The Cult of Ottis is an unorganized association of Believers who recognize that a deep understanding of the dark side of humanity is the key to transcending it.
Most religions attempt to edify their followers and raise them to a higher level of being by giving definition to the condition toward which they strive and urging them toward it. The Cult of Ottis, however, begins by casting the light of scrutiny upon the dark side of humanity, thus freeing followers from its influence and allowing them to transcend it.
Ottis Elwood Toole was a serial killer. With his companion Henry Lee Lucas, Ottis is suspected of having killed hundreds of people during his lifetime. He is known to have inflicted terrible torture on his victims, and has admitted to having sex with their bodies after death. He died in prison in from cirrhosis of the liver in 1996.
Each of us has the capacity to inflict violence on others. Each of us says the occasional harsh word or repeats the occasional bit of hurtful gossip. The Crimes of Ottis (also called The Sins of Ottis) are nothing more than extreme manifestations of proclivities each of us has, and to which each of us succumbs at one time or another. These proclivities are termed The Ottis Within.
It is the belief of the Cult of Ottis that The Ottis Within can be channeled in a positive rather than destructive way, through artistic and literary efforts aimed at further elucidating the darkness and thereby rising above it. This process is called Transforming The Ottis Within.
Members of the Cult of Ottis are asked to erect a shrine to Ottis called The Holy Visage in a prominent place in their home. The shrine should minimally include a portrait of Ottis, draped in a shroud or otherwise hidden from view, and a candle. Other elements such as pictures, poems, flowers, traditional religious objects, hypodermic needles, poisons, bones of a small animal, etc., may be added at the artistic discretion of the individual Believer.
The only formal ritual or observance in the Cult of Ottis is called Revealing the Holy Visage. Upon removing the shroud from the portrait of Ottis, the candle is lit, and the Believer repeats the words, "The Ottis Above. The Ottis Beneath. The Ottis Within.  " The shroud is replaced when the candle is extinguished.
The purpose of the Holy Visage is to remind worshippers of The Ottis Within, and of their desire to transform it.
The Great Chair of Ottis is everywhere. It is the threat hanging over each of us, every moment, of the undesirable consequences of our failure to conform our behavior to accepted norms.
The Great Chair has many manifestations. The threat of ridicule, stigmatization, dismissal from one's job, fines, imprisonment, and of course the death penalty itself are all manifestations of this principle.
Certain consequences naturally flow from destructive or harmful acts we commit. While it is possible to avoid facing these consequences in many instances, the Cult of Ottis teaches that it is necessary to accept these consequences in order to Transform the Ottis Within. Such acceptance of responsibility for one's actions is called Drinking of the Ashes of Perdition.
The Cult of Ottis is everywhere. Look within your own heart and the hearts of those around you for The Ottis Within.
If you would like to join the Cult of Ottis, use the attached portrait to erect the Holy Visage in your own home. Peculiarities of individual observance are left to the discretion of the Believer.
The Cult of Ottis does not advocate or encourage violence. On the contrary, it seeks to transform the violent urges inherent in each of us toward socially constructive purposes. Members of the Cult of Ottis do not like pain, and believe it is wrong to inflict pain or violence of any kind upon others.