Aleister Crowley - a fraud?

Discussion in 'Magick' started by iBrian, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. Erynn

    Erynn Professional Madwoman

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    Crowley was easily as much showman as magician, but yes, he was a deeply flawed man. I think he believed his own propaganda about being the world's wickedest man, or at least wanted to.

    The maxim as usually used by Thelemites is "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law. Love is the law; love under will." He was apparently playing off Augustine there, as he did have quite a lot of reading under his belt. It is often condensed to a simple 93 from the Hebrew gematria (numerology) of the phrase. I've got a number of Thelemite and OTO friends, and I know John Michael as well, who's a pretty cool character. He's very thorough in his researches, and specializes in the history of magical lodges.

    Few of Crowley's claims about himself were quite as he made them, though he was apparently a very accomplished mountaineer. He speaks in his Autobiography of having ascended K2 at some length. From what I understand, he did set some mountaineering record or another that still stands today, though I don't know where or how to verify that.

    He was deeply personally irresponsible, and yes, I would agree that he was dangerous. He loaded his books of magical instruction with details that were off, so as to create a "blind" for the uninitiated. Those with association with other trained magicians would know what was wrong or missing, while a general reader would have no idea. When working with his materials, it's best to compare them to the materials of Israel Regardie (who worked as his personal secretary for many years) or to other, Golden Dawn style sources. Going back to the original grimoires of the medieval magicians would probably be helpful as well, including texts like the Keys of Solomon.

    I would caution any beginning magician to take anything Crowley wrote (even Magick Without Tears) to be suspect and potentially dangerous. For more advanced magicians, he can provide some interesting materials, however.

    One of his most famous works, The Book of the Law (the foundation of Thelema), was actually channelled by one of his Scarlet Women. He merely recorded it, but being the kind of person he was, he took pretty much all the credit. Likewise, he created a basic design for the Book of Thoth tarot deck, but Lady Frieda Harris was the one who did all the artistic work.

    I find him a fascinating individual, but I wouldn't have trusted him as far as I could pick him up and fling him.

    Then again, I'd say the same about Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders ;)
     
  2. Mastorn

    Mastorn New Member

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    Ave,

    I have started studying Crowley a great deal over the past year. Its quite interesting in that he left so much material behind that you can't help but start a "relationship" with this guy even though you've never met him. I treat him mainly from a psychiatric perspective. I look at the things he writes and wonder how his background and personal predjudices affected it. After removing thoes I try and see what wisdom is there. It was through my studying of Crowley that I came to accept the Book of the Law as a major part of my beliefs. A main starting point for this is when I realized that Crowley was not WISE enought to write the Book of the Law. There must have been "somthing" assisting him in it. Now what this somthing is is up to anyones guess, but The Book Of the Law is deffiantly important in my life.
    Just some quick thoughts.

    Ave,
    Mastorn
     
  3. killmyprince

    killmyprince Member

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    Although we can never prove how enlightened Crowley really was (or if he even was so to begin with), we do know that he contributed heavily to magickal philosophy, which is basically the main reason why we love him today. We don't really remember magicians as magicians. Sure, we remember all sorts of funny stories about them and their political-turned-magickal squabbles, but if they haven't contributed some kind of new take on magick, then we generally wouldn't know about them.

    Crowley is remembered for two reasons: Thelema and providing a good definition for magick.

    So, it doesn't really matter if Crowley was a fraud, because his philosophy proves itself to be useful and in good sense (most of the time). In addition, most magicians are a little bit fraudulant anyway. In fact, there's no way that a good magician is not also a good trickster, because magick, as Peter Carroll puts it, is sleight of mind.
     
  4. lucius

    lucius Well-Known Member

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    I've also read that Valiante played a role in editing certain material that was given by Crowley to Gardner, and did serve, at least partly, as a basis for the Book Of Shadows.
    I think it was in a book by Vivienne Crowley (no relation to Aliester).

    Anyway, I have to say that I've been interested in Crowley for many years, and my own basic 'philosophy of life' has been much influenced by his doctrine of Thelema -'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'. Although I have only pursued Crowley's methods up to a certain point, nonetheless, I agree with the underlying principles.
    Love is the Law, love under will.
     
  5. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Doreen talked quite openly about confronting Gardner regarding the obviously copied Crowley material (as well as other things that were clearly contemporary borrowings) that were in the Book of Shadows used to run the coven. Gardner said something to the effect of "well then fix it" and so Doreen did.

    It's all explained in Doreen Valiente's book "The Rebirth of Witchcraft."
     
  6. Wendigo

    Wendigo 98

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    The "something" that assisted him was named Aiwass. His personal Holy Guardian Angel; and confronting your own is one of the most important endeavours for a Thelemite.
    There surely were many facets of Crowley's personality, and his "beast" personae was probably just for media hype, and he enjoyed it when people were afraid of him; If he were alive today, he'd probably be in the tabloids all the time, and have his own reality show, haha


    However, once you become intimate with his writings, another Crowley emerges. Its worth it for those dedicated to it; but like someone said, dabbling with it can be dangerous. He was a caring teacher, but strict. He's both dead serious, and joking; theres lots of hurdles and tricks he threw in, but thats a part of the 'testing'. I think the first thing someone should do if interested in his works, is to at least read his [size=-1]autohagiography[/size]: The Confessions...


    (When I think 'Fraud" I immediately think of L.Ron Hubbard. He says by the year 3000, humanity will be slaves to an alien race, etc.:eek:)
     
  7. gwenwifar23

    gwenwifar23 Mistress of Light & Love

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    the truth (?) about alice bisack / A.C.

    According to what I read about Crowley (statements about him from people who knew him), he was very sincere. So the word 'fraud' seems wrong to me.

    But how many people really new him? Above, someone called him a socio-path. That, he was certainly not. He did not call himself "the most wicked man in the world", that was a statement made by a 'journalist' from a tabloid.

    How well do I know him? In my previous life I had a relation with him and with his female side (Alice), which I loved more. In this life I met him again. (Yes, I am aware of the fact, that a lot of people boast that THEY are the one and only reincarnation of A.C. The fact is, that I recognised him as A.C. during a magical ritual with acid. He admitted that he was, but he is now someone else.)

    Some probable facts about A.C.:
    At school he was raped and sexualy abused by a teacher. In those days, some teachers liked caning the butt of students and then penetrate them from behind. A.C. reacted with sexual play with other boys. When they were caught, A.C. was expelled. Then his (religiously disturbed) mother start calling him "The Great Beast 666" from the bible. A.C. kept that name. He was to much damaged by victorian society to try to fit in. He just didn't want them anymore.

    I have known A.C. as a very kind but damaged person. In this life, he went through similar circumstances, again with a disturbed mother and abuse. But in this life he found a cure for himself.
     
  8. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I am sure someone else has said this but that is LaVey (r.i.p) not Crowley... Crowley came through some "big name" connections/groups/organisations... Then we have my friend LaVey who really didn't compared to Crowley he was more fitting to your description. Too a certain extent... LaVey was a good man :D
     
  9. Francis king

    Francis king Well-Known Member

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    hello all, have just joined this forum and am liking what I see... I have read all ur posts on this thread with fascination and a touch of wonder... I have taken a few notes from the posts, but havent taken all the names, so if I've quoted u, or quoted u badly, and have not pointed out who u are, then please forgive me...

    u made me laugh, "I, Brian", with the lines- ...because he had sex with men and said a few funny words- I dont know if any of u have read the secret rituals of the oto by Francis king, but from what I see, the rituals are ceremonial rapes, kidnaps, and various sexual peversions...and yes, I do have a copy...and yes, although Reuss has been credited as the founder, so was karl kellner (sp?), and so was AC "to mega therion" himself...

    ...someone suggested that aleister was sexually abused as a child, and so then, we shouldn't blame him for these rituals, as he was just a tortured, disturbed being, who conned every woman he met into parting with her cash, and then left them alone with syphillis when the cash cow ran out of milk...

    I, like most of us, got into Crowley as a teenage rebel- we thought it was funny to summon up Leviathan in our magic circles, smeared in the oil of abramelin, but lets face facts, Crowley wasn't a talented magician at all- if u really look at these great writings, none of them are original, and there was plenty of others doing exactly the same thing at the same time... his kabbalah attributations are flawed, his table of corresondences in 777 are incomplete, and the " methods to awaken consciousness" which someone mentions are really just basic hindu and buddhist tantra/matra/yantra type meditations and rituals, and the rest is all his own work...

    as for anton le vey and the church of satan, again, its great to get the little card that says ur in the gang, and pay $100, for the priviledge of saying ur a member, but this really only appeals to middle class rebellious children who have been brought up in some kind of xtian faith...

    ...yeah, its dead cool to be evil, and wicked...

    ...as someone pointed out, there does seem to be two sides to uncle aleister- on the one hand, he's a card, a right character, someone we wanna be, when we're teenagers, all naughty, messing about with demons and drugs, but the more u learn, the more u realise that his talents lay, not in magic, but in fooling ppl that he was good at magic...

    as for aiwass, the holy guardian angel...lol... yeah, just like Blavatsky's secret masters, or Moroni was for the mormons founder, much like doreen virtues lil angels...

    as for crowley doing a lot of reading..lol... in "magic", he gives a list of books he advises ppl to read, and there arent that many, in truth, and most of them are his own... however, if u read all the books he recommends, u can then see where he's borrowed his ideas from... dum de dum, jus my opinion though, folks...
     
  10. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    Dear Friends,
    I thought I'd share a little information on the subject of Aleister Crowley and Scientology, for those who aren't familiar with it.
    What concerns me is the emergence of "Christian Satanism" and its doctrine of "Compassionless Love".

    Firstly Crowley link to Scientology-
    Hubbard and Parsons-
    The Scientology Story - Part 1A(1): The Mind Behind the Religion
    Operation Clambake presents: FBI Files on L Ron Hubbard

    Crowley- Hubbard's good friend.


    Tarjei has some articles on Scientology:
    Uncle Taz Home Page

    Crowley's bestiality and sacrifice of he goat:
    http://www.lermanet.com/cos/satan.htm

    Some of Crowley's anti Christian/Semetic pronouncements:
    From Regardie's edition of "The Law is For All" (Llewellyn, 1975).

    In the comment to II:17-21, Crowley writes,
    Crowley writes,
    From a web page:

    Transcendental Universe, C.G. Harrison, Lectures from 1893.

    Here, is the complete text of Joan Grant's recollection of her encounter with Crowley, from her autobiography, Far Memory, Ariel Press,
    1956.

    It was sometime in late 1914/early 1915. Joan Grant would have been
    seven years old at the time.
    Her family, who were upper class English, were visiting New York.

    Again we see another clear example of the dark arts. It well known that
    the black magician uses hair or nail clippings to form a magnetic link
    with the victim of his nefarious deeds.

    In his "Moonchild" Crowley describes a Black Magician who uses a ring
    with a needle in it for the same evil purpose.

    Thank Goodness we have Rudolf Steiner to show us the sane way into the
    Spiritual Worlds.

    "White magic is the ministry of healing, not only physical, but mental
    and moral disease."

    -Harrison

    Sorry to have to bring this up but there seems to be a lot of misinformation about.


    Br. Bruce
     
  11. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    There are actually quite a few books, articles, and opinions floating around on the always controversial Crowley. Like with most controversial figures I expect that you'd need to read a lot of differing opinions to get a glimpse of the real man behind the myth -- and then it would be nothing more than a glimpse.
     
  12. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    And you can proove that this isn't the case?
     
  13. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    so on one hand we're the "parasites of man", on the other he's using kabbalistic correspondences?

    am i the only one to think that doesn't make any sense, or is this part of that unpleasantly anti-semitic bit of the occultist world that thinks anything worthwhile in judaism was stolen from the egyptians, who, conveniently, aren't about any more to confirm or deny it?

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  14. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    You're not alone in wondering this, bananabrain.
     
  15. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    Bruce,

    I don't quite understand why you bring this up:
     
  16. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite understand why you bring this up:

    That is a quote from Harrison. Al sacrificed goats, toads and cats.

    >In case you still can't read between the lines, I'll give you a few more >quotes from Book 4:

    From an indulger in Coprophagia etc. etc. Not a good guide in any sense of the word.

    Black magic is all about gross egotism. It is of the death forces. It condones murder. It doesn't understand real compassion.

    -Br.Bruce
     
  17. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Well-Known Member

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    Link? Citation?
     
  18. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of pages on this. Here's just a Google sample:
     
  19. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Well-Known Member

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    OK, but do you have quotes or citations by Crowley.
     
  20. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to post any quotes here.
    One of those sites did have quotes direct from Al Crowley.

    Some of Crowley's anti Christian/Semitic pronouncements are found in:
    Regardie's edition of "The Law is For All" (Llewellyn, 1975).
    For a biography:
    John Symonds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Google these:
    "Leah hirsig" creamy turd
    toad "liber LXX"
    "white stains" necrophilia
    snowdrops from a curate's garden

    And if you're still happy to have him as your spiritual teacher- all I can say is, good luck to ya!

    It is interesting that Crowley's immature philosophy is an oxymoron as it orders freedom as a Law presented by a god. The other thing missed by Crowley is that morality lives apart from human beings and their thoughts and deeds, as a reality in the spiritual world.

    Also it is important that we don't adopt a distanced critical attitude to the Crowleys of this world and separate the men from the deeds, and recognise the karmic burden that they now bear.
     

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