BY ANDREW MOODY
Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast, dictated nearly forty years after preparatory school at the Plymouth Brethren:
“I had been the butt of every bully in school. My whole life seemed at times to be one slimy subterfuge to cozen death.”
While perusing the National Portrait Gallery some years back, I noted Crowley’s magical portrait (it did not represent his image but worked on iconography and symbolism) had been quietly removed, part of a military style destruction of his dangerous occult legacy.
Having died a traitor’s death in 1947 in a boarding house that he would have perceived as hell on earth, after the UK press branded him THE WICKEDEST MAN IN THE WORLD, Crowley was hooked on opiates including heroin, cocaine, and other barbiturates. He lived his remaining years in physical pain, addiction, and penury, forgotten by a New World in England looking forward to an uncertain future after the war.
His early attempt at shock fiction – Diary of a Drug Fiend – was written partly to sate his underserved literary ego, and partially to secure advance money to spend on drugs. Like all Crowley’s published work, it is inept both as poetry and literature, but of course that is never the point of the occult which is always to do with concealing information.
Crowley’s most famous works, THE BOOK OF THE LAW and THE BOOK OF LIES remain popular with Satanists, especially those with Nazi leanings. The church of Satan refer to Crowley in godlike terms, but they are merely an immoral Nazi-leaning pantomime cult utilising BDSM brainwashing to keep their members in check. The cocaine-addicted, serial killer-obsessed Marilyn Manson and also Bret Easton Ellis are also enormous fans.
Crowley was a British spy during the Second World War (despite writing pro German propaganda in America during WW1) and was a traitor who believed in Hitler’s Might is Right. He saw Nazism as an extension between two contemporary magicians of his famous theory “do what thou wilt shalt be the whole of the law”.
Beginning as a rich, fat little boy with bosoms and a Victorian lust of the table leg, Aleister never grew up or gained paid employment using his various sums of money his family bequeathed him, and nearly all of his children died neglected and young. After his lonely death in 1947, Crowley was almost forgotten in Britain until the Beatles put his face, amongst other infamous stars of recent culture (John Lennon did at one point suggest Hitler), on Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band.
Crowley was known in life for his “terrifying eyes” and Norman Mailer, recounting a tale told by a lady upon dining at the same hotel as Crowley, who had invocated a demon into her room said: “Let no man say Aleister Crowley is without powers.”
It is difficult to know what really went down at the sickening and notorious cult of Thelema in Sicily, with its death, drugs and drinking of cat blood. Aleister’s final words may prove instructive:
“I am so perplexed,” he murmured, before the final words he said on Earth: “Sometimes I really hate myself.”
Follow Andrew Moody on Twitter @Voguishfiction