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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:34 AM
Original message
What's your opinion of Alistair Crowley?
Edited on Fri Jul-23-04 08:35 AM by ChavezSpeakstheTruth
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Bit of a wanker, but harmless really. Self-propagandist,
but some good ideas.
Unless he did actually throw darts at lovers like he claimed.
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. darts eh?
Sounds plausible
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. He claimed to do a whole encyclopaedia of weird and evil shit.
If true, he really was 'The Beast 666', but I think he was just an over-imaginative upper-class English guy.
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Wasn't he a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn?
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. I think Khephra's your expert here.
But, yeah, he was. Didn't he form it?
'Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law' - sounds a little libertarian, doesn't it?
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. If it feels good do it - isn't that s'posed to be our slogan?
:)
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Isn't that Sloan's slogan?
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. He did NOT form the Golden Dawn
and the "Do What Thou Wilt..." business is his "Rule of Thelema" the religion he founded when the Golden Dawn didn't get him laid enough.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. You rang?
I wouldn't claim to be an expert on him though. I've ran into people who could run circles around me on Crowley lore.
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Certainly more expert than me.
That'll do for now. :-)
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. He didn't form it
He was was of the later members and got into a magickal war with many of them as they were basically too conservative for his tastes.
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truthspeaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. Nutjob. But the Ozzy song "Mr. Crowley" has a good riff.
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phillybri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
17. Randy Rhoads greatest performance....
Hands down...I will NOT argue this...
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. Pioneer of the drug experimentation and free love movements
Kind of a dick.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
24. I'm a fan of his work, but yes, he was a bit of a dick.
Genius and madman.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
7. Someone who freaked out the fundies
I've read some of his stuff-ritual magik is kind of weird. I think he was partly the real thing and partly fraud, like most of those kind of guys.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
9. An idiot, charlatan and rapist.
Crowley is endlessly tiring.

To create his "religion" (Thelema) he borrowed whatever struck his fancy from any and all religions, without thought or context and mish-mashed it together. An copying large portions of his belief system right out of the Golden Dawn. (Which is basically a re-interpretation of Jewish Mysticism 1800-style) He added "credibility" to his religion by saying "see the Greeks and Egyptians did this so it must be real." Never mind that he only "borrowed" the names. Saying Thoth (God of Knowledge to the Egyptians) was the Devil is laughable.

He addicted himself to heroin, so the story goes, so he could beat the addiction -- something he failed at, he replaced one addiction with Opium.

He used drugs and religious dogma so he could get laid until the day he died.

He also created a number of alchemical "potions" designed to kill anyone who tried to make his concoctions, which has resulted in a number of deaths over the decades.

One last point, how can you take him seriously when one of his most prominent disciples in the 1950's was L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame?

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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
23. You can't blame him for Scientology
Crowley only met L.Ron in passing, if at all that.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #23
34. No, I'm not blaming him for Scientology
L. Ron Hubbard was a Thelemic disciple in LA and never met Crowley, I believe.

Ron's own story says that he was a CIA mole into the group... a laughable story coming from a guy who torpedoed a know "magnetic anomaly" in the North Pacific and claimed that he had sunk two Japanese subs in WW2

However, there is a clear influence on Hubbard. Not long after his time in the LA house he made his famous bet and quote "If you want to be come rich, found a religion"

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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. You could also say a lot of modern Wicca
Edited on Fri Jul-23-04 10:24 AM by khephra
is influenced by Crowley then too, considering there is evidence that Crowley had a hand in writing some of Gardner's (sp?) rituals.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #35
43. Alexandrian Wiccians are whirling in their graves...
Crowley has influenced only one thing: The dark side of the occult. I'll agree with that readily. If you mean "witch" in the dark sense, then yes Crowley has been profoundly influential. However, "dark" witches (most of whom are Satanists from my experience) have never called themselves Wiccians that I know of. But then I've been out of the occult for about 7 years now so my experiences are a bit old.

I've known tons of Wiccians and the suggestion of Crowley was repugnant to them. Wiccia, or "white" witchcraft, in direct conflict with Crowley. Crowley's work is founded on the idea that you should be able to do anything you want at any time -- NO LIMITS! And that gods exist to serve YOUR will. Wiccians do not agree with that at all. If anything, Wiccians are closer to Native Americans than they are to Crowley.

Not to mention the fact that the term "Wiccian" is not exclusive property of Gardner (I don't know if I'm spelling that right either) Wiccian is a very loose term. Crowley influenced wicca as much as the Gnostics have, as the Alchemists have, as much as the Golden Dawn has, as much as archeology has, and as much as old wives tails and the ancient art of mid-wifery has.

In the case of Gardner, his sect (and famous it is), is a bit more "gray." A nickname I've heard for the Alexandrians (I knew one of his high priestess and personal disciples) is the "Grey Witches" She never mentioned Crowley unless I brought it up, and she had a low opinion of him (even though she made a tidy profit selling his books to the "lost" as she called them) As for Crowley writing some Gardner rituals, I can't say, as I've heard stories that contradict that idea as well as support it.

I think you give Crowley way too much credit. But yes, I'll admit that there is an amount of influence. All occults influence eachother, its the nature of being cast out of society for their bliefs. Hell, the Sangreal (Royal Blood) people influence Santeria and vice versa.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
29. I suspose you've never heard of "Synergy" before?
If it wasn't for Crowley, many people would have never learned about Eastern religions and yoga.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #29
36. I disagree with you
Eastern religion had a foot print in the US long before Crowley became big here. Decades before Crowley became big in fact. He actually doesn't come to America until the UK kicked him out of the country.

Not to mention the closest thing he came to Yoga was sitting funny and spending a lot of time with the Karma Sutra.

Crowley brought noting to the table in our culture, unless you are occult. Crowley gave us Anton LeVay for crying out loud!

Now, the Golden Dawn, did bring a lot of eastern concepts to Europe, but Crowley never had any real authority in the group before he was kicked out. He was basically a scribe and competitor with Israel Regardie who was the main publisher of the Golden Dawn books. Crowley also wanted to publish them, but he wanted to make changes to them that the GD found not only distasteful but dangerous.

So Crowley was bounced from the group and he went on to create Thelema.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Well, I'm "occult" so we differ.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #38
44. I did it for 10 years....
don't get me wrong, we are having a difference of opinion, which is complicated by the fact that I'm also "out" of it.

(actually it's more of a very private thing, I no longer will associate religiously with other occults)

I never had a high opinion of Crowley even though I have as complete collection of his books as I could find, as well as the Golden Dawn books.

In fact, when people come to my house the first thing they see is a bookshelf devoted to occult books, you name it and I probably have it.

That is not to say that I'm trying to persuade you from Crowley or whatever your belief is. On the contrary -- I want you to believe. But I also want you to believe with out influence. That you choose to follow your path for your own reasons. If Crowley is that path, so be it, I hope you find enlightenment. I caution you that many of his rituals are dangerous, and I'm not only speaking spiritually dangerous, but physically dangerous. So, take care to stay safe on your path.
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Beware the Beast Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
11. Didn't he bang a tree once?
I think I read that in Blender... :shrug:
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
14. Religionist of the oligarchy.
The British ruling class had little to do with themselves other than to spin ornate theologies to justify their existence as a parasitic social stratum.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #14
25. He also did spy work for the UK during the War.
A man of many contradictions.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
15. created an artistic but utterly unusable Tarot deck
and agree with all that great stuff David_77 said!
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Wasn't the deck painted by a woman?
Seem to remember that
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. yes
like all things in his life, he stole everything to maximize his laziness and increase his sense of entitlement.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Stole?
He aways gave credit to her. :shrug:
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. yeah its "his" deck
It bears "his" name. It also bears his marks of religious sloppiness that he's famous for. As its been pointed out, its useless. I have it at home my self... I much prefer the GD deck.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. I seem to recall it is named the "Thoth" deck
:shrug:
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Yeah it says Thoth on the box... it also says Crowley on the box.
But he didn't design it, as you've pointed out. He comissioned it, and it still is "his" deck (note the quotes)
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. I suspose you've forgetting the hand drawn designs that he did himself?
They're out there and not hard to find. He did elaborate rough drafts of many of the cards himself. Hiring out someone to finish an artistic work isn't rare. If that was the case, we wouldn't be calling many of our great works of art by the names of the artists that we know but instead by their workmen.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #37
42. Well, the famous "Rider Waite" deck was not done by Rider or Waite
Pamela Colman Smith (nicknamed "Pixie") was the artist who actually created that famous "beginner's" deck.

Tarot is highly subjective. I find the Thoth deck quite fascinating.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. of course
Crowley isn't the only one who has borrowed from other sources, or stolen things. Or comissioned things and taken credit for them.

Tarot has a very complicated history and use. Mostly due to the fact that no one really knows where it came from.
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #16
32. my husband really likes the deck
and loves the paintings. He was an art student before he became a computer guy.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
26. Too bad you can't use it.
It's the only deck I can use.
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
31. actually my husband really likes that deck!
he is the one with Crowley and other knowledge of that type around my house.
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southpaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
19. That we study his life, write songs about him...
and discuss him on message boards years after his death proves that Crowley is still getting the thing he seemed to want most... attention.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
28. BTW it's Aleister Crowley
Not Alistair.
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
30. My take on Crowley as an ex-member of
Edited on Fri Jul-23-04 10:03 AM by khephra
the OTO, AA and EGC (Deacon in training).

The man started out life being told daily by his mother that he was the Great Beast of Revelations and was raised by a fundie father who only let him read the Bible for a long stretch of his childhood. A lot of his adult life (like many of us) was spent revolting against his upbringing.

Was he a dick and did he do horrible things? Yep. No question to it. But he also was a genius who brought many of the past magickal practices to a modern audience.

Do I emulate him? Fuck no. But then I don't want to be like the rocket scientists that we brought over from Germany after the war either, but I can still understand and appreciate their genius too.

Crowley, like the Golden Dawn, is a stepping stone for the modern occultist. You should study his work until you "get it" and then move on to your own work. The problem is that people have formed a popularity cult around him and have forgotten to do their own work.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #30
46. Amen!
I'm with you 100% there...

see my response here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
33. BTW, Liber Oz is required reading imo
Edited on Fri Jul-23-04 10:08 AM by khephra
Liber LXXVII
"the law of
the strong:
this is our law
and the joy
of the world." AL. II. 2

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." --AL. I. 40

"thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay." --AL. I. 42-3

"Every man and every woman is a star." --AL. I. 3

There is no god but man.
1. Man has the right to live by his own law--
to live in the way that he wills to do:
to work as he will:
to play as he will:
to rest as he will:
to die when and how he will.
2. Man has the right to eat what he will:
to drink what he will:
to dwell where he will:
to move as he will on the face of the earth.
3. Man has the right to think what he will:
to speak what he will:
to write what he will:
to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will:
to dress as he will.
4. Man has the right to love as he will:--
"take your fill and will of love as ye will,
when, where, and with whom ye will." --AL. I. 51
5. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.
"the slaves shall serve." --AL. II. 58
"Love is the law, love under will." --AL. I. 57





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