THE BEASTLY LIFE,
OF A MAN CALLED CROWLEY ... continued


1926

On March 13, 1926 Alma Hirsig, the sister of Crowleys ex-Scarlet Woman Leah Hirsig, more commonly known as Mrs. Marian Dockerill, published her expose on Aleister Crowleys cult, Oom the Ominpotent and others in a series of articles which began running on this date in the New York Journal, titled My Life in a Love Cult, A Warning to All Young Girls.

As for Dorthy Olsen or Sister Astrid in 1926, she simply drifted away. Although we do know, according to Crowley, that on October 8th 1926 "Astrid blew out of the South" and that she appeared for a few days of wild sex, followed by an entry dated Oct.12th stating "Astrid blew out to the West" which meant that Dorthy Olsen left him and headed back to America. He never saw her again. In regards to Leah and Norman Mudd, they remained in Germany for a few years. Eventually Leah Hirsig bitterly renounced both Mudd and magic and returned to America where she resumed her vocation as a school teacher. She died in 1951.

1927

The new year of 1927 began with Crowley recording in his diary that he had nine mistresses over the previous year. He even lists them: Margaret Binetti, Kitty von Hansmester, Jane Cheron and six others. Over the next few years Crowley traveled between Germany and Tunis quite often but spent most of his time in Paris. It was an extremely quiet period in Crowley's life. He had long sought a Scarlet Woman to inspire his creativity but few qualified for the role. Briefly, in 1927-1928, Crowley was seen with a Polish woman named Kasimira Bass but, like all his women, their relationship would not last.

1928

In October of 1928 another disciple appeared on the scenes. His name was Israel Regardie and he had only recently arrived from America. Crowley and Kasimira met him at the train station in Paris and took him by taxi back to their hotel. After a nice supper, while the three were sipping coffee and cognac, Crowley simply got up from the table and pounced on Kasimira, knocking her to the floor. Regardie apparently was very shocked, got up and quietly staggered into the next room. He later wrote that Crowley and Kasimira "fell down on the floor and started fucking like a pair of animals right there in front of me." What a remarkable first impression. Still, by the year's end Kasimira was history and Crowley was in the market for a new Scarlet Woman to awaken his lust.

By November of 1928 Crowley discovered a woman whom he'd call the 'High Priestess of Voodoo', a Nicaraguan woman named Maria Teresa de Miramar. It seems they were quite an item around Paris, but all was not well with the Beast.

1929

January 1, 1929 Aleister Crowley wrote a deep philosophical piece of wisdom in his private diary on this date in regards to his favorite religion Christianity is like a painted mummy; expose it to fresh air, & it crumbles to dirt. There is no indication as to what inspired it.

Then, on January 17th, the police visited Crowley's room at his hotel. The police report regarding their search and interview was not favorable. In February the Minister of the Interior signed a summons, announcing that Crowley, his mistress and Israel Regardie had twenty-four hours to leave France. The papers were served on March 5th. The Beast had his own beliefs as to why he was being expelled. He claimed the police were ignorant and believed that his coffee-brewing machine was an infernal device for distilling illegal drugs. However, according to the official French report, Crowley's expulsion had nothing to with drugs. It was issued because some people in the government believed he was spy. It was thought his association with the Ordo Templi Orientis was merely a blind and that Crowley was using this secret society to sneak sensitive information about France back to the Germany. This paranoia might have been fostered by the fact that the OTO's previous world leader, Theodor Reuss, had been a spy for the German government during World War I. It was also no secret that Crowley himself held pro-German view during the early war years. So it was only natural that the French government thought the Beast was a spy too. Historians can believe whatever they want, but regardless of the reason the expulsion was devastating to the Great Beast. He loved Paris and the idea that he could never again return must have been very emotionally draining.

When the notice arrived Crowley was said to have become ill, bedridden and unable to travel outside his tiny apartment. Genuine or not, Crowley's ill health did buy him a reprieve until his health got better. This was not the case for poor Maria and Israel Regardie who had to leave Paris immediately. In March they obtained visas to enter Britain leaving Crowley bed-ridden in Paris. Unfortunately at the coast their visas were denied and they were forced to go to Brussells instead, arriving there on March 10th.

Meanwhile, while roaming the streets back in Paris, the Beast was hatching a rather unique scheme to obtain money. He approached the writer Francis Dickie with a plan. Crowley wanted to enhance the profits of his books which were simply sitting in storage. Crowley explained to Dickie, "You see ... I am rather well-known in England and America. A number of my 35 books have been published. I have at present a thousand copies stored away in London. My books are fairly scarce at good prices in the catalogues of the rare booksellers. But a man's books always increase in value after he is dead. Now if it could be made to appear that I committed suicide under mysterious circumstances, my books would leap in value. That what I propose to do. I want an experienced newspaperman to write up the disappearance and spread it to all the papers possible. Then, with this interest aroused, I will have a thousand copies of my book offered to various old book dealers." Crowley generously offered Dickie ten percent of the profit but the newspaper writer wisely turned him down.

March 9th 1929 - Crowley, "The real inferiority of women to men is shown by their hate of pederasty, which they regard as unfair competition. Men on the other hand rather approve of Sapphism, as saving them trouble and expense."

Around this time, Crowley published his novel Moonchild. This was quickly followed by Magick In Theory & Practice on April 12th of 1929. Nevertheless the gods were not through tormenting the Great Beast. With time his excusses ran out and, the week after receiving his advance copy of Magick, Crowley finally had to leave France. He headed for England with all the abundant press fanfare to which he had become accustomed. While in London he approached Mandrake Press where, on June 28th 1929, he signed a contract to publish his Confessions. He also renewed contact with many of his old friendsGwen Otter, Gerald Yorke, Montgomery Evans, Augustus John and Montague Summers to mention only a few. Still, things were not completely calm and new problems would soon surface. Crowley received a very distraught telegram from Maria explaining that the Belgium government was ordering her to leave their country. Apparently Regardie could stay there. Crowley wasted no time in arranging for Maria to go to Germany where he would join her. Together they hatched a twisted plot to get Maria legally into England. It culminated on August 16th 1929 where, almost on a whim and reminiscent of his first marriage to Rose, the Great Beast married Maria de Miramar. Now, as Mr. & Mrs. Crowley, they were allowed to go to London without a hitch. As for Israel Regardie, he remained in Belgium for awhile, typing manuscripts and would not go to London until November.

1930

The new year brought many interesting developments. Crowley was asked to give a lecture at the Oxford Poetry Society. However, it was cancelled when it became known who the speaker was and that his topic was Gilles de Rais. The press had a field day with Crowley being banned from Oxford and the Beast loved the attention. While in London Crowley and Maria met the author Viola Bankes at a party being thrown by his old friend Gwen Otter. According to Viola, Maria always called the Beast "Aleestir" and Crowley treated "his wife with affectionate contempt, viewing her, perhaps, in the Oriental manner, as a plaything for idle hours but on no account to be taken seriously." What Viola did not understand was that their marriage was already on the rocks, if it ever had been a marriage at all.

April 2nd 1930 - Crowley, "A person's religious belief varies with his sense of helplessness."

In Spring of 1930 Crowley and his bride Maria left London and headed back to Berlin. Their relationship was deteriorating as rapidly as Maria's fragile mental state. While in Germany Crowley fell in love with another woman. His diaries of April 25th 1930 state, "I am quite in love with this Hanni." She was a 19 year old model named Hanni Larissa Jaeger whom Crowley also referred to as "The Monster," and rightly so. By July Maria de Miramar took up residency in the mental hospital at Colney Hatch and, like Crowley's first wife Rose, she would remain there for quite some time.

As for Crowley, he briefly left Berlin for England but returned in early August to fetch Hanni Jaeger with whom he had fallen deeply in love.

After spending some time with Karl Germer and his wife Crowley returned to London on August 24th with Hanni at his side. Shortly thereafter Crowley and Hanni left for Portugal but his relationship with the 'monster' was one of constant fighting and reconciliations. It seems that finally the Beast could take it no more. His diary states, "Sept. 21. I decided to do a suicide stunt to annoy Hanni." He arranged the details with his friend Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet. There is no mention in Crowley's diaries regarding this suicide stunt being done to unload books as was his original plan with Francis Dickie. It seems at this point the intention was simply 'annoying' his Scarlet Woman. The jest of the stunt was that Crowley left a suicide note by the cliffs overlooking the ocean and when found the papers had a field day reporting the Great Beast's demise. Friends, like Viola Bankes, were very shocked when they read of the tragedy in their local papers. Aleister Crowley was dead at the age of only 54 of a suicide. However, shortly afterwards the 'sightings' began. Portuguese newspapers began reporting that a extremely healthy and alive Aleister Crowley was believed to have been seen fighting with Hanni in local restaurants, but it seems that no one was quite sure it was really them. Still more sighting were reported in local papers as if Crowley was a Loch Ness monster or a UFO sighting. In amongst all this mystery Crowley slipped out of Portugal and headed back to Germany, without Hanni. Surprisingly this didn't stop the sightings. Portuguese nwspapers continued to reported that the Beast had been seen even when he was in Berlin. It is obvious that Crowley wasn't really that irritated with Hanni because his diaries report that he joined her when she arrived back in Berlin.

Months passed and on October 2nd 1930 there is a brief entry in Crowley's diary stating, "Letter from Sullivan--who arrives tonight with Aldous Huxley." It seems that Crowley's old friend John William Navin Sullivan was on 'a tour of great men' to interview many of the world's eminent scientists for an upcoming book he was writing. He was traveling in Berlin with a young friend, Aldous Huxley. This is contrary to what most Huxley biographers claim. It is their general belief that Crowley and Huxley never met, but obviously most of these authors are simply trying to shift Huxley's image away from any connection with the Great Beast. Anyway, over the next few days the three of them met quite often, dining at Mikado and discussing numerous topics.

Also, Aldous Huxley, there is another story worth mentioning. In 1930, at the Porzo Galleries in Berlin, Aleister Crowley had an exhibition of seventy-three of his paintings and drawings. One portrait hanging on the walls was that of Aldous Huxley. It is said to have been a hasty sketch or drawing of Huxley, about which Aleister Crowley stated, I thought he had a lot of money and painted him like this to flatter him.

On November 1st Vyvyan Deacon, an old Crowleyite from Australia, arrived at Southhampton. He was a friend of Frank Bennett, the head of the O.T.O. in Australia. Shortly afterwards Deacon went on to London. He would not meet Aleister Crowley again until 1936. Also in November 1930 there is another brief mention of Crowley going to Mikado in which he "flirted with Fanny." This individual, whom we only know as Peter, was a homosexual friend of the writer Christopher Isherwood. Isherwood was a champion with his controversial stand on gay liberation. In 1955 he experimented with the drug Kif while in Tangier while visiting the novelist and poet Paul Bowles. He fictionalized his account in a short story titled A Visit to Anselm Oakes, which he included in his book Exhumation. Some have speculated that Anselm Oakes was actually based on Paul Bowles but actually Oakes is a figure primarily modelled on Alistair {sic} Crowley. This is obvious because instead of the typical Crowley greeting of Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, Anselm Oakes uses a corrupt version, The Will is the Law, the Law is the Will. It might be interesting to note that in the opening paragraph to this story one of the main characters states, I dont trust Anselm, as if to mimic an unconscious view which Isherwood himself shared about the Great Beast. Originally the story was the final episode of Isherwoods book titled Down There on a Visit. However, not long before the novel was published, in 1962, he suddenly decided to take the visit to Anselm out of it. Years later, in his private journal, Isherwood made another rather amusing comment about Crowley. He wrote, The truly awful thing about Crowley is that one suspects he didnt really believe in anything. Even his wickedness. Perhaps the only thing that wasnt fake was his addiction to heroin and cocaine.

On December 20th 1930 Israel Regardie decided that he could take it no more. He announced that he was beginning a Great Magical retirement. He was leaving Berlin did not plan to write or receive letters from anyone. Crowley was very irritated by Regardie's abrupt actions and it was the beginning of serious problems between them both. Crowley never forgave him until the day he died.

1931

January 3rd 1931 - Crowley, "Practically all women ought to be chloroformed at 35."

January 4th 1931 - Crowley, "In Berlin all the whores look like 'respectable women'; in New York all the 'respectable women' look like whores. Reflection: they're all whores, anyhow."

Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact relationship the Beast had with his women, the above quotes, although written in his diary with no indication as to what inspired it, might be due to the fact that the early months of 1931 saw Crowley with three new mistresses. As for Hanni, she had moved out of Crowley's apartment and was slowly being pushed into the background, although they stayed friends for quite a few months. It was January 6th when Hanni Jaeger picked up the last of her personal possessions from Crowley's apartment. The Beast simply noted that she had finally passed "away from me." Although he's quick to remark that she moved only a five minute walk away. In some ways it was a bitter ending. Even after the parting Hanni was still a factor in his life according to his own diaries. It was obviously an on-again, off-again relationship. One night when she stayed over, she awoke in a terrible temper and worked herself into an hysterical, 'monsterous' rage. Crowley notes this his diary with the comment, "She is really a complete lunatic, & must be cured before relations are resumed." As with all of Crowley's relationships it was, of course, doomed. Finally the Beast could no longer tolerate her antics. Tragically he could not have predicted what would happen when he made the final split with young Hanni Jaeger. Generally it is believed that she committed suicide. During this period Crowley was still living with Karl Germer who, along with his wife, seemingly always complained about the Beast's antics.

February 9th 1931 - Crowley, "Germer complaining again of my semen on his black satin ... I replied with the Mild Wisdom of the Sages: Since when, pray, have Cunts been water tight?"

The rest of the year was very quiet for Aleister Crowley. A new Scarlet Woman would not appear until August 3rd 1931. She was a Swiss woman named Bertha 'Billy' Busch. Crowley immediately liked her and apparently she felt herself instantly attracted to him. On September 30th he consecrated her as his Scarlet Woman. Crowley's diaries of this period portray deep love, mad sex and the typical fights of which Crowley's diaries are filled. Bertha and Crowley had a strange relationship but, then again, stating such only seems redundant. All of his relationships were strange, but this one was unique even for him. On one occasion she stabbed him with a carving knife and on another Crowley reports "Bill drunk again. HELL, I may have to cane her." Obviously they were getting along just fine.

Back in France the Parisians apparently were missing the antics of the Beast. One writer, Wambly Bald, wrote that when things become dull 'rumors' surface that "Aleister Crowley is back in Montparnasse. Then there is a thrill and new conversation." Unfortunately these rumors were false, Crowley never returned to France after his expulsion in 1929.

On November 2, 1931 Aleister Crowleys private diary has the following entry: ... He gave us lots of bad cognac. We went crazy. Instantly. We got home I got down on S.W. She pissed gallons -- we tore off our clothes & fucked & fucked & fucked. She tore my lips & my tongue - the blood streamed all over her face. We fucked. And suddenly she got a jealous fit about 3 cheap whores at Brunnigs & I strangled her." ... Isnt love grand? SW means his Scarlet Woman.

Throughout the year Crowley's diaries often mention his relationship with Karl Germer along with numerous entries about the writer Gerald Hamilton. The Beast spent Christmas with them followed by an evening at the Cosey Corner bar with the writer Christopher Isherwood. However, within minutes after entering the bar an altercation occurred which nearly resulted in the Beast being beaten up by a strong, blond haired, blue-eyed German boy. It took a sizeable sum of money to appease the attacker. A few days later, on New Years Eve of 1932, Crowley attended a huge homosexual Ball in Berlin. He wrote in his diaries that the ball was "Frightfully dull, pretentious & grotesque." Thus 1931 ended with Crowley still in Berlin.

1932

On January 8, 1932 Aleister Crowley wrote a profound statement in his unpublished diary - Initiation is never what you think it is going to be; if it were, you would already be Initiated.

The new year brought more difficulties. Karl Germer and Crowley began to have serious fights and their relationship became strained. As always, money was very tight for Crowley and his finances were in a difficult state of affairs. In quest of money Crowley decided that he and his old friend, Gerald Hamilton should collaborate on a book about their time spent in Berlin. Gerald agreed but the book was never written. Still, Crowley would later try to sell the book in hopes of a monetary advance from Grayson & Grayson Books. Luckily they didn't buy the idea.

To alleviate his financial straits Gerald Hamilton was invited to move into Crowley's Berlin apartment as a paying guest. He therefore was able to witness many of Crowley's and Bertha's antics first hand. A classic example of this was once he came home to find Bertha naked and unconscious in the middle of the floor. Concerned for her welfare, Gerald shook the Beast who was asleep in a nearby arm chair. He asked Crowley if Billie was ill only to have an irritated Crowley roust saying, "What, hasn't the bitch gone to bed yet?" Crowley then jumped up from his chair and gave Billy the hardest kick which Hamilton had ever seen anyone receive in his entire life. The other noticeable thing about Crowley's apartment, beside Bertha passed out naked, was the amount of broken dishes and crockery which lay strewn around the floor. This was Billie's means of defense, throwing anything within reach at the Beast. Hamilton claimed that after receiving the kick, Billy jumped to her feet screaming hysterically. This was followed by a physical struggle during which Crowley screamed for Hamilton to grab a rope and help him tie her up! At this point Crowley proceeded to bind Billy hand and foot. Only an injection of drugs finally calmed her down, putting her into a lethargic state. Yes, Crowley's relationships were never dull.

Many people are mentioned throughout Crowley's diaries, and this period of his life was no different. We know that while in Berlin the noted author Christopher Isherwood could often be found in the Cosy Corner which was a small working-class bar often frequented by male prostitutes. It was here that Isherwood decided to take Aleister Crowley for drinks. No sooner had Crowley entered when he declared very loudly, I havent done anything like this since I was in Port Said. Then, glancing around the room, Crowley decided to stroll up to a very tough-looking youth in an open shirt, standing by the bar. Instead of introducing himself like a normal person, Crowley simply scratched the boys chest deeply with his nails. Its hard to understand what he might have been thinking, but his actions did not receive the response that Crowley was probably hoping for; apparently the boy was pissed. It is written that only a sizable gift of money succeeded in restraining the boy from beating him up on the spot. One wonders just how much money was offered to keep Aleister Crowley from getting punched out cold. Although, typical of Aleister Crowley, its a safe bet that some one else came up with the cash and it was most probably Isherwood. Another question could be asked - what did Crowley do at Port Said back in 1904?

Also, on May 8th there is a brief entry in Crowley's diary which states, "Heard Rose died in Feb." She was his first wife, Rose Edith Kelly. Nothing else is written on this day or on the next few days. That, in itself, reflects Crowley's mood.

On June 22nd 1932 Crowley decided to leave Berlin and head back to London. He immediately renewed his old contacts On the 25th he visits the Caf Royal and has dinner with Gwen Otter. Two days later he visited Rupert Grayson, the publisher of 'Grayson & Grayson' in hopes of having his Confessions as well as his (unwritten) book on Berlin published. This did not happen. It seems that Crowley did not make a good impression on Rupert Grayson. Crowley had dinner with Viola Bankes on June 30th having recently met her at a party hosted by Gwen Otter. Crowley also renewed contact with his wife, Maria de Mirarmar, who had been periodically committed to Colney Hatch since 1930. We know this since he brought her to one of Gwen Otter's dinner parties. Shortly afterwards, on July 5th, Crowley went to Colney Hatch and met with Dr. Paterson and Dr. Alexander Cannon, the head doctors of the institute, to discuss Maria's sanity. He was informed that, for Maria's sake, he should stay away from her. He agreed. Much later, when she was finally released, she returned to Nicaragua where it is believed she died in a seedy hotel room from an overdose of heroin.

June 27th 1932 - Crowley, "When an Englishwoman tries to make herself look attractive, she only succeeds in appearing depraved!"

In August, Crowley and Viola Bankes tried to convince Paul Robeson, a famous black actor, into playing a role in his play titled Mortadello. Crowley had published this play in 1912 and was attempting to have it performed on stage. However the plans fell through when Robeson refused their offer. The following month, on September 1st to be exact, Viola Bankes joined Crowley at Foyle's Literary Luncheon where the Beast was giving a lecture entitled 'The Philosophy of Magick' to an audience of a few hundred people. It went extremely well. Vyvyan Deacon was in the audience, having arrived in England a few years earlier. It was first time that Deacon actually heard Aleister Crowley speak and even met the Beast in person nut there is no mention of Deacon in Crowley's diaries until 1936.

Also that September Crowley received a copy of Nina Hamnett's book The Laughing Torso. Although he had considered her to be an old friend, he immediately became furious over the lies portrayed in its pages. Especially irritating was the passage where Hamnett stated that "Crowley had a temple in Cefalu in Sicily. He was supposed to practice Black Magic there, and one day a baby was said to have disappeared mysteriously. There was also a goat there." He considered the remark about the baby very libelous, which in fact it was.

1933

The new year saw Crowley and Billy Busch drift farther apart. Eventually she was sent to Grosvenor Hospital for women in Brighton. Billy resurfaced occasionally throughout Crowley's diary. One entry of March 1st records: "Bill really insane, making public scandals." Crowley goes on to mention that she has been threatening him and Gerald Hamilton with "blackmail & murder." If one remembers, the three of them had lived together in an apartment in Berlin a few years earlier. Typical to all of Crowley's relationships within only a few days all appears well as Crowley celebrates Billy's birthday with her. However her name becomes less mentioned in his diaries as the year goes by. In October of 1933 Crowley began debating whether or not he should bring suit against Constable & Company, along with Nina Hamnett, over her book. Of course Crowley met many individuals during 1933, such as Bernard O'Donnell and, supposedly, Henry Miller. In Miller's case the story needs scrutiny in regarding its believability.

On March 19, 1933 Aleister Crowleys Gnostic Mass was first publicly performed; it was put on in California at the Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.

In April of 1933, still disgusted with Hamnett, Crowley finally brought litigation against her and her publishers, Constable and Company over The Laughing Torso. During the trial Nina's friend, Edith Sitwell, wrote many amusing comments regarding how Nina "did not lack courage" in her defense against the Great Beast. Although my favorite blurb is when she wrote, Although Mr. Crowley did his best to pursue an acquaintance with my brother and myself, I did not at the time wish to know him. But when, later on, I read about the sacrifice of a wretched cat, who was not properly killed during one of the obscene rites he practised, anger made me wish I had taken the opportunity. It would have given me pleasure to have said to him: Mr. Crowley, you will go straight to hell and you will meet only yourself, over and over again. .... Be that as it may, the trial ended only a few days later. Regardless that what Hamnett implied about the child disappearing was definitely a lie, Crowley lost the suit. It was decided on a Friday the 13th and Crowley underlines the date in his diary as if to imply an unlucky quality.

1934

In 1934 a tragedy occurred. On May 16th a body washed up on shore near the island of Guernsey in Portelet Bay in England. The body was fully clothed and had cycle clips around the bottom of the trousers with all its pockets filled with stones. It was obviously a suicide. The body was later identified as Aleister Crowleys student, Norman Mudd. ... Mudd's drowning himself didn't seem to bother Crowley; he was still upset with The Laughing Torso verdict. Crowley inevitably appealed the court's decision before Mr. Justice Swift and a Special Jury, London, April 11th 1934. Here is part of the trasnscript of the first day:

Mr. Hilbery: What does "Therium" mean?

Crowley: Great wild beast.

Mr. Hilbery: Do these titles convey a fair expression of your practice and outlook on life?

Crowley: "The Beast, 666" only means "sunlight". You can call me "little sunshine."

Crowley lost the appeal. In his diaries he wrote, "Appeal farce ends" followed by the Judge's comment of "Yes, indeed, your trial was quite unfair. But then, you can never get a fair one: so forget it!"

Still, there was a bright spot, as he left the London courtroom, a young nineteen-year old girl named Deidre MacAlpine ran up to him and asked, Couldnt I be the mother of your child? He granted her that honor and young Aleister Ataturk would inevitable be the childs name. ... The rest of the year was very dull.

In Anais Nin's book Incest, in the chapter simply titled November 2, 1934, she wrote that Henry has fallen under the spell of a remarkable old man {Aleister Crowley} who is fantastic and psychic, a painter gone mad in Zurich. It seems, according to Henry Miller, that he first met Aleister Crowley in Paris through the French astrologer Conrad Moricand in 1933 but Crowleyites are doubtful of this since Crowley was expelled from France in the April of 1929, never to set foot in that country again after June of that year. Therefore, how Miller could have encountered the Beast in Paris in 1933 is truly a remarkable feat of story-telling, which Anais Nin seemingly accepted as truth.

1935

The year 1935 was equally uneventful, although in Germany the Nazis began banning all occult and Masonic Fraternities. This doomed the OTO and all those who were associated with it. On February 13th Karl Germer was arrested on the grounds of 'having continued communication with Aleister Crowley.' He was briefly committed to the Nazi Concentration Camp called Esterwegen. After ten months he was released. As for Crowley, by the end of the year he had a new Scarlet Woman, Pearl Brooksmith.

1936

The following year,1936, was similarly dull. There are brief mentions in Crowley's diaries of dinners with Tom Driberg, Montague Summer, George Sylvestor Viereck, Alan Burnett-Rae, C. R. Cammell, Vyvyan Deacon and his wife, as well as many others. He met an interesting young woman in the early months of the year, her name was Deidre, and she would play a major role spanning the rest of his life.

July 24th 1936 - Crowley, "Not all the filth of London is thick enough to hide me from the Eye of God: & by that Ray I live."

On September 18th 1936 Crowley received advance copies of his new book The Equinox of the Gods. He was greatly inspired. These last few years had been fairly dull and the antics for which Crowley had become infamous seemed no longer in the forefront of his life. That lasted until the early morning hours of December 22nd when Crowley and Gerald Yorke paraded a Jew, an Indian, a Negro and a Malayan in a procession to Cleopatra's Needle in London where, at exactly 6:22am, he proclaimed "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" to all the races of the world. He then gave each individual present a copy of The Equinox of the Gods. This stunt would be repreated the following year, almost to the day, again at Cleopatra's Needle. The end of 1936 saw Crowley's latest mistress Pearl disappearing from the scene.

It is believed by some that it was here, in 1936, that Greta Mary Sequeira first became acquainted with Aleister Crowley, and, He soon became her close friend and confidant, openly declaring his love for her. Crowley was madly in love with this woman. He even followed her across England hoping to make her his new lover, but she declined. Instead, she married Paul Valentine. Although Greta remained Crowleys friend until his death, she never became one of his Scarlet Women. She did, however, introduce her best friend, Freida (Bloxam) Harris, the wife of Sir Percy Harris the Chief Whip in the Liberal Party, to Aleister Crowley. It would be at Gretas house that Crowley and Frieda would develop some of the earliest designs for The Book of Thoth, his essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, which would be published in 1944.

1937

The year of 1937 also began on a quiet note. Crowley, who had turned 61 the previous year, was beginning to show signs of slowing down.

The most important event of the year was that Deidre became pregnant with Crowley's child. On March 26th he wrote a poem simply titled 'To Deidre in labour.' Just two months later, on May 2nd, Crowley's son Aleister Ataturk was born.

Also in 1937, Aleister Crowley met the British super spy Maxwell Knight; having being introduced to him by his dear friend, Dennis Wheatley. Knight would later describe Crowley as a well-dressed middle-aged eccentric with the manner of an Oxford don. There are rumors that both Wheatley and Maxwell Knight jointly applied to Crowley as novices and were accepted. Although others are quick to point out that Knights interest-and also Wheatleys-was purely academic. According to Dennis Wheatley, he was merely studying magic for use in his novels. In fact, Aleister Crowley would later become a model for some of the characters in Wheatleys books. Some writers have suggested there were more sinister reasons why Knight wanted to meet Crowley other than occult interest; hinting that Knights first wife, Gwladys Poole, who apparently knew Crowley before marrying Knight, had a bad personal experience with the Beast. What actually transpired between the two is not recorded but some have gone so far as stating that this experience with Crowley might be indirectly responsible for her suicide on November 17th 1934, but there is absolutely no evidence to support this outlandish claim.

On December 12, 1937 Aleister Crowley again did a ritual at Cleopatras Needle. The Daily Express of Thursday December 23, 1937 ran an article; These Names Make News, Mixed Bag of Early Birds by William Hickey, which is merely an alias used by the noted author Thomas Driberg. The article began; An Englishman, a Jew, an Indian, a Negro, a Malayan - no, its not one of those saloon-bar jokes. The article is about Crowley assembling a mixed bag of people before Cleopatras Needle to announce the new release of The Equinox of the Gods.

The year ended and across the globe in Canada the writer Malcolm Lowry left his California home and moved to Vancouver with his wife. It was here that he would meet Crowley's ex-student, Frater Achad , begin studying magic under his tutelage.

1938

February 11, 1938 - Crowley, "Never run after a woman. You many possibly catch her.

November 19th 1938 - Crowley, "The day was curiously peaceful. One must not have women about."

December 22nd 1938 - Crowley, "Why do women resent being praised for their fucking? What else is there to praise?"

Note dated outside of simply being 1938 - Crowley:

Much success with my story of George Washington.
His father answered back. "Bend over, son!"
I'm going to lick the hell out of you.
The first rule of life is to tell a good lie & then stick to it.


1939

January 11th 1939 - Crowley, "Ah, only Russians understand that the fouler the women, the finer the orgie."

In 1939 Crowley continued publishing his books and, as with every year, his diaries are filled with the names of the people whom he met or dined with. Some of the more notable amongst them include the writer John Cowper Powys whom attended a Foyle's Literary Luncheon with with Crowley. He briefly discussed this meeting saying, The only time I met Aleister Crowley was when I had to be the Speaker at a Foyles Literary Lunch and I had him at my side and I treated him to a bottle of wine which he had finished before my speech was over! ... Crowley alsi met the writer Maurice Richardson around this period, whom some believe he was trying to set up for a libel suit.

On April 19, 1939 he recorded in his private diary a Repartee at dinner, in which a woman named Peggy, questions his behavior toward woman by asking, You think were fools and crude primitive animals! What are we then? To which Crowley records that he simply replied, Mind-Readers.

In September of 1939 England was finally drawn into the war with Germany. Crowley wrote "War declared at noon' in his diary on September 3rd. In May of 1940 Germany invaded France followed quickly by the 'Battle of Britain'. Crowley's diaries begin reflecting numerous air raids. It was a difficult period of Crowley's life.

October 25th 1939 - Crowley, "People who avoid facing facts are bounded by phantoms."

1940

The last few years of Crowley's life were spent in ill health and retirement. He kept somewhat busy in the early 1940s and met such individuals as the author Ian Fleming whose novels about the British spy James Bond are lengendary. It was during World War II that Fleming, who worked for the Department of Naval Intelligence in Britain, hatched a scheme to have the notorious Aleister Crowley interrogate the captured Nazi leader Rudolf Hess about occult matters. Crowley actually accepted his offer but Flemings superiors decided that it was not a good idea and they vetoed the overall plan. Ian Fleming's biography, John Pearson, wrote in 1966: It is a pity that this had to be one of Flemings bright ideas which never came off: understandably, there was hilarity in the department at the idea of the Great Beast 666 doing his bit for Britain. ... In March of 1952 when Ian Fleming wrote his first James Bond novel titled Casino Royale, he looked for someone on whom he could base his arch-villain. He needed an evil figure so he dredged up his past images of his old friend Aleister Crowley. After all, Fleming always knew a good villain when he saw one. He decided to give his villain the name Le Chiffre.

During this period Crowley also writes about his meetings with Lord Tredegar, the head of the British top secret MI8. He also often wrote about Dr. William Brown Thomson who prescribed his heroin and many others as well.

On May 31st 1940 Crowley's old friend Victor Neuburg died of tuberculosis.

1941

On January 5, 1941, across the sea in California, Grady Louis McMurtry, the future head of the Ordo Templi Orientis, attended his first Gnostic Mass at Agape Lodge. He recalled that the temple was big enough so that you could have people on both sides of the altar, and it appears that men sat on one side and the women on the other. The Mass was beautifully performed and one specific point left a lasting impression on Grady. He wrote, We come down to the Collects. To the point where sap of the world ash, wonder tree where all say it together. And I looked around to people sitting on my right and on my left, and I realized These are the people I came down to meet. These are the people I came down to find. And thats how I became a Thelemite.

An important event occurred on February 11th 1941, Karl Germer, Crowley's old friend, was finally released by the Nazis after having been detained in a second Concentration Camp.

On February 15, 1941 Jack & Helen Parsons join the Ordo Templi Orientis taking Minerval & First Degree on the same evening at the Agape Lodge in southern California. Jack would later take the Oath of a Probationer in the AA under Wilfred T. Smith on March 22nd. He took the magickal motto of Thelema Obtentum Procedero Amoris Nuptiae, which Crowley later commented was couched in a language beyond my powers of understanding.

February 16th 1941 - Crowley, "It is quite certain, in particular, that I have always been insane."

On June 13, 1941 Grady Louis McMurtry, the man who would inevitably take over the Ordo Templi Orientis after Karl Germers death, took Minerval & First Degree Initiation on this date and thus joined the OTO.

1942

On July 1, 1942 Aleister Crowleys tarot cards, which were painted by Frieda Harris, were shown in the Berkley Galleries to the public.

1943

August 18th 1943 - Crowley, "The system of the Book of the Law is aristocratic; I am an aristocrat. A better word for democracy is ochlocracy - the rule of the mob. It all depends whether you want quantity or quality. Are you going to produce sonnets or Sunday newspapers?"

On October 30, 1943 a young American Army Lieutenant named Grady Louis McMurtry met Aleister Crowley. It was a bright sunny morning when he came to the apartment at 93 Jermyn Street, located just off Piccadilly Circus in London. In response to his knocking, the door slowly opened, and there stood the Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, who simply asked, Yes? To this Grady replied, I am Lieutenant McMurtry. Crowleys response was, Well, come in dear chap! Years later, when asked, How could a Company Commander in the Invasion of Normandy have also been an associate of Aleister Crowley in London in the 40s? Grady simply replied with his typical wit that once, after he had just been balled by this little Japanese prostitute near Piccadilly Circus, while both were smoking cigarettes, he asked that age old stupid question, How did a nice girl like you get mixed up in a lousy racket like this? She replied, Oh, just lucky, I guess! This is how Grady would often explain how he managed to meet the Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, Just lucky, I guess!

February 20th 1943 - Crowley, a brief note in his private diaries - "... shaved head: barber terrified as usual."

1944

The next few years dragged by as war ragged on throughout Europe. In 1944 Crowley published The Book of Thoth. In that same year, on April 8th, Crowley left his apartment at 93 Jermyn Street and moved to Bells Inn, in Aston Clinton in Buckinghanshire England. London was being continually bombed by the Nazis and he considered it no longer safe, especially after a bomb landed in his backyard and blew out his bedroom windows. Crowley remarked, "If I had been home, I would have been killed." He didn't stay long at Bells Inn and on January 17th 1945 he moved again, into the last boarding house before he died. Aleister Crowley was seventy years old when he moved into an old 19th century mansion in Netherwood, Hastings. A few months later, in May of 1945, Germany surrendered and the war was over.

1945


1946

On January 1st 1946 the author E. M. Butler traveled to Netherwood to interview 'Old Crow' for her new book The Myth of the Magus. After meeting him she wrote that "he was more repulsive that I had expected, and his voice was the ugliest thing about him: thin, fretful, scratchya pedantic voice and a pretentious manner ... I could not take him seriously." When her book was finally published, the year after Crowley's death, we find that the Beast is only briefly mentioned as being the "amanuensis of Aiwass," nothing more. Ironically in his own diaries Crowley wrote, "Prof. Butler of Newham came & talked with such sympathy, consideration, and understanding that the day was a dream of joy!" If he had lived long enough to read her book he might have changed his mind.

Meanwhile in America, on January 4, 1946 one of Crowley's most promising American students named Jack Parsons began the rites known as The Babalon Working and they continued on for a few weeks. Parsons intent was to invoke and incarnate an Elemental or Familiar Spirit ... a Moonchild in the purest sense. These rituals began precisely at nine oclock every night, often performed with Prokofievs Violin Concerto Number 2 as an accompaniment. The scribe throughout some of these earlier rituals was L. Ron Hubbard. Then on January 18th, as Parsons records: at sunset, while the Scribe and I were in the Mojave Desert, the feeling of tension suddenly snapped. A calm came over the air and at this stage Parsons turned to Hubbard and told him that he felt It is done. He felt in absolute certainty that the operation was accomplished. Upon returning home he found a young woman answering the requirements waiting for me at the door. Jack described his familiar as an air of fire type with bronze red hair, fiery and subtle, determined and obstinate, sincere and perverse, with extraordinary personality, talent, and intelligence. The woman whom Parsons was referring is Marjorie Cameron. Now that he had his Elemental Spirit or earthly vehicle, the next stage was to prepare her to be the Mother of Babalon. These rituals continued till late February, the last occurring on the 27th. The following day, February 28th, Jack Parsons headed into the Mojave Desert alone. After the appropriate invocations, Parsons wrote, the presence of the Goddess came upon me, and I was commanded to write ... This Communication as Jack Parsons would later call it was seventy-seven verses, later named Liber 49, The Book of Babalon. It is very fascinating to read, although the most outrageous claim is in Verse 2 where it states, And this is my book, that is the fourth chapter of The Book of the Law. It appears that Crowleys three previously manifested Chapters of Liber AL vel Legis represented Yod-He-Vau, the Father, Mother and Son - Babalon now communicated the fourth and final chapter, that of the Daughter, the final He. On March 1st and 2nd Jack Parsons prepared a special altar in accordance with the instructions found in Liber 49. Little was obtained this evening but one warning would later manifest with frightening consequences. The scribe recorded, Beware the use of profaned rituals. 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 man. It continued with commands to perform another ritual the next day, concentrating all ones energy and being in Our Lady Babalon. Parsons was required to light a single candle on Her altar, saying: Flame is Our Lady, flame is her hair. I am flame.

A few days later on January 8th 1946 Crowley's friend Violet Firth, also known as Dion Fortune, died of acute myeloid leukemia at the age of 55. When Aleister Crowley had published his Book of Thoth two years earlier he had sent her a copy inscribed to the 'Priestess of Selene.' Crowley also published his last book, OLLA, toward the end of 1946.

November 26th 1946 - Crowley, "The Difference between myself and the Pope is that his definition of the word Sin is different than mine."

1947

The new year of 1947 began extremely slowly; Crowley's health was failing quickly and his body visibly began wasting away. Very little is recorded in his diaries although he does mention in March that he met the author James Laver. On June 19th, fearing the worse, the Beast wrote out his Last Will and Testament. His health continued to fail throughout the year. Finally, on a Monday morning or December 1st at around 11am, the Great Beast Aleister Crowley died in his bed from bronchitis and cardiac degeneration. He was 72 years old. It has long been reported that the last thing which the Great Beast tearfully said just before he died, while his hand was gently being held by his dear friend Frieda Harris, was - I am perplexed! But this is not true. Although they might have been the last words that he spoke to her, she was not at his bedside when he died. His real last words, which were spoken to his nurse, were - Sometimes I hate myself.

Of interest: Dr. William Brown Thomson also died on December 1, 1947 a few hours after Aleister Crowley. Approximately one week earlier the Beast had place a curse upon him. The author James Laver related this story, although hes quick to point out I do not vouch for it. According to Laver, when the Doctor told Crowley he was going to cut off his heroin, Crowley replied, If you do I shall dieand I shall take you with me and then he curse him. And, as already stated, Dr. Thomson did in fact die as Crowley predicted. The first article mentioning Dr. Thomsons death appeared in The Daily Express on December 4th. It candidly proclaimed, Magician Put Curse on Him, Crowleys Doctor Dies. It went on to say, Dr. William Brown Thomson, who used to prescribe morphia tablets for Black Magician Aleister Crowley, the wickedest man in Britain, has died within 24 hours of his patient, it was disclosed yesterday.

A few days later Crowley's Last Ritual was held and his body was publicly cremated with full Thelemic honors at Brighton Crematorium. Attending his funeral were many of his close friends; Louis Wilkinson, who performed the final ritual, Gerald Yorke, Frieda Harris, John Symonds and Kenneth Grant were there, as well as the poet Kenneth Hopkins amongst others. It was a somber event as many said their final goodbyes. However, even in his death, the papers were having a field day reporting all the gruesome details. The Great Beast would have probably enjoyed the headlines, wherever he was.


Love is the law, love under will. - AL I:57
Frater A.O.583






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