooms!
< BLYTHE: A large bookstore with living quarters in the rear. Over the front windows, The Eye of Horus (the Eye in the Triangle) looked out upon the city.
SOLAR RANCH: Two huge quonset huts with a patio joining them together. Two operating wells, three electrical generating plants, a very large supply of gasoline, kerosene, white gas, propane, charcoal, cement, lumber, sheet metal, girders, welders, motors, food, guns, ammunition, secret documents, books, money, medicines, farm vehicles, and pens for animals. Animals? Yes, chickens, cows, a horse, a burro, pheasants, turkeys, goats, dogs, turtles, etc. Some land was planted in alfalfa. Little gardens of flowers and vegetables were scattered around. And dont forget the swimming pool. Sol checked with a construction company, asking the cost of such a layout. The answer made the place worth about $250,000 (in 1969).
VIDAL: Operating gas station, cafe, motel, bar, house, and grocery. Day after day the jukebox would ring out with Gary "U.S." Bonds hit rendition of Rollin on the River. So much ringing-out that this song must surely be an ingrained mantra in the consciousness of those members that worked at the Vidal complex.
And all of it was running smoothly. The few frictions between individuals became a thing of the past, and. Harmony prevailed.
Now, here is something to consider:
- The Order (as a pyramid) was now officially open only at the third degree, and the experiences of that level came to affect the group.
- The first degree represents BIRTH, hence the wild experiences and fabulous visions of those being "born" into their spiritual identity.
- The second degree represents LIFE, the unblocked growth of individuals on their Path and the corresponding, rapid growth of the Order and its wealth.
- The name of the third degree is DEATH!
Weve got to get out of this place!
In May of 1969, Solar Lodge was operating on a grand and efficient scale and Harmony was the keyword.
Since many people lived at the Ranch, they slept in bunk beds erected in the "Living Room" quonset hut. The "Storage" quonset hut was next door. It was decided that the next step would involve building private bedrooms for everyone, and as there were a few children involved, it was natural that they would receive the first bedrooms to be built.
The six-year old son of Nephthys was granted the first room to be completed. However, from his point of view, he was being exiled away from the adults. He must have been severely upset over this matter, because he obtained some matches and set fire to his room. No big deal, except his room was next to the paint cabinet, that in turn was next to the "Living" quonset hut, that was connected by a screened patio to the "Storage" quonset hut, and everything was covered with flammable roofing paper and tar. And that was the route the flames took in a fast flashover.
The few adults and children were unable to even begin to quench the flames and they retreated a safe distance to watch the disaster. When the flames reached the gasoline and kerosene barrels, everything went up in a blazing, fireball explosion.
The fire burned for 36 hours. Hundreds of pounds of charcoal briquettes provided long-range fuel. Thick steel girders were literally burned away. The entire collection of books and documents was incinerated.
When the glowing embers finally passed into ashes, the members gathered around the ruins. The question was, "What to do next?" Obviously, disaster had struck - but what was the import, the message?
Capricornus withdrew several hundred feet into the desert and sat down in meditation. She sought the meaning of the disaster and a loud, internal, booming voice said unto her, "The Gates of Initiation are closed. Send everyone away!" Instead, she returned to the group and proclaimed, "This destruction is a problem, but I have decided we will rebuild!"
Special Note: She did not reveal this message to Shiva, (or anyone else) until six months later!
Are you paying attention? This is the critical juncture where it all started to unravel.
The father of the six-year old boy who had started the fire indicated that he wanted his son to remain and help with the re-building, hoping that he would see the error of his ways and the trouble he had caused. And so it was!
Capricornus, however, had completely blown it at this point. Starting from this blazing event, and her own personal decision to "not follow orders," she would gradually assume a tighter dictatorial role, and her future decisions were not always based on sound judgment. She had a good, solid link with the Secret Chiefs who ruled the Order from beyond the Veil of Illusion, but she simply didnt follow their instructions.
Take a Town ... Tear it Down ... Build it up all over Again
Life returned to normal. The reconstruction project started immediately. The Force was still with them.
However, while the reconstruction was taking place, a new, deadly current was rising. Blythe, California was part of Redneck Conservative territory. The John Birch Society was a common membership in the community. The Birch Society had issued a book entitled, "The Invisible Government." This book warned everyone of the existence of a behind-the-scenes organization called The Illuminati that was to be considered as the greatest threat to civilization that could exist.
The historical Illuminati was a political-magickal change-agent, and Blythe was filled with Conservatives.
The symbol of the Illuminati was the Eye in the Triangle, and the Birch Society book made a big point about it. It instructed people to look at the Great Seal of the United States on the reverse of any one-dollar bill. This same symbol hung as a huge, red and yellow sign over the words "The Eye of Horus" at the Orders bookstore in Blythe. Can you imagine what these people thought about their children going to The Eye of Horus to purchase 'sixties pop-posters and mystical prints?
Click the TRIANGLE [>] for The John Birch Society webpage on The Illuminati
Added to this was the fact that the VIII° confers a Title that contains the word Illuminati. These town-folk not only thought they had found the dreaded enemy ... in certain respects, they had!
It isnt very pretty, what a Town without Pity can do
These "town-folk" were not that simple. Arraying itself against the Order by snooping, the Conservatives included at least one Deputy Sheriff (Hayes), the local Judge, some members of the Masonic Lodge, all of the local Bailbondsmen, and the local paramilitary gang: The Blythe Jeep Club.
Members staying at Solar Ranch reported idling Jeeps that just sat and watched from a distance of several hundred yards late at night. Then rifle shots would send bullets sailing over the ranch from those same vehicles.
Bernard J. Clark, 9th Riverside Sheriff, 1963-86 >
Looking back, the Order came to the realization that they had been under observation for a long time, and that the Conservatives had merely been looking for a convenient time to make a big bust. But the Conservatives had no evidence of wrongdoing ... until a disgruntled member tipped off the Sheriff that there were now grounds for an arrest.
Frater Dys had been placed in charge of the small arsonist and he stated that he discovered the boy, on a Friday afternoon, trying to set another fire (a couple months after the first fire). He called the boy's father, and the father said, "I will be there as soon as I can get away from work. Do whatever you have to do to keep him under control, even if you have to chain him!"
The father was on duty as a probation officer at a boy's camp (prison) - He did not get off duty in time to prevent what came to pass.
Stupidly, Dys locked the child in a wooden box-room. He even followed the father's foolish advice and chained (chained, you hear?) this kid inside. What ran through his mind, and the minds of his associates, we can not fathom. However, no-one who was not present, including all the high-ranking corporate "officers," knew anything about this bizarre activity.
The set-up began the next morning (Saturday). The disgruntled member met with Deputy Sheriff Hayes at The Eye of Horus - she was seen talking to him, but denied any such thing afterward.
About two hours later, in order to demonstrate "reasonable cause," a man in a pickup truck drove up to the Ranch. He spoke with a few members, indicating that he had been told he might buy a horse from them. They told him that their horse was not for sale. He, however, asked if he could look at the horse anyway. They allowed this, and as they walked with him from the newly erected main building toward the horse corral, the man suddenly broke away from the path and walked directly over to the converted goat-pen "jail." He looked in, and said, "Looks like you have a problem here!" Then he got into his truck and left, without further interest in the horse.
And the few members who were present at the ranch did nothing!
Forty-five minutes later, the Sheriff's deputies arrived, discovered the child in the same (chained) location, and placed the twelve people in sight under arrest for felony Child Endangerment. One member (Dave Solar) hid in the cow barn for a while and then ran across the desert for four miles to Vidal, where he informed Capricornus and Shiva of the arrest.
In the third initiation, is not the candidate driven from the city unto the desert? And do not the town-folk pursue him there and slay him? They do/did.
Shiva was dispatched to check out the situation, and as he drove by in a pickup truck, he saw twelve members being handcuffed. He drove back to Vidal with his report, and after an hours discussion, Geo was determined to try a second drive-by. The cops stopped Geo. "Do you know these people?" he was asked. Geo relied, "No Sir!"
The cops called the kid over. "Do you know this man?" they asked. "Sure! Thats Geo!" the kid said. Make that thirteen arrests.
According to Frater Dys and other members who were present, we note that the boy was chained in the box for approximately 6 hours on Friday afternoon and evening, he was then locked in a bedroom for the evening (without matches), and returned to the goat-pen for approximately 4 more hours on Saturday morning.
This represents about 10 hours of confinement not the several weeks later alleged by the Establishment.
The next stage was to get the arrested members out of jail. Bail was set by a visiting judge at $2500 each. How convenient for the regular judge to be unavailable. Every bondsman in town said they could not write a bail bond over $2000 ... very strange. However, a bondsman from Indio was called in, and the cash was rounded up. The bonds added up to a total of $32,500, which meant the Order needed 10% of that figure ($3250), plus securities (assets ... like houses).
Well, the Order had plenty of securities and the cash was ready. Thirteen bonds were written and Shiva, et. al. went along to spring the criminals.
Afterward, one member who worked in a clothing store (owned by a Mason) overheard his boss talking to some of his Lodge brethren in the store. They were laughing up how they had arranged the lack of bail bonding in town, and how the big bust had gone down smoothly. They really had not expected bail to be made at all.
Two days later, the Public Defender showed up at Vidal. Capricornus, Sol, Shiva, Shem, and the childs father were present. The Public Defender indicated that warrants had been issued for the childs father and the Officers of the corporation (all of whom were present with the attorney, but none of whom even knew what had been happening with the child at the ranch).
The material base had been transferred into a non-profit corporation (Velle Transcendental Research Association, Inc.); the corporation didnt actually own the Ranch, but it used the Ranch.
As the Public Defender stood to leave, the boys father said, "Well, I better get going." The Defender said, "You are not the only one who better get going!" Now you know that attorneys are never supposed to advise clients to run. Of course, these members were not "clients" yet. The Defender then described the whole affair as a giant set-up, and indicated that anyone prominent in the group had better get lost.
Capricornus, Shiva, and Shem had 20 minutes to gather what they wanted to take along. Sol refused to leave his holdings and escape. "Lesser" members were placed in charge of the properties and the three "Officers" took off for Arizona and the Ace in the Hole. During the escape, there was much zipping around in a game of peek-a-boo with the cops. Shiva remembers at one point how he had to lay face down in a shallow ravine, on a dark evening, with a Sheriff's car only 100 feet away. At another point, a Sheriffs car was found blocking the informal bridge into Arizona (where there was no inspection station). Anyway, the escape was finally pulled off with no direct confrontations.
But, halfway to Prescott, Capricornus refused to continue until Sol was obtained. Shiva put everyone in a motel and drove back to convince Sol to get out. Sol had been forced to hide when the cops came with warrants, and now he was ready to leave. They both drove to the motel and then the four of them headed for a new motel in Prescott.
No further arrests were made. The Order had regrouped and re-established its magickal circle.
At this point, we cannot discount the fact that Capricornus had ruined the standards for initiation and had failed to follow her internal orders (though no-one knew about that yet). The main base, Solar Ranch, had been destroyed, partially rebuilt, and then invaded. The corporate officers were hiding in Prescott, AZ, and the remaining membership was running the businesses, managing the apartments, and guarding the properties. Thirteen of them were facing trial on felony child endangerment charges.
Two of these arrestees went off and joined another (here un-named) organization. That (very well-known) organization insisted that they prove their loyalty by doing some damage to their previous group. So these two deserters turned "State's Witness" and they told many things. They spoke of the corporate officer's flight to Arizona, and they even invented some new, horrible stories about the child's mis-treatment that were not true. Most of the outrageous details in this case (including the burning and beating of the child, and his 60-day prolonged incarceration) were simply their fabricated lies.
In order to keep communications current between the officers in Prescott and the initiates in Vidal, Blythe, and Los Angeles, telephone calls made from public phone booths were coded. Although the phones were bugged, no eavesdropper was ever able to crack the coded ciphers.
A mobile home was purchased in Prescott and set up at the Prescott Mobile Home Park, and on a sunny morning in August, two weeks after leaving California, Shem was reading the Los Angeles Times. A small article on the second page indicated that federal warrants had been issued against Capricornus, Sol, Shiva, Shem, and the boys father for "Interstate flight to avoid prosecution."
The F.B.I. was now after the heads of Solar Lodge.
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