was a member of the Paris Chapter of the Knights Templar. He was the
Obermohr [supreme magus] of many mystic brotherhoods, where he was worshipped
as a superior being. His memory was not forgotten, and by the end of
the nineteenth century, hierophants of the secret schools looked upon
Saint-Germain with profound gratitude. His influence had helped to open
the way for humanism and republicanism (which in this author's opinion
is a respectable name for organised crime), movements which "flowered"
in the twentieth century.
were progressing in the ascendancy during t-+he nineteenth century,
and into this milieu was Edward Alexander Crowley born; he later took
the name Aleister. He was born on 12 October, 1875. According to Kenneth
Grant, head of an OTO breakaway sect, the Typhonian Tradition, Crowley
first became aware of the existence of spiritual powers in 1898 when
he read The Cloud upon the Sanctuary by Karl von Eckartshausen. Crowley
was 22 at the time and set out to contact the hidden Order which the
book describes. His efforts led to his initiation into the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn on 18 November, 1898. He assumed the magical
name Perdurabo (I shall endure).
1903, Crowley married Rose Kelly, his 'scarlet woman,' whom he had met
in Paris. They proceeded on an extended honeymoon, and whilst in Sri
Lanka, they went trekking through the jungle. Whilst standing on the
shores of a lake, Crowley decided to shoot enough furry bats to make
himself a waistcoat. One bat landed on Rose, and Crowley had some trouble
detaching its claws. That night, Crowley was awakened by the noise of
a squealing bat. He then saw Rose, completely naked, clinging with her
arms and legs to the wooden frame that supported the mosquito net. As
he pulled her down, she bit and spat and squealed, and she had to be
shaken into wakefulness. Crowley noted that it was the finest case of
obsession that he had ever had the "good fortune" to observe.
When Rose later
discovered she was pregnant, they decided to return home to England.
En-route they went to Cairo, where they took a flat. (Incidentally,
Rose went on to have a daughter who was named Night my Athatour Hecate
Sappho Jesabel Lilith, and who died in tragic circumstances. Rose died
In Cairo, Crowley
proceeded to dress in Persian garb, pretending to be an oriental prince,
Chioi Khan (being Hebrew for the Beast). Crowley's mother, a strict
Plymouth Brethren, had believed her son to be the beast ( number 666
( of Revelation 13:18.
In Cairo, Crowley
attempted a series of invocations to summon up elementals or demons.
Rose sank into a curious state of mind in which she kept repeating:
"You have offended Horus." It was Rose who in fact introduced
Crowley to the elemental, Aiwass. Through Rose, Aiwass told Crowley
that he was to go into his workroom at precisely midday on 8, 9 and
10 April, 1904 and write down what he heard for the next hour. The message
began: "Had! the manifestation of Nuit." And thus The Book
of the Law came into existence. It is also known as "Liber AL vel
Legis" (meaning 'divinely revealed Book of the Law') or Liber AL
for short. Whilst The Book of the Law was received in 1904, it would
not be published until 1913, just nine months before the 'Balkan War'
(later to be called World War One).
According to Crowley,
" 'The Law of Thelema' [ie, Liber AL], revealed in Cairo in 1904,
has come to replace the outworn creeds, the local codes; to help the
peoples of the world march on to a new era of peace and happiness."
Thus Crowley becomes a medium and 'false prophet' within the context
of James 4:5: "They are from the world; therefore they speak from
the world's viewpoint; and the world listens to them."
the New Aeon of Horus, the "new era of peace and happiness,"
but the path to this "new era" would necessarily be bathed
in blood. A moment's reflection on the course of the twentieth century
confirms that the revolutionary and violent prophecies contained within
The Book of the Law have been fulfilled, and there are other events
yet to occur.
Forerunner to Crowley
Crowley did not just appear out-of-the-blue. The groundwork had been
laid for millennia, for his creed is Gnosticism. Essentially, a Gnostic
is one who seeks illumination, and sets out to become a divine being;
basically, an alchemical transmutation of evil into good achieved through
the exercise of one's own will. Christians believe that this transmutation
can only occur through the grace of God as may be extended to an individual;
no amount of self-will can achieve this transmutation of one's spirit.
are spiritualist mediums who take counsel and direction from spirits
or "Invisible Masters." The ideals of Gnostics are utopian,
and the ends justify the means. Crowley was a Gnostic master, as was
a forerunner of his, Adam Weishaupt. Many readers have more than likely
'completed' Conspiracy Theory 101, and are familiar with Herr Weishaupt.
For those who may not know of him, some background follows.
Weishaupt was born
in Catholic-dominated southern Germany on 6 February, 1748. He was Jesuit-educated
and attained a very influential university position. In accordance with
the "needs of his period" (Kenneth Grant), he reawakened the
Order of the Illuminati. Weishaupt's occult activities culminated in
the French Revolution, and this spark ruptured the course of history.
Shortly after the
French Revolution, the Marquis de Luchet said, "This society [Illuminati]
aims at governing the world. Its object is universal domination."
He called the Illuminati "a subterranean fire smouldering eternally
and breaking forth periodically in violent and devastating explosions."
the following to a fellow Illuminatus: "We must consider how we
can begin to work under another form. If only the aim is achieved, it
does not matter under what cover it takes place, and cover is always
necessary. For in concealment lies a great part of our strength. For
this reason we must cover ourselves with the name of another society.
The lodges that are under Freemasonry are in the meantime the most suitable
cloak for our high purpose, because the world is already accustomed
to expect nothing great from them which merits attention. As in the
spiritual Orders of the Roman Church, religion was, alas! only a pretence,
so must our Order also in a nobler way try to conceal itself behind
a learned society or something of the kind."
On 26 December,
1993, no less an organ of the fourth estate, "The Economist"
published the following under the heading, "The Good Network Guide":
"Beyond all these networks lies the mother of all networks, the
Order of the Illuminati, known to some as the True Rulers of the World.
Its age will remain uncertain until the story of the last days of Atlantis
is better known. Though this secret body has hovered unseen over all
history, its most public flowering was in the Enlightenment. Adam Weishaupt,
a former Jesuit ( who provided much of the inspiration for Shelley's
Frankenstein ( revealed its purpose and system of mutual surveillance
to the world on May 1st 1776. Since then the order has taken a keen
interest in another newborn of that year. It is significant that many
American presidents have been Illuminati; and the Illuminati symbol
of the eye in the pyramid still graces the dollar bill.
is immense and terrifying, stretching from Hassan-i-Sabbah, 11th-century
Assassin, to Ian Fleming (who caricatured the order as "SPECTRE").
It is the network of those who run networks. Given its power, you should
assume that anyone writing about the order must be either lying or part
of a conspiracy to confound you. In wondering about the Illuminati,
merely remember this. You have never arrived." (Note the motto
of the Assassins: "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted").
who was to become Pope John XXIII, and who convened Vatican 2, is reputed
to have been a member of the Illuminati. The Illuminist eye in the pyramid
was used on his papal cross. He is also reputed to have met with Crowley.
It was Vatican 2 which led to the Catholic church seizing the world-wide
ecumenical agenda and which authorised the idolatrous elevation of Mary
to goddess status.
After the French
Revolution, the Order of the Illuminati disappeared. In 1904, an Austrian
Adept named Karl Kellner repeated Weishaupt's feat, and re-established
the Illuminati through a sect known as Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Crowley
took over leadership of OTO in 1922. The spirit guides of the Gnostics
had clearly directed that the Illuminati once again step into the public
realm but, in this instance, through OTO.
The Book of the
Crowley is not an aberration. He is part of an historical process which
has yet to reach its climax. The ruling spirits of this world relayed
the primary plank of their program to Crowley, and this is contained
in The Book of the Law. For human beings, the real struggle is not against
each other, but against the evil cosmic powers which govern this dark
age. Crowley was their medium, but on several occasions as he wrote
down The Book of the Law, Aiwass chastised Crowley for being concerned
about what he was writing.
As part of my own
spiritual journey as a Christian, I eventually found myself looking
into Crowley. It took sometime before I recognised that The Book of
the Law was such an important work. I am not writing this article to
make the facts fit in with my world-view. What I found is that The Book
of the Law has been fulfilled to a large degree, and that its contents
tie in strongly with the Revelation. Just as Jesus sent his angel to
reveal future events to John, so did Satan send a spirit being, Aiwass,
to Crowley. Both works are eschatological (the doctrine of last or final
The Book of the
Law says that the god of war and vengeance, Ra-Hoor-Khu-It (Horus),
is now positioned on his seat of power. His human incarnation will occur,
and he will be in the form of a child, the False Prophet or Antichrist.
He is the offspring of the union of Hadit (Satan) and Nuit (Babylon).
This union and its "fruit" is referred to in Revelation chapter
13. The Book of the Law tells us that Satan is the coiled serpent, and
he is about to spring. Christians will be put to death. Through war
and chaos, the goddess (Nuit/Babylon) will be placed in a position to
be worshipped, and her offspring, the child, will be mightier than all
the kings of the earth, although one of these rich "kings"
will finance him.
There are three
underlying principles in The Book of the Law for Thelemites (Thelema
is Greek for determination through choice; inclination to desire, pleasure,
will) to live by:
1.Do what thou
wilt shall be the whole of the law.
2.Love is the law, love under will.
3.Every man and every woman is a star.
A curious feature
of Gnosticism is that in the early stages of the Gnostic quest, one
is driven by terrible despair, and simultaneously, a powerful upsurge
of love. In the utopian quest for self-perfection, a 'good' person in
the world's eyes is one who is seemingly self-realised and self-reliant.
That person develops the will to be the master of his/her world, even
though many other persons may lose in the process. To become a selfish
'superman' is the Gnostic goal, and those who are not so capable or
who do not share this ideal are meant only to serve and be used. Sin
is no longer a restriction on one's will to fulfill the most powerful
desires. Nietzsche longed for 'the fair beast' (die blonde Bestie) (
the strong, beautiful beast which shall rule the world, and act in all
things according to its will.
W.B. Yeats, the
Irish poet and contemporary of Crowley in the Order of the Golden Dawn,
wrote about the Gnostic utopia thus: "...an aristocratic civilisation
in its most completed form, every detail of life hierarchical, every
great man's door crowded at dawn by petitioners, great wealth everywhere
in few men's hands, all dependent on a few, up to the Emperor himself,
who is a God dependent on a greater God and everywhere, in Court, in
the family, an inequality made law."
Satan through Aiwass
declares that Christianity is dead, and that Crowley is to be the prophet
of the neo-pagan system which would emerge. Moral values and compassion
as exercised would be relative to the exigencies of the times. The neo-pagan
emergence would birth on an altar of moral enfeeblement and blood sacrifice.
The strong of will would take control of the world.
The most dramatic
instance of human sacrifice occurred under the Nazis in World War II.
The German lyric poet and essayist, Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) prophetically
wrote of a time when Germany would go berserk:
there will awake that fighting folly found among the ancient Germans,
the folly that fights neither to kill nor to conquer, but simply to
fight. Christianity has ( and that is its fairest merit ( somewhat mitigated
that brutal German lust for battle. But it could not destroy it: and
once the taming talisman, the Cross, is broken, the savagery of the
old battlers will flare up again, the insane Berserk rage of which Nordic
bards have so much to say and sing. The talisman is brittle. The day
will come when it will pitiably collapse. Then the old stone gods will
rise from forgotten rubble and rub the dust of a thousand years from
their eyes; and Thor will leap up and with his giant hammer start smashing
The gods did indeed
awaken. According to Trevor Ravenscroft in "The Spear of Destiny,"
every year from 1926 to 1942, the Germans sent out parties which contacted
Tibetan initiates, the intention being to gain their psychic help and
deep alliance with the devilish forces which rule this world. A Tibetan
colony was established in Germany in 1929, and the monks were known
in Germany as "The Society of Green Men," because of their
links with the Green Dragon Society of Japan.
In Berlin, Hitler
met regularly with the leader of the Tibetan community who was a very
gifted and accurate clairvoyant. Himmler shared Hitler's interest in
the occult, and set up the Nazi Occult Bureau. This incorporated into
one organisation the Thule group, the Vril Society and the German branch
of OTO (Crowley's magical order).
Between 1936 and
1939, Crowley paid a number of visits to Germany. It is known that a
woman called Martha Kunzel repeatedly urged on Hitler the wisdom of
adopting The Book of the Law as his guide. Hitler rejected this, as
he wanted Mein Kampf to be the holy book of Germany. By the time the
war had broken out, Crowley had become strongly anti-Hitler, and said
that "Britain would knock Hitler for six" (an analogy from
cricket: the worst thing a batsman can do to a bowler is hit the ball
clear out of the field, and thus score six runs). The German branch
of OTO had by the time of the war been banned and most of its members
were in concentration camps.
governor of Danzig, had been very close to Hitler, and recorded many
of their conversations which were published in a book called Hitler
Speaks. Rauschning openly acknowledged Hitler's obsession with the occult,
and found that very often Hitler was paraphrasing or expressing an idea
from The Book of the Law ( often word for word.
"I will tell
you a secret," Hitler told Rauschning, "I am founding an order.
It is from there that the second stage will emerge ( the stage of the
Man-God, when Man will be the measure and centre of the world. The Man-God,
that splendid being, will be an object of worship. But there are other
stages about which I am not permitted to speak."
twin warriors about the pillars of the world! for your time is nigh
at hand" (The Book of the Law 3:71) The "pillars of the world"
are the powerful and greedy emotions of people, and the twin warriors
are the spirits that would cause the two world wars energised by the
compliance and sinfulness of the "pillars of the world." Hitler
knew exactly what he was about, and fulfilled his pre-destined role.
The cornerstone of Novus Ordo Seclorum was laid.
Jack Parsons and
the Babalon Working
By the time World
War II came to an atomic end in 1945, the earth had been literally soaked
in blood. The warrior god, Horus, had erupted, and the world convulsed
in a continuous fit of war and genocide. Verse 3:46 of The Book of the
Law had come to pass: "I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the
Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you victory
& joy; I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to
slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in
my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!"
on earth came to an end on the evening of 1 December, 1947 when he succumbed
to myocardial degeneration and chronic bronchitis. The prankster was
dead, long live the prankster!
Crowley had come
from an English world which was traditional and very conservative. Throughout
his life, he loved to play the prankster. On one such occasion, he walked
into a lift and urinated in the corner, and then declared that the lift
had become a sacred place. But at heart, he does seem to be very English.
The new wave Americans, the bohemian Jack Parsons and the brash L. Ron
Hubbard, were not bound by English strictures; they were very much action
When Parsons and
Hubbard performed the Babalon Working in January, 1946, Crowley was
resentful and branded them "louts," even though he had developed
the Working and mentored Parsons (in correspondence to Crowley, Parsons
used the salutation, "Most Beloved Father"). Crowley was so
incensed at the Working being performed that he cabled his US office
on 22 May: "Suspect Ron playing confidence trick ( Jack Parsons
weak fool ( obvious victim prowling swindlers."
Jack Parsons was
a very gifted scientist and chemist, and founded a company which was
to become Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL), which in its modern day
guise has merged with NASA (JPL.NASA). To this day, people at NASA are
reputed to refer to JPL as Jack Parsons' Laboratory. He was also an
Illuminatus and had deep occult interests, and is reputed to have been
a descendent of a Hell-Fire Club founder. When he first encountered
Crowley's writings he intuitively understood Thelema. He joined the
Los Angeles OTO Lodge in 1939, and rapidly rose to prominence.
In April, 1945,
Parsons was introduced to L. Ron Hubbard. Enter the prankster! Crowley
biographer Kenneth Grant refers to Crowley as "a confidence trickster
who had wormed his way into the OTO on the pretence of being interested
in Magick." Despite the resentment shown to Hubbard by OTO leaders
(including Crowley), L. Ron was able to call Crowley "my very good
friend" in a 1952 speech. Perhaps this was the prankster talking.
to Parsons is basically similar to Edward Kelley's relationship to Dr.
John Dee, the English alchemist and Elizabethan court astrologer. Kelley
was also a prankster and scryer (gazer into crystal balls), and Dee
fell completely under his spell. Dee wanted to access the crystal ball,
but was not gifted in this regard. Kelley became Dee's scryer.
Parsons was also
an alchemist, but needed a "magical partner," and Hubbard
became that partner. Parsons had written to Crowley: "Although
he [Hubbard] has no formal training in Magick, he has an extraordinary
amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his
experiences I deduced that he was in direct touch with some higher intelligence,
possibly his Guardian Angel. He describes his Angel as a beautiful winged
woman with red hair whom he calls the Empress and who has guided him
through his life, and saved him many times..."
The Babalon Working
is an invocation ritual developed in conjunction with Crowley. A series
of rituals and invocations were undertaken by Parsons commencing on
4 January, 1946. A short time after the process began, Parsons and Hubbard
went out into the Mojave Desert for four days. The Babalon Working ritual
is outlined in Parsons' book Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword. By 18 January,
Parsons announced to Hubbard, "It is done." Parsons had successfully
opened an inter-dimensional doorway. He invoked the goddess and paved
the way for the present-day passion for drugs, UFOs and divination.
Parsons wrote "Liber 49" which he maintained was the fourth
and final chapter of The Book of the Law.
According to the
woman who embodied the invoked goddess, Marjorie Cameron, and who came
to Parsons shortly after the completion of the Babalon Working, Parsons
set in motion the second part of a great force which was divided into
three. Aleister Crowley began the first, and the third would be the
work of the boy child embodiment of Horus, the False Prophet or Antichrist
with Revelation may wonder if Crowley's Babalon is the same as Babylon
of Revelation. The answer is yes. Babalon is the secret name of Nuit,
the goddess revealed in chapter one of The Book of the Law. Babylon
the goddess is revealed throughout Revelation as the provider of material
wealth. The Babalon spelling was adopted because of its qabalistic numerical
significance. Kenneth Grant records the attributes of Babalon as being
"death-dealing and vampiric."
Jack Parsons wrote
in The Book of Babalon (January 4 - March, 4, 1946): I have "been
engaged in the study and practise of Magick for seven years, and in
the supervision and operation of an occult lodge for four years, having
been initiated into the Sanctuary of Gnosis by the Beast 666, Fra. 132
and Fra. Saturnis. At this time I decided upon a Magical operation designed
to obtain the assistance of an elemental mate...I decided to use the
Enochian Tablets obtained [from spirit guides] by Dr. Dee and Edward
Kelley...During the period of January 19 to February 27  I invoked
the Goddess BABALON with the aid of my magical partner [Hubbard], as
was proper to one of my grade."
On March 2, 1946,
Hubbard had channelled the message: "She [Babalon] is the flame
of life, power of darkness, she destroys with a glance, she may take
thy soul. She feeds upon the death of men...She shall absorb thee, and
thou shalt become a living flame before she incarnates."
with his magickal operations for the remainder of the forties, and in
1949 wrote in The Manifesto of the Antichrist:
Do what thou wilt
shall be the whole of the Law. I, BELARION, ANTICHRIST, in the year
1949 of the rule of the Black Brotherhood called Christianity, do make
my Manifesto to all men. And I, THE ANTICHRIST, come among you, saying:
An end to the pretence,
and lying hypocrisy of Christianity. An end to the servile virtues,
and superstitious restrictions. An end to the slave morality. An end
to prudery and shame, to guilt and sin, for these are of the only evil
the sun, that is fear. An end to all authority that is not based on
courage and manhood, to the authority of lying priests, conniving judges,
blackmailing police, and an end to the servile flattery and cajolery
of mods (sic - would appear to refer to dilettantes), the coronations
of mediocrities, the ascension of dolts. An end to restriction and inhibition,
for I, THE ANTICHRIST, am come among you preaching the Word of the BEAST
666, which is, "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt."
And I, BELARION,
ANTICHRIST, do lift up my voice and prophecy, and I say: I shall bring
all men to the law of the BEAST 666, and in His law I shall conquer
the world. And within seven years of this time, BABALON, THE SCARLET
WOMAN HILARION will manifest among ye, and bring this my work to its
fruition. An end to conscription, compulsion, regimentation, and the
tyranny of false laws. And within nine years a nation shall accept the
Law of the BEAST 666 in my name, and that nation will be the first nation
of earth. And all who accept me the ANTICHRIST and the law of the BEAST
666, shall be accursed and their joy shall be a thousandfold greater
than the false joys of the false saints. And in my name BELARION shall
they work miracles, and confound our enemies, and none shall stand before
Therefore I, THE
ANTICHRIST call upon all the Chosen and elect and upon all men, come
forth now in the name of Liberty, that we may end forever the tyranny
of the Black Brotherhood.
Witness my hand
and seal on this [...] day of [...] 1949, that is the year of BABALON
Parsons died on
17 June, 1952 in a laboratory explosion as a result of dropping a phial
of fulminate of mercury. However, there is suspicion that his death
was faked, for without legal precedent, his next of kin (Marjorie Cameron)
was not consulted in order to identify the body, nor was she allowed
to see him in the ambulance or hospital. Other oddities about his death
have been noted.
In 1972, the Parsons
Crater was named on the dark side of the moon in honour of Parsons (for
services to rocketry). Hubbard went on to become the founder of the
Church (sic) of Scientology, and, in 1972, Kenneth Grant wrote that
he was "still at large, having grown wealthy and famous by the
misuse of the secret knowledge which he had wormed out of Parsons."
Let's Get Philosophical
for a Moment
At the heart of
The Book of the Law is the instruction: Do what thou wilt. Under "Law,"
this is a conscious development of one's personal will to power. Nietzsche's
message of the superman is that, on the will to power theory, values
are mutable. Thus one's own values prevail, rather than conforming to
the values of the collective which endeavour to pursue peace and harmony.
When the question of basic values is open in society, the essential
victory has been won.
the conscious will to power, one wants to set the terms, insisting on
the principle, "I will not serve." Satan thought much the
same thing: "I will climb to the sky; higher than the stars of
God I will set my throne. I will sit in the mount of assembly, on the
summit of Zaphon [the abode of the gods]: I will mount the back of a
cloud ( I will match the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13,14).
Satan is the tree
of knowledge of good and evil, and his lie to humans is to "eat"
from him in order to become a divine being. The Book of the Law says
that every man and every woman is a star (1:3). The "sovereign
power" of thought is a real and actual fact: if I "will"
to kick up my foot, so it is done. If I am powerful enough, and I will
order the dropping of an atomic bomb on civilians, so it is done. If
technology is but a tool of people, then surely it is controlled by
of the conscious will, we are in the process of strengthening the ego.
As created human beings, the realm of ego consciousness and the spiritual
and psychic realm are indissolubly united with the body. As the ego
grows stronger, it detaches itself more and more from the body.
In the individual
will to power, one's ego detaches from the collective ego. It is a struggle
and a creative act. Such an act brings on a sense of loneliness; it
also introduces suffering, toil, trouble, evil, sickness and death into
a person's life as soon as this separation is perceived by the ego.
When Adam and Eve made their decision to will to power rather than will
to God's will, God told Adam: "Cursed be the ground because of
you; by toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life: Thorns and
thistles shall it sprout for you. But your food shall be grasses of
the field; By the seat of your brow shall you get bread to eat, until
you return to the ground ( for from it you were taken. For dust you
are, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:17-19).
To be the outsider
or revolutionary is to be isolated and alone. The individual is pitted
against the world, and becomes part of a higher, different unity. To
become a "star" and will to power is to have knowledge of
good and evil and is accounted sin, and one is expelled from paradise.
To Gnostics, this feeling of privation becomes the driving force of
the world process. The way of salvation lies in heightening consciousness
with the will to become 'Sons of God'. Jesus Christ says that such transmutation
can only occur if a person is spiritually reborn from above (John 3:3-8)
through repentance the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit.
Where does God
fit into all this?
The Crowley/Gnostic self-hood process fits in with the prophesied progression
of the human race. In this Present Age wherein God's grace to be spiritually
reborn has been extended to non-Jews, the majority of people will remain
cold of heart and will grow in sin. Paul says people will be self-loving,
money-loving, brutal, hateful of good, plus a number of other unpleasant
attributes (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
The message of
The Book of the Law is eschatological. Revelation is also eschatological.
The Present Age will not last much longer, for the Christian heritage
is being expunged, and the fig tree (Holy Land) has blossomed. Thelemites
believe that this age will be followed by the 2,000 year reign of Horus.
Christians say the Present Age will be followed by the 1,000 year reign
of Jesus Christ on Earth, to be followed by the last judgement. Thelemites
now say "Abrahadabra" (meaning Father-Satan-Father); Christians
say "Amen! Come Lord Jesus."
should take heed to the words of the nineteenth century mage, Eliphas
Levi: "To will evil, is to will death. A perverse will is a beginning
Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley [rhymes with "holy"] was
born October 12, 1875 in Leamington Spa, England. His parents were members
of the Plymouth Brethren, a strict fundamentalist Christian sect. As
a result, Aleister grew up with a thorough biblical education and an
equally thorough disdain of Christianity.
He attended Trinity
College at Cambridge University, leaving just before completing his
degree. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to George Cecil Jones,
who was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden
Dawn was an occult society led by S.L. MacGregor Mathers which taught
magick, qabalah, alchemy, tarot, astrology, and other hermetic subjects.
It had many notable members (including A.E. Waite, Dion Fortune, and
W.B. Yeats), and its influence on the development of modern western
occultism was profound.
Crowley was initiated
into the Golden Dawn in 1898, and proceeded to climb up rapidly through
the grades. But in 1900 the order was shattered by schism, and Crowley
left England to travel extensively throughout the East. There he learned
and practiced the mental and physical disciplines of yoga, supplementing
his knowledge of western-style ritual magick with the methods of Oriental
In 1903, Crowley
married Rose Kelly, and they went to Egypt on their honeymoon. After
returning to Cairo in early 1904, Rose (who until this point had shown
no interest or familiarity with the occult) began entering trance states
and insisting to her husband that the god Horus was trying to contact
him. As a test, Crowley took Rose to the Boulak Museum and asked her
to point out Horus to him. She passed several well-known iimages of the
god and led Aleister straight to a painted wooden funerary stele from
the 26th dynasty, depicting Horus receiving a sacrifice from the deceased,
a priest named Ankh-f-n-khonsu. Crowley was especially impressed by
the fact that this piece was numbered 666 by the museum, a number with
which he had identified since childhood.
The upshot was
that he began to listen to Rose, and at her direction, on three successive
days beginning April 8, 1904, he entered his chamber at noon and wrote
down what he heard dictated from a shadowy presence behind him. The
result was the three chapters of verse known as Liber AL vel Legis,
or The Book of the Law. This book heralded the dawning of the new aeon
of Horus, which would be governed by the Law of Thelema. "Thelema"
is a Greek word meaning "will", and the Law of Thelema is
often stated as: "Do what thou wilt". As the prophet of this
new aeon, Crowley spent the rest of his life working to develop and
establish Thelemic philosophy.
In 1906 Crowley
rejoined George Cecil Jones in England, where they set about the task
of creating a magical order to continue where the Golden Dawn had left
off. They called this order the A:.A:. (Astron Argon or Astrum Argentium
or Silver Star), and it became the primary vehicle for the transmission
of Crowley's mystical and magical training system based on the principles
Then in 1910 Crowley
was contacted by Theodore Reuss, the head of an organization based in
Germany called the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). This group of high-ranking
Freemasons claimed to have discovered the supreme secret of practical
magick, which was taught in its highest degrees. Apparently Crowley
agreed, becoming a member of O.T.O. and eventually taking over as head
of the order when Reuss suffered a stroke in 1921. Crowley reformulated
the rites of the O.T.O. to conform them to the Law of Thelema, and vested
the organization with its main purpose of establishing Thelema in the
world. The order also became independent of Freemasonry (although still
based on the same patterns) and opened its membership to women and men
who were not masons.
died in Hastings,
England on December 1, 1947. However, his legacy lives on in the Law
of Thelema which he brought to mankind (along with dozens of books and
writings on magick and other mystical subjects), and in the orders A:.A:.
and O.T.O. which continue to advance the principles of Thelema to this
As told by Frater
Robert Anton Wilson; Holy Discordian, OTO Initiate and CAW Water Brother
in his Outstanding Masterpiece of Speculative Illumination "Cosmic
Trigger." Recalling Crowleymas (October 12) 1974, Brother Wilson
hath eloquently stated:
...And then Jacques Vallee arrived.
I had wanted to
talk to Doctor Vallee for several months now and I immediately kidnapped
him into a room which the other party- goers were not informed about.
On the way, we spotted Hymenaeus Alpha (Grady McMurty), Caliph of the
Ordo Templi Orientis, and his wife, Phylis.
The Skeptic had
heard Jacques Vallee talk at a conference on Science and Spirit, sponsored
by the Theosophical Society, earlier in the year. He had taken a new
approach to the UFO mystery and was systematically feeding all the reports
of extraterrestrial contacts into a giant computer. The computer was
programmed to look for various possible repeated patterns. Jacques said
that the evidence emerging suggested to him that the UFOs weren't extraterrestrial
at all, but that they seemed to be intelligent systems intent on convincing
us they were extraterrestrial. [Indeed, even as our Dear Brother Terence
McKenna hath said, "We are part of a symbiotic relationship with
something which disguises itself as an extraterrestrial invasion so
as not to alarm us." -B:.B:.]
Now the Skeptic
started pumping Jacques about his evidence that they weren't extraterrestrial.
He started to explain that, analyzing the reports chronologically, it
appeared that They (whoever or whatever they are) always strive to give
the impression that they are something the society they are visiting
can understand. In medieval sightings, he said, they called themselves
angels; in the great 1902 flap in several states, one of the craft spoke
to a West Virginia farmer and said they were an airship invented and
flown from Kansas; in 1940s-1950s sightings, they often said they were
from Venus; since Venus has been examined and seems incapable of supporting
life, they now say they are from another star-system in this galaxy.
you think they come from?" I asked.
Doctor Vallee gave the Gallic form of the classic scientific Not- Speculating-Beyond-The-Data
head-shake. "I can theorize, and theorize, endlessly," he
said, "but is it not better to just study the data more deeply
and look for clues?"
have some personal hunch," I insisted.
He gave in gracefully. "They relate to space-time in ways for which
we have, at present, no concepts," he said. "They cannot explain
to us because we are not ready to understand."
I asked Grady McMurty
if Aleister Crowley had ever said anything to him implying the extraterrestrial
theory which Kenneth Grant, Outer Head of another Ordo Templi Orientis,
implies in his accounts of Crowley's contacts with Higher Intelligences.
"Some of the
things Aleister said to me," Grady replied carefully, "could
be interpreted as hints pointing that way." He went on to quote
Crowley's aphorisms about various of the standard entities contacted
by Magick. The Abramelin spirits, for instance, need to be watched carefully.
"They bite," Aleister explained in his best deadpan am-I-kidding-or-not?
style. The Enochian "angels," on the other hand, don't always
have to be summoned. "When you're ready, they come for you,"
Aleister said flatly.
(The Enochian entities
were first contacted by Dr. John Dee in the early 17th Century. Dr.
Dee, court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth and also an important mathematician,
has been controversial from his own time to ours, some writers regarding
him as a genius of the first rank and others as a clever lunatic. According
to two interesting books, "The World Stage" and "The
Rosicrucian Enlightenment," both by a most scrupulous historian,
Dr. Francis Yates, Dee was almost certainly a prime mover in the "Illuminati"
and "Rosicrucian Brotherhoods" of that time, which played
a central role in the birth of modem science. The alleged UFOnaut from
Uranus which communicated with the two Naval Intelligence officers gave
a name, AFFA, which is a word in the "angelic" language used
by the entities Dee contacted. It means Nothing. George Hunt Williamson
also got some words in "angelic" from his Space Brothers,
quality of UFO contactees," Jacques Vallee said at this point,
"was incoherence. I now have grave reservations about all physical
details they supply," he said.
"They are like people after an auto accident. All they know is
that something very serious has happened to them." Only the fact
that so many cases involve other witnesses, who see something in the
sky before the "contactee" has his/her strange experience,
justifies the assumption that what happens is more than "subjective."
Doctor Vallee summarized, "they come out of it with a new perspective
on humanity. A religious perspective, in general terms. But all the
details are contradictory and confusing." He regarded green men,
purple giant men, physical craft with windows in them, etc., as falling
into the category psychologists call "substitute memory,"
always provided by the ingenious brain when the actual experience is
too shocking to be classified.
I asked how many
in the room had experienced the contact of what appeared to be Higher
Intelligence. Grady and Phylis McMurty put up their hands, as did two
young magicians from the Los Angeles area, and myself. Jacques Vallee,
curiously, looked as if he might raise his hand, but then evidently
changed his mind and did not. I said I inclined to believe the Higher
Intelligences were extraterrestrial, and asked what the others thought.
Grady McMurty --
Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis -- said, in effect, that the theory
of higher dimensions made more sense to him than the extraterrestrial
theory in terms of actual space ships entering our biosphere.
The two Los Angeles
& Demons & the Bible Tom, who had been a witch for five years
and hadn't raised his hand when asked for contactee testimony, said
that the Higher Intelligences are imbedded in our language and numbers,
as the Cabalists think, and have no other kind of existence. He added
that every time he tried to explain this he saw that people thought
he was going schizophrenic and he began to fear that they might be right,
so he preferred not to talk about it at all. Tom-who is a computer programmer
by profession, a witch only by religion-later added a bit to this, saying
that all that exists is information and coding; we only imagine we have
bodies and live in space-time dimensions.
Doctor Vallee listened to all this with a bland smile, and did not seem
to regard any of us as mad.
(A few days later, in discussion with the former Vacaville prison psychologist,
Dr. Wesley Hiler, I asked him what he really thought of Dr. Leary's
extraterrestrial contacts. Specifically, since he didn't regard Leary
as crazy or hallucinating, what was happening when Leary thought he
was receiving extraterrestrial communications? "Every man and woman
who reaches the higher levels of spiritual and intellectual development,"
Dr. Hiler said calmly, "feels the presence of a Higher Intelligence.
Our theories are all unproven. Socrates called it his daemon. Others
call it gods or angels. Leary calls it extraterrestrial. Maybe it's
just another part of our brain, a part we usually don't use. Who knows?")
Since everybody in the room at this point had either had the required
experience, or was willing to speculate about it and study it objectively
rather than merely banishing it with the label "hallucination,"
I went into my rap about the parallels between Leary and Wilhelm Reich.
"The attempt to destroy both Dr. Reich and Dr. Leary reached its
most intense peak right after they reported their extraterrestrial contacts,"
I said. "I keep having very weird theories about what that means..."
Grady McMurty nodded vigorously. "That's the $64,000 question,"
he said emphatically. "For years I've been asking Phylis and everybody
else I know: why does the gnosis always get busted? Every single time
the energy is raised and large-scale group illuminations are occurring,
the local branch of the Inquisition kills it dead. Why, why, why?"
Nobody had any very conclusive ideas.
tell you what I think," Grady said. "There's war in Heaven.
The Higher Intelligences, whoever they are, aren't all playing on the
same team. Some of them are trying to encourage our evolution to higher
levels, and some of them want to keep us stuck just where we are."
According to Grady, some occult lodges are working with those nonhuman
intelligences who want to accelerate human evolution, but some of the
others are working with the intelligences who wish to keep us near an
animal level of awareness.
This is a standard idea in occult circles and it can safely be stated,
without exaggeration, that every "school" or "lodge of
adepts that exists is regarded, by some of the others, as belonging
to the Black Brotherhood of the evil path. Grady's own Ordo Templi Orientis,
indeed, has been accused of this more often than have most other occult
lodges. I have personally maintained my good cheer and staved off paranoia,
while moving among various occult groups as student or participant,
by always adhering rigidly to the standard Anglo-Saxon legal maxim that
every accused person must be regarded as innocent until proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt. This obviously spares me a lot of worry,
but the more guarded approach is very well argued by Isaac Bonewitz,
the author of Real Magick. "Paranoid magicians outlive the others,"
Somehow the conversation drifted away from Grady's concept of "war
in Heaven." Several times, Grady tried to steer us back there,
but each time we wandered on to a different subject. Tom said later
that he felt a presence in the room deliberately pushing us away from
Dr. H. -- the psychiatrist whose bad acid-trip had started the Crowleymas
party off so jumpily for me -- dropped by the next day, to thank me
for "talking him down" from his anxiety attack.
He also, it soon appeared, wanted to tell me about his accelerating
experiences with magick. It had started over two years earlier, after
an intensive seminar at Esalen. Dr. H. suddenly found that he could
see "auras." (The aura of the human body, known to shamans
and witches since time immemorial, has been repeatedly rediscovered
by scientists, most of whom were thereupon denounced as "cranks."
Franz Anton Mesmer called it "animal magnetism," in the 16th
century. In the 19th, Baron Reichenbach called it "OD." In
the 1920s, Gurvich named it "the mytogenic ray." Wilhelm Reich
rediscovered it in the 1930s, called it "orgone energy," and
was destroyed by AMA bigots who charged that he was hallucinating it.
Kirlian photography has now demonstrated beyond all doubt that this
aura exists.) Dr. H. soon found, further, that he could use the aura
as a diagnostic tool in analyzing new patients. This experience, Leary's
books, and a lecture by me on Crowley's magick, led him to further experiments.
On a beach in Sonoma County, after taking LSD the day before and programming
an opening of the self to higher beings or energies, Dr. H. (no longer
under the direct influence of the drug) had an experience with Something
from the sky. "It wasn't exactly a Higher Intelligence," he
said carefully, "or, at least, I didn't receive that aspect of
it, if it was Higher Intelligence. To me, it was just energy. Terrible
energy. My chest was sore for hours afterward. I thought it would kill
me, but I was absolutely ecstatic and egoless at the peak of it. If
the chest-pain weren't so intense, it would have been a totally positive
(MacGregor Mathers, Outer Head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,
and the first occult teacher of such worthies as Aleister Crowley, poet
William Butler Yeats and novelist Arthur Machen, once recorded a meeting
with the Secret Chiefs. These ambiguous entities, known in several schools
of occult training, are variously believed to be discarnate spirits
of the great Magi of the past, living Magi who can teleport themselves
about as easily as you or I telephone a friend, "angels" in
the traditional sense, or merely "beings we cannot understand."
any case, Mathers noted that the meeting, although pleasant, left him
feeling as if he'd been "struck by lightning" and he also
suffered chest pains and extreme difficulty in breathing. Dr. Israel
Regardie has also noted that Alan Bennett, who was Crowley's chief teacher
for many years, developed asthma, a chest disease. Crowley developed
asthma himself as his contacts with the Secret Chiefs occurred more
often; and Regardie finally "caught" asthma for several years
after studying with Crowley, a condition which was only cured when he
went through the bioenergetic therapy of Wilhelm Reich.) [As an interesting
synchronistic aside here, Brother Whitley Strieber, the alleged Space
Alien Abductee and prolific author on such topics, also suffers from
quite a touch of asthma. Coincidence...? -B:.B:.]
Crowley (October 12, 1875–December 1, 1947) was a British occultist,
mystic, poet, mountain climber, sexual revolutionary, and social critic.
Born Edward Alexander Crowley in Leamington, Warwickshire, England,
he was the son of a Plymouth Brethren preacher and heir to a small fortune.
Crowley spent most of his adult life seeking out, writing about, and
teaching a syncretic form of mysticism.
As a young adult, he had been involved in the Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn, where he first studied mysticism—and made enemies
of William Butler Yeats and Arthur Edward Waite. His friend and former
Golden Dawn associate Allan Bennett introduced him to the ideas of Buddhism,
which would be a continuing influence. In October 1901, after practicing
raja yoga for some time, he claimed to reach a state he called dhyana.
(See Crowley on egolessness.) 1902 saw him writing the essay Berashith
(the first word of Genesis), in which he gave meditation (or restraint
of the mind to a single object) as the means of attaining his goal.
The essay describes ceremonial magic as a means of training the will,
and of constantly directing one's thoughts to a given object through
the trappings of the ritual. In his 1903 essay, Science and Buddhism,
Crowley urged an empirical approach to Buddhist teachings. In 1904,
he alleged that he had a mystical experience on April 8, 9 and 10 that
year whilst on vacation in Cairo, Egypt which led to his founding of
the religious philosophy known as Thelema.
The text Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book of the Law, which Crowley claimed
had been dictated to him in Cairo by the voice (or intelligence) Aiwaz
or Aiwass, was to form the cornerstone of Thelema. The book's philosophy
is highly opaque, apparently calling in places for peaceful (and erotic)
discovery of "magick," and in other places for violence and
war. Portions of it are in numerical cipher, which Crowley claimed inability
In May 1905, he was approached by Dr Jules Jacot-Guillarmod (1868 -
1925) to accompany him on an expedition to Kanchenjunga. Guillarmod
was left to organise the personnel while Crowley left to get things
ready in Darjeeling. On 31 July Guillarmod joined Crowley in Darjeeling,
bringing with him two countrymen, Charles-Adolphe Reymond and Alexis
Pache. Meawhile Crowley had recruited a local man Alcesti C. Rigo de
Righi to act as Transport Manager. The team left Darjeeling on the 8
August 1905 and used the Singalila Ridge approach to Kangchenjunga.
At Chabanjong they ran into the rear of the 135 coolies who had been
sent ahead on 24 and 25 July, who were carrying food rations for the
Crowley was notorious in his life—a frequent target of attacks
in the tabloid press, which labeled him "The Wickedest Man in the
World" to his evident amusement. The claims made about him by the
press range from the realistic (if scandalous at the time)—that
he was an avowed atheist, openly kept mistresses, and had favored the
Germans in World War I—to the apparently ridiculous (that he sacrificed
hundreds of babies in black magic rituals). At one point, he was expelled
from Fascist Italy after having established a sort of commune the organization
of which was based on his personal philosophies, the Abby of Thelema,
at Cefalu, Sicily.
religious or mystical system which Crowley founded, into which most
of his nonfiction writings fall, he named Thelema. The word is the ancient
Greek ?e??µa, "will", from the verb e?e??, ethelô,
meaning "to will" or "to wish." Thelema combines
a radical form of philosophical libertarianism, akin in some ways to
Nietzsche, with a mystical initiatory system derived in part from the
Chief among the precepts of Thelema is the sovereignty of the individual
will: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" is,
as it were, the system's first commandment. Crowley's idea of will,
however, is not simply the individual's desires or wishes, but also
incorporates a sense of the person's destiny or greater purpose: what
he termed the "Magick Will." Much of the initiatory system
of Thelema is focused on discovering one's true will, true purpose,
or higher self.
The second commandment of Thelema is "Love is the law, love under
will"—and Crowley's meaning of "Love" is as complex
as that of "Will". It is frequently sexual: Crowley's system,
like elements of the Golden Dawn before him, sees the dichotomy and
tension between the male and female as fundamental to existence, and
sexual "magick" and metaphor form a significant part of Thelemic
Thelema draws on numerous older sources, and like many other new religious
movements of its time combines "Western" and "Eastern"
traditions. Its chief Western influences include the Golden Dawn, Kabbalah,
and elements of Freemasonry; Eastern influences include aspects of yoga,
Taoism, and Tantra.
The word Thelema finds its origins in the Bible, but was first brought
into common usage by Rabelais, who wrote of the Abbey of Theleme, and
had the motto "Fay ce que vouldras" or "Do what you will."
This theme echoed St. Augustine's "Love and do what you will"
and was a part of the emerging philosophy of humanism. Others who adopted
this idea was Sir Francis Dashwood and the Monks of Medmenham (a.k.a
The Hellfire Club) and Sir Walter Besant and James Rice in their novel
"The Monks of Thelema." (1878)
Science, Magick, and Sexuality
Crowley claimed to use a scientific method to study what people at the
time called "spiritual" experiences, making "The Method
of Science, the Aim of Religion" the catchphrase of his magazine
The Equinox. By this he meant that mystical experiences should not be
taken at face value, but critiqued and experimented with in order to
arrive at their underlying religious meaning. In this he may be considered
to foreshadow Dr. Timothy Leary, who at one point sought to apply the
same method to psychedelic drug experiences. Yet like Leary's, Crowley's
method fell short of objectivity and has received little "scientific"
attention outside the circle of Thelema's practitioners.
Crowley's magical and initiatory system has amongst its innermost reaches
a set of teachings on sex "magick." He frequently expressed
views about sex that were radical for his time, and published numerous
poems and tracts combining pagan religious themes with sexual imagery
both heterosexual and homosexual.
Sex Magick is the use of the sex act—or the energies, passions
or arousal states it evokes—as a point upon which to focus the
will or magical desire for effects in the non-sexual world. In this,
Crowley was inspired by Paschal Beverly Randolph, an American author
writing in the 1870s who wrote (in his book "Eulis!") of using
the "nuptive moment" (orgasm) as the time to make a "prayer"
for events to occur. While Randoplh was interested in both the male
and female partners, Crowley's version of sex magick was a male-centered
activity and the female partner played a passive role.
In 1934 Crowley was declared bankrupt after losing a court case in which
he sued the artist Nina Hamnett for calling him a Black Magician in
her 1932 book, Laughing Torso. The evidence against him must have been
overwhelming, and it is difficult to see why he ever took the case to
court. In addressing the jury, Mr. Justice Swift said: "I have
been over forty years engaged in the administration of the law in one
capacity or another. I thought that I knew of every conceivable form
of wickedness. I thought that everything which was vicious and bad had
been produced at one time or another before me. I have learnt in this
case that we can always learn something more if we live long enough.
I have never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable
stuff as that which has been produced by the man (Crowley) who describes
himself to you as the greatest living poet."
Within the subject of occultism Crowley wrote widely, penning commentaries
on the Tarot (The Book of Thoth), yoga (Book Four), the Kabbalah (Sepher
Sephiroth), and numerous other subjects. He also wrote a Thelemic "translation"
of the Tao Te Ching, based on earlier English translations since he
had little or no Chinese. Like the Golden Dawn mystics before him, Crowley
evidently sought to comprehend the entire human religious and mystical
experience in a single philosophy. Many of his books he published himself,
expending the majority of his inheritance disseminating his views. Many
of his fiction works, such as the "Simon Iff" detective stories
and Moonchild have not received significant notice outside of occult
circles. However his fictional work "Diary of a Drug Fiend"
has received acclaim from those involved in the field of substance abuse
Crowley also tried to mint a number of new terms instead of the established
ones he felt inadequate. For example he spelled magic "magick"
and renamed theurgy "high magick" and thaumaturgy "low
magick". Many of his terms are still used by some practitioners.
remains a popular icon of libertines and those interested in the theory
and practice of magic.