Crowley could have easily been a success in his
lifetime. He was born to a wealthy family. He attended public school
and had some college. While he wasn’t the poet or artist his enormous
ego led him to believe, but he did show some talent as a writer and
perhaps could have been one had he be able to channel his talents
toward it. Instead he became something of a sociopath, seemingly to
care less about the people around him. He could be charming and
ingratiating to his disciples so he could get what he wanted out of
them, and then treated them like garbage when he was done. He drove
many of them to ruin or suicide.
Even his modern day followers admit he was not
a kind person. He lived a life
of scandal and seemed proud of it, and
because of his social standing and money he got away with it while he
was young. When the money ran out in his middle age, he sponged off his
handful of followers and students. He needed this charity to keep up
his enormous drug and alcohol addictions. Had Crowley’s obsession with
the occult never came into his life, he may have very well lived a
fairly normal life, even if he was psychotic. It’s a documented fact
some CEO’s of major corporations have been psychotic. It was belief
that like Nietzsche's "superman" he could lay aside conventional
morality and do as he pleased that created his long, steady downfall.
No one is beyond good or evil.
There is one more thing that happened in Crowley’s
life that most Thelemites don't want to think about. Toward the end of
his life, Crowley performed a ritual with his illegitimate son
MacAlister in a Paris hotel. During the ritual, a tremendous commotion
was heard outside the door, and the two men could be heard screaming.
Crowley's friends figured it was part of the
ritual apparently, and didn't bother to check what was going on. When
the two failed to show up for breakfast the next morning, friends
called the hotel detective who broke down the door to Crowley's room.
Inside they found MacAlister dead. His robe
was torn to shreds and he had scratches on his body. He had a look of
extreme fright on his face. It was later determined he died of heart
failure, brought about from fright. He had been literally scared to
death. Aleister sat huddled in a corner of the room, babbling
incoherently. He too had scratches and his robe was torn. Crowley spent
four months in an insane asylum, and was released. [America Bewitched
by Daniel Logan pgs 64-65]
After this incident, he was described as
"harmless", and so began his downward spiral of sponging of friends and
former students, and spending his final days in a flophouse in
No one knows what happened inside that locked
room that killed MacAlister and made Crowley have a nervous breakdown.
Did Crowley finally conjure up a demon for real? All
religions teach that demons are not beings that want to help us or give
us knowledge, but rather are creatures of pure evil, and there goal is
to hurt humanity and cause us as much harm as they can. Not only
Christianity teaches this, but every major religion has some kind of
concept of evil spirits.
Being a skeptic, I'm more inclined to think
Crowley finally snapped and killed his son. The last thing a
psychotic like Crowley needed was a life of drugs and occultism. Had he
lived in a modern time where people understood the symptoms of head
injuries and had anti-psychotic drugs available, Thelema probably never
would have ever been born (not to mention the AMORC, The A.A. Wicca,
Scientology, The Temple of Set, et al)!
There is a story gleefully being promoted by his
followers that the doctor attending Crowley on his deathbed died from a
curse placed on him when he refused to give Crowley all the morphine he
wanted. The story didn't come out until decades later when it was
learned that Crowley's aged doctor died from a heart attack a few days
after he did. The story of course, is a pathetic attempt to make it
sound like Crowley had some kind...any kind... of magic powers. I've
seen other occultists try to pull the same trick of claiming someone
they knew who died did so from magic.
The real demise of Crowley is much less
dramatic. According to a fellow flophouse resident, he heard a thump in
Crowley's room, and found the poor old man dead laying face down on the
floor. No last words, no curses. This story, being the least dramatic,
is probably the real truth.
Crowley infrequently published a magazine called The
Equinox when funds would allow. All the editions of The Equinox were
later republished as a hardbound 10 volume set that runs about $500 for
the truly magically desperate...and no, even I wasn't dumb enough to
buy one. In fact, after an initial investigation of Crowley while I was
an occultist, I pretty much wrote him of as a looser. This later became
a big reason I left Wicca, because Crowley's fingerprints were all over
it, and I realized Wicca was a sham!
He was a man that exhibited psychotic behavior, and people
who follow his philosophy will emulate psychotic behavior. He was man
who literally thought he was the Anti-Christ. He was a drug addict, an
alcoholic, a misogynist, a sexual deviant, and a pedophile. All his
"sex magic" did was give him V.D., including syphilis. He worked hard
at being evil and even bragged about it.
Gerald Gardner knew Crowley and
was a member of the O.:T.:O.: He stole much of the material from
Crowley to create his "ancient" Book of Shadows". Sybil Leek claimed
she knew Crowely...which turned out later to be false. She never even
met him. Never the less, Leek makes mention of her fictitious
friendship with Crowley, claiming he was a family friend and even told
her family Leek would be his successor. Alex Sanders claims Crowley
"babysat" him when he was a child and gave him a ring. There’s no
evidence Crowley knew him either, since Crowley never mentions Sander's
family in his writings, and Sander's parents were both Christians.
NEVER TRUST A "DEMI-GOD", "PROPHET" OR "WIZARD" WHO DIES A
PENNILESS JUNKIE IN A FLOPHOUSE!
(I should probably mention some Crowley-bots
claim the boarding house where Crowley stayed wasn't really a flophouse
and show me pictures of the outside of how it looks today some 70 years
later as somehow proof. And they also claim he had several hundred
dollars of O.T.O. money under his bed proving he wasn't
penniless...also an unlikely story for many reasons) .
There is a bright note to this story. Supposedly a
grandson of Aleister Crowley turned up in California in the 1990's. It
turns out he is a Christian, and even works at a church as a
groundskeeper. He said he is sorry for the terrible things his
grandfather did and wants no part of them.
At this stage of the game, I'm an agnostic now. Some
will say "Well, Crowley wasn't perfect, but show me someone who was.
Every religion had to start somewhere." True, every religion starts
somewhere, and always has tons of legend and lore. But a religion that
teaches people to be amoral and turns them into drug addicts...? There
really doesn't seem to be anything redeeming about Crowley's
I remain skeptical (and by skeptical, I mean I think Crowley was
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