Aleister Crowley

bizkit_1979

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#61
Like I said, I didn't see the prog, so this stuff about Crowley betraying his country is all new to me and I couldn't possibly comment :confused:. And I also said I'm no expert, but I thought a main theme of this thread was whether he was evil or not.

All I'm saying is that I don't believe a lot of what was written about the man, that his reputation precedes him, and like Maralyn Manson, I think he deliberately said a load of stuff just to shock and upset, which he did rather well.

I have a tongue in cheek attitude when it comes to Crowley and everything written or said about him, and unlike Mr Merton, having never met the bloke and considering all the hype and hysteria surrounding him I'd rather reserve judgement. I thought the blood drinking story was made up anyway, and I think having an overly permissive attitude to sex and drugs does not make you evil.
 

harlequin2005

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#62
Although my aquaintance with AC started and ended in my teens (he seemed to be required reading to understand where some of the other authors I read were coming from) I feel that Bizkit has hit the proverbial on the proverbial with the assesment that he was a poseur along the lines of Marylin Manson. Basically he relished his negative publicty. To paraphrase Monty Python, he wasn't the anti-christ, just a very naughty boy. If other chose to follow him then they really didnt get the joke and were exploited mercilessly by the sadistic child that made up a large part of ACs character. I'm sure he'd be amused and not a little pleased that he can still abuse people so long after his seedy demise in Hastings, as well as being the poster boy of evil, who's villany grows with the years.

Just my opinion, but there you go.

Apropos supporting the Nazis, so did Errol Flynn. Some of the AC/EF parallels are quite startling :)

8¬)
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
#65
Enough's Enough

Harlequin - I simply meant that Excoriate has been on a fundamentalist xtian rant against AC, spewing lies, idiocies, and worse, mostly sourced to one ridiculous TV program, and that it's useless to bother with such contumely. One understands that they need their scapegoats and fears in order to keep feeling important and so on, but it's tiresome having to wade through it on a thread that is supposed to discuss Crowley.

Instead, it serves merely as a sounding board for more of the incredible amount of ad hominem attack AC's sustained and continues to sustain even after death. It's ridiculous and pitiable, and very dull-witted.

Anyone wishing to address individual points made by Excoriate will have to read his spew, something I gave up once the tenor became evident.

Play on, children.
 

harlequin2005

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#66
FL,
Thanks for the clarification. Without actally being criical of Ex's stance on AC, it is something that would have delighted he old man himself. Its intersting to see that the rhetoric hasn't really changed since the 1930s, just the media of its promulgation.

However, both sides of this argument do have an axe to grind:-

The xtian side - that he was the most evil man to walk the face of the Earth

The Pro-Crowleyites - the ideal of him being the Arch mage

The truth, being the three edged sword it is, is probably that he was a severly flawed, very bright individual, a renaissance man born out of time who chose a dark way to escape he boredom of the early 20th century

8¬)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#67
Ah yes, the great magickal duel between Crowley and Mathers...

Mathers rattles a load of dried peas in a sieve, dogs bark, horses shy in the streets and Crowley's raincoat spontaneously combusts at a railway station... according to him of course.
As to attacks by a psychic vampire, MRDA* if Crowley was making the claim.
All pretty poor stuff if this was the best they could do:rolleyes:

(*'Mandy Rice-Davies Applies'- 'well he would say that wouldn't he')
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
#68
The Man Himself

Harlequin - We more or less agree. AC was essentially an artist who chose to express himself in terms of magick and ritual. Many others outraged the public temporarily, but Uncle Al seems to have managed permanently to fuck off the fundies, and I'm sure he's roaring with laughter somewhere in the space-time continuum. If you've not yet read it, the Lawrence Sutin biography is excellent. That means it's both balanced and sane, and makes a fair-minded assessment of his accomplishments and failures, even as it achieves the remarkable feat of humanizing him.
 
A

Anonymous

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#69
Niles!

I'm not gonna stir things up further by leaping to Crowley's defence, just to say that the Lawrence Sutin book is superb for all the reasons mentioned above.

And, when all's said and done, he was only a man, and nothing more or less than human.

But I've been away for a while and missed Niles' post up there. Niles, did you almost, very nearly, stick up for me?!
 
A

Anonymous

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#70
Hyprocrites!

"Having never met the bloke and considering all the hype and hysteria surrounding him I'd rather reserve judgement."
- BIZKIT_1979
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Fair comment.

Will you now be extending the same courtesy to Adolf Hitler, who, presumably, you have never met?

His name and public image is also surrounded by "hype and hysteria." One could argue that Crowley and Hitler have much in common in that regard.

But will Bizkit_1979, FraterLiber, Harlequin, Therion, and Donna Blacks et al be for ever giving Hitler the benefit of the doubt in the way they do Crowley.

Somehow I doubt it.
 
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Anonymous

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#71
Re: Hyprocrites!

Exorcistate said:
But will Bizkit_1979, FraterLiber, Harlequin, Therion, and Donna Blacks et al be for ever giving Hitler the benefit of the doubt in the way they do Crowley.
Does Godwin's Law apply on this board?

For you to suggest that Hitler and Crowley are in any way comparable serves only to diminish the horrors of WWII or to over-aggrandise the shabby delusions of Crowley. Either way, it is a cheap, emotive red herring that does little to advance your argument.

It seems deeply ironic that the one person in this thread who persists in giving Crowley any sort of serious credibility is you.
 

harlequin2005

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#72
Some off thread stuff but a related response

Interesting that you go for Hitler... so emotionally charged a figure that he has been flattened out into a 2-d charcter. Hitler was an opportunist, who latched on to then German zeitgeist of anti-semitism, having dallied with various political systems, and made it into the cornerstone of politico-religion with the help of some mystics who made Crowley look like everyones favorite Uncle Al, and a set of beauraucrats who, if they had form to do it, or could design one, would sell their mother for glue. What little humanity that has been left to Hitler by history, indicates that he was that most dangerous individual, an inadequate, who blamed the world for his problems, and rather than rising above them, wallowed in them internally, driving his need for power at any cost. That is the source of most true evil, that and the ability of people in general to be swept along by sufficient pandering to their predjudices when wrapped in enough pomp and ceremony.

Crowley, at the heart was an arch prankster, and really mostly a fraud. Hitler was an inadequate with a gift for oration, who saw a chance to gain all the things he wanted by any means necessary, and took the chance the led us all to the horror that was the Third Reich. Both are now legend, and both easier to catalogue as simply evil men, devoid of both personality and context. Both went badly wrong, one dying an impoverished heroin addict and the other died crippled, depedent on quack remedies (injections of liquidised bulls testicles anyone?) and didnt manage even to kill himself alone, having taken Europe into hell with him.

Although there are a few parallels, to mention AC and Hitler as equivalents is something of a false exercise, simply on scale alone and what their goals were. 'Benefit of the doubt' doesn't enter into this. I don't think anyone is saying the Crowley wasn't unpleasent.

8¬)
 

bizkit_1979

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#73
Flippin' 'Eck, Exorcistate, though I have a feeling I might well regret posting this, may I ask what is yer problem?

I thought these MB's were for light-hearted debate, why do you take stuff, twist it and then ask people to justify what they've said?

I don't see why I should explain myself to anyone, especially when it seems I'm being deliberately misunderstood. You could have pulled any name out of the hat and said I was going to give them 'the benefit of the doubt' (though I never said that, I said 'reserve judgement'), did you pick Hitler just because he's the most evil you could think of to make what I'd posted the more dumb?

More power to Mr Crowley, the man must have been doing something right to get under your skin like this (and you CAN quote me on that) :blah:.

I used to enjoy trawling through these boards, but if I've got to back up every comment I make (and presumably there will be the suggestion I don't know what I'm talking about or of cowardice if I don't feel it's worth the effort to explain myself), then I don't think I'm in the right frame of mind right now to bother.
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
#74
Change of Diaper

It's not how seriously anyone takes AC, or Hitler for that matter, but rather how seriously light-hearted Forteans choose to take certain crank viewpoints, if they choose to pay any attention to them at all. Best advice? Once a crank is recognized, avoid reading those posts.

Anyone here read Diary of a Drug Fiend? What's suprising about it, I've heard, is the modern tone and brisk narrative. He could write clear, diverting prose when he wanted, even though he so often preferred the covoluted many-tiered joshery and encodings so many take so seriously as "mystitcal" writings. Of course they do have a serious core, especially the post-Aiwass material, as he struggled to understand the nature of epiphany.

Another interesting topic for a possible sub-thread would be the several novels featuring portraits of Crowley, including works from Wheatley and Marjorie Bowen, among other notables.
 
A

Anonymous

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#75
I had no idea that this board was intended to be a mutual appreciation society for like-minded individuals to proffer quips that would not be out of place in an infants' school.

Clearly none of you like to hear an alternative expression of opinion outside the spectrum that you find safe and acceptable.
 
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Anonymous

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#76
Can betraying your country and people be swept under the carpet; even if the bood drinking, ritual sacrifices, drugs and sexual depravity doesn't seem to bother you?
1) 'Betraying' a country is not the same as 'betraying' the people who live there. As we're all aware, this year's traitor is next year's hero - as Nelson Mandela so gloriously proved.

2) It can't be 'swept under the carpet', as it does show AC at his most injudicious and to be frank, daft. His justifications of his actions in this matter have always seemed to me to have something of the 9 year old about them. However, as has been pointed out before, a flawed personality is not the same as being evil.

3)We are talking about WW1 here, which was a war between equally obnoxious imperialist states. Neither side was morally better than the other, so Crowley's 'support' for the Germans doesn't have any relevance when judging his morality.

Of all the accusations levelled against AC, this is the one which now seems really dated. In any other context, I'd be suprised to see it brought up, but I suppose it was only a matter of time before it got mentioned here.
 
A

Anonymous

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#77
Crowley + Satanism

I happened to read this today:

From 'The Triumph of the Moon' by Ronald Hutton (Professor of History - University of Bristol)

'It is equally easy for anybody who makes even a cursory study of Crowley to refute this reputation. In order to be a Satanist, it is necessary to believe - literally or symbolically - in Satan, and Crowley did not. He rejected the whole cosmic structure of good pitted against evil upon which traditional Christianity was built, and the figure of the Devil with it. His appropiation of those of the Beast, Baphomet and the Whore did not involve an acceptance of the Christian attributes accorded to them, but a reworking to invest them with positive values such as that also attempted by [DH] Lawrence. Thus to Crowley the Beast 666 symbolised a divine, human, and animal self conjoined in harmony. His claim of having sacrificed hundreds of male children was (of course) a joke referring to the theory of Aristotle, adopted by medieval Catholicism, that sperms were tiny male humans; Crowley was counting his orgasms.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#79
I know, scary, isn't it! I keep thinking about their innocent little (very very little) faces, and I just can't get Woody Allen out of my mind for some reason:D
 

bizkit_1979

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#80
This thread has reawakened my teenage interest!
I know Crowley had a thing about deliberately writing in a misleading way to (a) annoy people and/or (b) keep the hidden mysteries, well, hidden, from the ignorant masses, but can anyone recommend a book of his, (preferably available from the local branch of Waterstones and under a tenner)? And I know some might say don't bother, he was full of shite, but I'm just curious as to what that shite was.
I basically want to know more about his beliefs and to see if I could work out what he's on about, but a sane, unbiased biography to find out what he REALLY got up to would do. Help, anyone? :)
 

bizkit_1979

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#82
Thanks, Fraterlibre. That's the most believable piece of writing on the man I've found so far- when I tried googling, half the pages were from Satanic websites, the rest were tarot decks for sale. I'll get the book when my student loan comes through ;) !
 
A

Anonymous

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#83
Naughty Aleister Crowley

Poor old AC. Every time someone wants to make a documentary about the "darker" side of "the occult" they grab as many details as they can (often spurious) about Aleister Crowley, assuming that lots of people will have heard of him and that what they have heard will have frightened them half to death. If you want to read the REAL Crowley, please see "Magic Without Tears" for a guide to his philosophy untainted by the desire to annoy and outrage the public. It really is fascinating and invaluable for any student of magick. Also rather wonderful is, " The Revival of Magic", published by Falcon Press. This is Crowley at his most erudite and least pretentious (!). I always feel that reading AC when he is writing as a serious teacher is so completely different from reading as a Magus who is "playing to the gallery" it is almost as if "he" is two (at least) different people! Yes, I think he pandered to the public's idea of a "wicked man"
and, yes, I don't think he was "nice" in the way that New Age teachers would recognise, but I think he made the most monumntal contribution to occult thought and literature in the West since the Middle Ages. That's not to say he neccesarily WAS the "Word of the New Aeon" but he was near as dammit, and, I feel, more sinned against than sinning. Happy studying, FrancesFelixe.
 
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FraterLibre

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#85
Peter Gabriel

And have you seen Peter Gabriel lately? He seems to be channeling Uncle Al in some ways, and the lyrics on his new CD UP are as mystical and esoteric as ever. Check out "More Than This" for instance.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#86
Not on yer Nellie!

Three things I've always avoided:

Reading Mein Kampf
Taking Ketamine
Reading anything by Aleister Crowley


I'm sure he was a big pink fluffy bunny, really. It's just that such weird things used to happened to those around him.
 
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FraterLibre

Guest
#87
I'll Take a Purple One, Please, With The Big, Uh, Wand

Mein Kampf is turgid, and Hess's work mostly.

Ketamine is illegal anyway unless you're a vetinarian's son.

And you'd be surprised to learn perhaps that Aleister Crowley not only wrote impossibly erudite and recondite and impossible-to-comprehent tomes of magick, not only channeled spirits and dictated them to his amenuensis, but also wrote some of the most modern, clear, readable, and enjoyable novels in his or any time. Moonchild, Diary of a Drug Fiend, and so on, are excellent, and quite lucid, novels.

He put to shame many contemporaries and many more of our current crop of novelists.

As for him being some form of stuffed animal to pacify children, well, I've not been to F.A.O. Schwartz or even Harrod's lately, so I could not comment on that particular trend, but it does seem a bit off, even for the famously eccentric English.
 
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Anonymous

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#89
Re: I'll Take a Purple One, Please, With The Big, Uh, Wand

Originally posted by FraterLibre

As for him being some form of stuffed animal to pacify children, well, I've not been to F.A.O. Schwartz or even Harrod's lately, so I could not comment on that particular trend, but it does seem a bit off, even for the famously eccentric English.
LOL:D

I'll take your word for the rest FL.

No doubt a copy of one of the afore mentioned novels will drop into my hands, or onto my head, from a bookshelf in one of the darker corners of L Space, sometime soon.

But, wouldn't he make a great addition to the cuddly Cthullu collection?:spinning
 

Bokononist

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#90
Mein Kampf is really popular in India for some reason. Ketamine is legal there too, you can buy it in a chemist. Maybe the two are connected (...). They've never heard of Crowley though.
 
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