C.F. Russell

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C. F. Russell
"At his desk focus on his work, probably mathematics or writing"
"At his desk focus on his work, probably mathematics or writing"
BornCecil Frederick Russell
(1897-06-19)June 19, 1897
Greenwood, Mass.
DiedJune 12, 1987(1987-06-12) (aged 90)
Pen nameFrater Genesthai, Fiat Lux[1]
OccupationOccultist, Author, Mathematician

Cecil Frederick Russell (1897–1987) was a 20th-century American occultist. Russell was a member of the A∴A∴ and Aleister Crowley's O.T.O. magical order. Russell later founded his own magical order, the G.B.G. (variously explained as "Great Brotherhood of God" or "Gnostic Body of God").

Early life[edit]

Russell was born in Greenwood, Mass. on June 9, 1897; His family later moved to Orlando, Florida.[2]

His family stayed in the Massachusetts/New Hampshire area he went to Florida by bicycle to join the navy.

From April 22, 1917 to December 12, 1918, Russell served in the US Navy, where he worked at a hospital attendant at the US Naval Academy Hospital.[2] While serving as a Pharmacist Mate aboard the USS Reina Mercedes, Russell injected himself with cocaine, resulting in a dishonorable discharge from the US Navy.[2]

Russell disputes this in his Autobiography Znuz is Znees 2nd edition Page 157 - he pretended so as to be transferred to the medical facility & was discharged with a medical discharge. The war was over & he wanted to go join Crowley.

Disciple of Crowley[edit]

Crowley in Golden Dawn garb

In June 1918, Russell met Crowley in New York and was initiated into the third-degree of Crowley's magical order Ordo Templi Orientis. Russell took the magical name of 'Frater Genesthai'.[3]

From November 1920 to Autumn 1921, Russell lived at Crowley's 'abbey' in Cefalu, Sicily.[4] Crowley's diary records:[5][6]

C.F.R 's account of the magical working is in P.117-118 in Znuz is Znees volume 2. The details of the working are far more interesting than Crowley's comment below.

Now I'll shave and make up my face like the lowest kind of whore and rub on perfume and go after Genesthai [Russell] like a drunken two-bit prick-pit in old New Orleans. He disgusts me sexually, as I him, as I suspect…[T]he dirtier my deed, the dearer my darling will hold me; the grosser the act the greedier my arse to engulph him!

Founder of an order[edit]

In 1922, Russell founded the Choronzon Club, advertising it as a 'short cut to initiation" in the pages of Occult Digest.[7] In 1931, the group changed its name to G.B.G (for "Great Brotherhood of God" or "Gnostic Body of God")[8][9] It was initially structured as a correspondence course.[10] G.B.G was headquartered in Chicago.[11] Russell received half of all initiation fees collected.[12][4] The fees were used to support the neighborhoods.

Inspired by Ida Craddock, Russell developed his own curriculum of sex magick.[9] In the 1960s, disciple Louis T. Culling published these in two works entitled The Complete Magickal Curriculum of the Secret Order G.'.B.'.G.'. and Sex Magick.[13] The first two degrees, "Alphaism and Dianism", reportedly draw upon Ida Craddock's work Heavenly Bridegrooms [8] Culling writes that Dianism is "sexual congress without bringing it to climax" and that each participant is to regard their partner not as a "known earthly personality" but as a "visible manifestation of one's Holy Guardian Angel.[14]

In San Francisco, Russell was visited by fellow Thelemite Wilfred Talbot Smith, who would later head the O.T.O's California chapter, the Agape Lodge.[15] Many of Russell's followers would later join Smith's organization.[16]

Russell was denounced by OTO leader Crowley, who in a document dated April 15, 1934 described Russell as a "thief, swindler, and blackmailer".[4]

In 1938, the GBG dissolved.[11]

As Genesthai (Russell) continued separately for the rest of his 90 years of life to teach after establishing nearly 100 members across the United States under the name of the G.'.B.'.G.'. . He mostly taught logic, mathematics, projective geometry as a more robust way of attaining enlightenment without the tendency to go insane as sex magic tends to do. Volume 3 of Znuz is Znees describes most of his inventions in that area. He even taught Zen Art work with water colors hand painting the pages for the members of the time. He except for his last 6 months he would send out a page of instruction every week.

Later life[edit]

In 1944, Russell published Provenance, described as "the only twentieth century occult text to center around the subject of book-collecting".[17]

From 1970–72, Russell published his memoirs entitled "Znuz is Znees: Memoirs of a Magician".[18]

Russell died in 1987.

Selected works[edit]

  • Book chameleon: A new version in verse. (1940)[19]
  • Provenance (1944)[20]
  • Barbara Cubed: The manual of pure logic (1944)[21]
  • Tropermic calculus (1944)[22]
  • Grammar of changes (1944)[23]
  • Manual of Electro-combinational Engineering (1945)[24]
  • Znuz is Znees: Memoirs of a magician (1970)[25]
  • full list of his self-published works are below:
short name Long Name Link to Fastblogit and contents
BC1 Book Chameleon first edition http://fastblogit.com/thought/3358
BC2 Book Chameleon 2nd edition http://fastblogit.com/thought/3222
BC-3D Barbara Cubed http://fastblogit.com/thought/3342
TC Tropermic Calculus http://fastblogit.com/thought/3344
GC Grammar of Changes http://fastblogit.com/thought/3346
CA Combinational Arithmetic http://fastblogit.com/thought/3347
MEC Manual Electro-Combinational Engineering http://fastblogit.com/thought/3348
Abso Abso-Ming-Wen-Lutely Absey-Booke http://fastblogit.com/thought/18127
BR Book of Radicals http://fastblogit.com/thought/18128
RS Rime Store http://fastblogit.com/thought/18129
RC Rough Cloth http://fastblogit.com/thought/18130
SC Silver Cradle http://fastblogit.com/thought/18131
DP Dragon Pearls http://fastblogit.com/thought/3237
GR Gentle Rain http://fastblogit.com/thought/3244
WR Wild Rice http://fastblogit.com/thought/3248
JM Jade Mirror http://fastblogit.com/thought/3262
HR Hill Road http://fastblogit.com/thought/3265
SP Spring Palace http://fastblogit.com/thought/3269
WC Water Chestnuts http://fastblogit.com/thought/3281
OD Open Door http://fastblogit.com/thought/3283
GT Gnaw Through http://fastblogit.com/thought/3286
HB Horseback http://fastblogit.com/thought/3296
MH Mud Hut http://fastblogit.com/thought/3297
NW North Well http://fastblogit.com/thought/3304
MV Millet Valley http://fastblogit.com/thought/3309
CK Copper Kettle http://fastblogit.com/thought/3322
PM Peppermint http://fastblogit.com/thought/3327
BU Blooming Umbrella http://fastblogit.com/thought/3331
PM Phoenix Marrow http://fastblogit.com/thought/3336
LR Lantern Riddles http://fastblogit.com/thought/3338
ZZ1 Znuz is Znees volume 1 2nd edition http://fastblogit.com/thought/3369
ZZ2 Znuz is Znees volume 2 1st edition http://fastblogit.com/thought/3370
ZZ3 Znuz is Znees volume 3 1st edition http://fastblogit.com/thought/3371
ZZ4 Znuz is Znees volume 4 1st edition http://fastblogit.com/thought/3373


  1. ^ http://www.parareligion.ch/sunrise/xi.htm
  2. ^ a b c Kaczynski, Richard (April 10, 2012). Perdurabo, Revised and Expanded Edition. North Atlantic Books. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-58394-576-6.
  3. ^ "Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley"., Crowley, A., & Skinner, S. (1996). The magical diaries of Aleister Crowley: Tunesia 1923. York Beach, ME: Weiser.
  4. ^ a b c "Perdurabo, Revised and Expanded Edition".
  5. ^ Crowley, 1918 Diary (OTO Archives), cited in Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt, 288.
  6. ^ "Do What Thou Wilt". Sutin, L. (2002). Do what thou wilt: A life of Aleister Crowley. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-25243-4
  7. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=ZM2DpIct1jsC&pg=PA220
  8. ^ a b "Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic"., Chappell, V. (2010). Sexual outlaw, erotic mystic: The essential Ida Craddock. San Francisco, CA: Red Wheel/Weiser.
  9. ^ a b "The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G."
  10. ^ The Occult Mentors of Maria de Naglowska, ISBN 978-0-557-40475-9
  11. ^ a b "The Great Work of the Flesh"., Alexandrian, S. (2015). The great work of the flesh: Sexual magic East and West.
  12. ^ "The Unknown God"., Starr, M. P. (2003). The unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites. Bolingbrook, Ill: Teitan Press.
  13. ^ Louis T. Culling, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke. The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G.: Being the Entire Study, Curriculum, Magick Rituals, and Initiatory Practices of the G.B.G (The Great Brotherhood of God). ISBN 0-7387-1912-9.
  14. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=yFs3qoTFVz8C&pg=PA127
  15. ^ Starr 2003, pp. 125–129.
  16. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=ZM2DpIct1jsC&pg=PA220
  17. ^ Weiser Antiquarian Books. "Provenance". Russell, C. F., Schimmel, S. B., Schimmel, C. F., & Frank W. Tober Collection. (1944). Provenance. Los Angeles: Bookhaven Press.
  18. ^ "The Great Work of the Flesh".
  19. ^ Russell, C. F. (1940). Book chameleon: A new version in verse.
  20. ^ Russell, C. F., Schimmel, S. B., Schimmel, C. F., & Frank W. Tober Collection. (1944). Provenance. Los Angeles: Bookhaven Press.
  21. ^ Russell, C. F. (1944). Barbara cubed: The manual of pure logic. Los Angeles: Times-Mirror Press.
  22. ^ Russell, C. F. (1944). Tropermic calculus. Los Angeles: Printed for the author & his friends.
  23. ^ Russell, C. F. (1944). Grammar of changes. Los Angeles: Times-Mirror Press.
  24. ^ Manual of Electro-combinational Engineering Times-Mirror Press, 1945
  25. ^ Russell, C. F. (1970). Znuz is znees: Memoirs of a magician. Los Angeles