Aleister Crowley: The Wickedest Man in the World Documents the Life of the Bizarre Occultist, Poet & Mountaineer

Per­haps no one sin­gle per­son has had such wide­spread influ­ence on the coun­ter­cul­tur­al turns of the 20th cen­tu­ry as Cam­bridge-edu­cat­ed occultist and inven­tor of the reli­gion of Thele­ma, Aleis­ter Crow­ley. And accord­ing to Crow­ley, he isn’t fin­ished yet. “1000 years from now,” Crow­ley once wrote, “the world will be sit­ting in the sun­set of Crowlian­i­ty.” The self-aggran­diz­ing Crow­ley called him­self “the Great Beast 666” and many oth­er tongue-in-cheek apoc­a­lyp­tic titles. The British press dubbed him “The Wickedest Man in the World,” also the title of the above doc­u­men­tary, one of a four-part BBC 4 series on famous­ly sin­is­ter fig­ures called “Mas­ters of Dark­ness.” Crow­ley is per­haps most famous for his dic­tum “Do what thou wilt,” which, tak­en out of its con­text, seems to be a phi­los­o­phy of absolute, unfet­tered lib­er­tin­ism.

It’s no sur­prise that the par­tic­u­lar treat­ment of Crowley’s life above adopts the tabloid descrip­tion of the magi­cian. The documentary—with its omi­nous music and visu­al effects rem­i­nis­cent of Amer­i­can Hor­ror Sto­ry’s jar­ring open­ing cred­its—takes the sen­sa­tion­al­is­tic tone of true crime TV mixed with the dim light­ing and hand-held cam­er­a­work of para­nor­mal, post-Blair Witch enter­tain­ments. And it may indeed take some lib­er­ties with Crow­ley’s biog­ra­phy. When we’re told by the voice-over that Crow­ley was a “black magi­cian, drug fiend, sex addict, and trai­tor to the British peo­ple,” we are not dis­posed to meet a very lik­able char­ac­ter. Crow­ley would not wish to be remem­bered as one any­way. But despite his pro­nounced dis­dain for all social con­ven­tions and pieties, his sto­ry is much more com­pli­cat­ed and inter­est­ing than the card­board cutout vil­lain this descrip­tion sug­gests.

Born Edward Alexan­der Crow­ley in 1875 to wealthy British Ply­mouth Brethren brew­ers, Crow­ley very ear­ly set about replac­ing the reli­gion of his fam­i­ly and his cul­ture with a vari­ety of extreme endeav­ors, from moun­taineer­ing to sex mag­ic and all man­ner of prac­tices derived from a syn­the­sis of East­ern reli­gions and ancient and mod­ern demonolo­gy. The results were mixed. All but the most adept find most of his occult writ­ing incom­pre­hen­si­ble (though it’s laced with wit and some pro­fun­di­ty). His raunchy, hys­ter­i­cal poet­ry is fre­quent­ly amus­ing. Most peo­ple found his over­bear­ing per­son­al­i­ty unbear­able, and he squan­dered his wealth and lived much of life pen­ni­less. But his biog­ra­phy is inar­guably fascinating—creepy but also hero­ic in a Faus­t­ian way—and his pres­ence is near­ly every­where inescapable. Crow­ley trav­eled the world con­duct­ing mag­i­cal rit­u­als, writ­ing text­books on mag­ic (or “Mag­ick” in his par­lance), found­ing eso­teric orders, and inter­act­ing with some of the most sig­nif­i­cant artists and occult thinkers of his time.


As a moun­taineer, Crow­ley co-lead the first British expe­di­tion to K2 in 1902 (the pho­to above shows him dur­ing the trek). As a poet, he pub­lished some of the most scan­dalous verse yet print­ed, under the name George Archibald Bish­op in 1898. Dur­ing his brief sojourn in the occult soci­ety Her­met­ic Order of the Gold­en Dawn, he exert­ed some influ­ence on William But­ler Yeats, if only through their mutu­al antipa­thy (Crow­ley may have inspired the “rough beast” of Yeats’ “The Sec­ond Com­ing”). He’s indi­rect­ly con­nect­ed to the devel­op­ment of the jet propul­sion system—through his Amer­i­can pro­tégée, rock­et sci­en­tist Jack Par­sons—and of Sci­en­tol­ogy, through Par­sons’ part­ner in mag­ic (and lat­er betray­er), L. Ron Hub­bard.

Though accused of betray­ing the British dur­ing the First World War, it appears he actu­al­ly worked as a dou­ble agent, and he had many ties in the British intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. Crow­ley rubbed elbows with Aldous Hux­ley, Alfred Adler, Roald Dahl, and Ian Flem­ing. After his death in 1947, his life and thought played a role in the work of William S. Bur­roughs, The Bea­t­les, Led Zep­pelin, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Anton Wil­son, Tim­o­thy Leary, Gen­e­sis P‑Orridge, and count­less oth­ers. Crow­ley pops up in Hem­ing­way’s A Mov­able Feast and he has inspired a num­ber of lit­er­ary char­ac­ters, in for exam­ple Som­er­set Maugham’s The Magi­cian and Christo­pher Isherwood’s A Vis­it to Anselm Oakes.


So who was Aleis­ter Crow­ley? A sex­u­al­ly lib­er­at­ed genius, a spoiled, ego­ma­ni­a­cal dilet­tante, a campy char­la­tan, a skep­ti­cal trick­ster, a cru­el and abu­sive manip­u­la­tor, a racist misog­y­nist, a Niet­zschean super­man and “icon of rebel­lion” as the nar­ra­tor of his sto­ry above calls him? Some part of all these, per­haps. A 1915 Van­i­ty Fair pro­file put it well: “a leg­end has been built up around his name. He is a myth. No oth­er man has so many strange tales told of him.”

As with all such noto­ri­ous, larg­er-than-life fig­ures, who Crow­ley was depends on whom you ask. The evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tians I was raised among whis­pered his name in hor­ror or pro­nounced it with a sneer as a staunch and par­tic­u­lar­ly insid­i­ous ene­my of the faith. Var­i­ous New Age groups utter his name in rev­er­ence or men­tion it as a mat­ter of course, as physi­cists ref­er­ence New­ton or Ein­stein. In some coun­ter­cul­tur­al cir­cles, Crow­ley is a hip sig­ni­fi­er, like Che Gue­vara, but not much more. Dig into almost any mod­ern occult or neo-pagan sys­tem of thought, from Theos­o­phy to Wic­ca, and you’ll find Crowley’s name and ideas. Whether one’s inter­est in “The Great Beast” is of the pruri­ent vari­ety, as in the inves­ti­ga­tion above, or of a more seri­ous or aca­d­e­m­ic bent, his lega­cy offers a boun­ti­ful plen­ty of bizarre, repul­sive, intrigu­ing, and com­plete­ly absurd vignettes that can beg­gar belief and com­pel one to learn more about the enig­mat­ic, pan-sex­u­al black magi­cian and self-appoint­ed Antichrist.

The Wickedest Man in the World will be added to our col­lec­tion of 200 Free Doc­u­men­taries, part of our larg­er col­lec­tion of 635 Free Movies Online.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Rare 1930s Audio: W.B. Yeats Reads Four of His Poems

William S. Bur­roughs Teach­es a Free Course on Cre­ative Read­ing and Writ­ing (1979)

How to Oper­ate Your Brain: A User Man­u­al by Tim­o­thy Leary (1993)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

by | Permalink | Comments (66) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (66)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • jim p says:

    Who was he? A buf­foon. That he impressed the upper class­es of Britain and Europe tells us more about the pathet­ic state the Upper Caste had fall­en to, than about his abil­i­ties. He stum­bled across some very basic, intro­duc­to­ry-lev­el, eso­teric edu­ca­tion and prac­tices, mixed it up with his appetites and un-mas­tered crav­ing for atten­tion, and Boom! Mod­ern West­ern Impres­sive Magus. ‘Bogus’ is more like it.

  • Gone4Good says:

    Sociopath, Nar­cis­sis­tic Per­son­al­i­ty Dis­or­der, Bor­der­line Per­son­al­i­ty Dis­or­der, drug-induced schiz­o­phre­nia and dis­as­so­ci­a­tion, hal­lu­ci­na­tions …a bizarre com­bi­na­tion of David Kore­sh & Charles Man­son & every oth­er out of con­trol, self-indul­gent sicko out there. The peo­ple who bought into this were (are) just weak, sug­gestible and mentally/emotionally ill them­selves.

  • vankelsing says:

    Yup, a showy ass. He died weep­ing, his last words “some­times I don’t like myself very much.” But his laugh­able books will sell to Fresh­men for the next cen­tu­ry.

  • Moses Horowitz says:

    Crow­ley was many things, attrac­tive and repul­sive. Yet above all he was a Trick­ster, amused all the while at those who would con­demn his antics with the same Vic­to­ri­an clutch-the-pearls dis­gust one sees in the aver­age online Com­ments sec­tion. Were he to return and have a gan­der at the online writ­ings pro and con I dare say he’d fly into bits from his laugh­ter.

  • Daisy says:

    I would like to ask a ques­tion on which I have searched for long, but failed to find infor­ma­tion…
    Is there any infor­ma­tion on why Crow­ley called his son “Ataturk”? I mean, it is only said that he admired Ataturk, but is there any oth­er evi­dence, from the diaries, or quotes of him or any­thing else..? I’d real­ly be grate­ful if some­one has an answer for this…

  • Abigail says:

    In case you did­n’t know, Aleis­ter Crow­ley was a bril­lant man. Crow­ley was influ­en­tial in inspir­ing Gard­ner to estab­lish his new pagan reli­gion, us wic­cans have many thanks to give him.
    Do what thou wilt and Blessed Be )0(

  • David says:

    He was also known to be the real father of Bar­bara Bush (nee Pierce or nee Crow­ley). So George W or cur­rent Pres­i­den­tal can­di­date, Mar­vin Bush, are the ille­git­mate sons of Aleis­ter Edward Crow­ley.
    I also do astro­log­i­cal red­ings and he seemed to have a lot of astro­log­i­cal knowl­edge.

  • David says:

    And why is his daugh­ter called Bar­bara Bush? I’m look­ing for an answer to that one too.

  • David says:

    Yeah we all can recall what an idiot his ille­git­i­mate grand­son, George W Bush and his dumb-ass quotes were. So much for a ‘Skull & Bones’ Yale grad­u­ate?

  • leigh harrison says:

    she was called bar­bara because of abra­hadabra

  • Brad says:

    Crow­ley is an amaz­ing per­son. His writ­ings are so in depth they are often hard to under­stand. How­ev­er, once you do you will real­ize the truth he taught. Do what thy Will.

  • Christopher says:

    So any­thing is per­mis­si­ble then?

  • Robin says:

    Crow­ley is the biggest menance to soci­ety of the 19th and 20th cen­turies! What a total pig and so are his off­spring!

  • Robin says:

    I hope he’s burn­ing in hell!

  • Kevin E Dolan says:

    “Burn­ing in Hell”? Hah!
    He’s more prob­a­bly run­ning the place as a fran­chise from the Abra­ham­ic Right Wing and charg­ing admis­sion!

  • Jean-Paul DuQuette says:

    Not the best of doc­u­men­taries, but I’m prob­a­bly biased (hav­ing grown up with the O.T.O.). If you want a com­pre­hen­sive look at Crow­ley, I’d check out Per­durabo by Richard Kaczyn­s­ki.

  • Willard says:

    men­tal ill­ness aside, he had some use­ful ideas. but, yes, peo­ple get lost in the cult of per­son­al­i­ty.

  • john brucchi jr says:

    I believe his phi­los­o­phy of do as thou wilt does not give license to peo­ple to behave self­ish­ly but instead sim­ply to fol­low their own moral path. No mat­ter what is said and done in soci­ety ulti­mate­ly this is the result . Peo­ple are born, die and reborn in order to grad­u­al­ly real­ize their place in the uni­verse as one with every­thing. Along this path of real­iza­tion depend­ing on where a per­son is there behav­ior will be dif­fer­ent. The best way to teach some­one who is yet to know what can be called god or truth or wholei­ness is by exam­ple. Sad­ly though in the end the thing which makes a man empa­thet­ic to oth­er liv­ing things is the knowl­edge of this pres­ence. As to which comes first I tru­ly feel their inter­twined and one gives strength to the oth­er. Laws are nec­es­sary but the good serv­ing as an exam­ple is may be more nec­es­sary.

  • Lucifer says:

    Wow, such garbage. Fun­ny how peo­ple judge some­one they know noth­ing about by tak­ing some of a mans great­est moments out of con­text to make him come across as a real mon­ster. The real mon­sters are the ones who run your coun­tries, the ones who bap­tise your chil­dr­wn, and the ones who indoc­tri­nate your chil­dren with his­tor­i­cal lies.

  • t'mara says:

    he was a reac­tionary. shock­ing and scan­dalous to fight back against the strict reli­gios­i­ty of his fam­i­ly. he did­n’t cre­ate, he rebelled. his writ­ing was obscure and dense to make it seem to be pro­found and deep. he nev­er made mon­ey on his cult, because he was pan­der­ing to anti-struc­tur­al peo­ple. he nev­er under­stood that mag­ic comes from the pow­er of the indi­vid­ual, that it resides in the indi­vid­ual, and not from angel stand in sub­sti­tute gophers. crow­ley was a fraud.

  • Dèverra Biandaesçû says:

    Crow­ley was noth­ing more than a men­tal­ly-ill, nar­cis­sis­tic fool. I am pagan

  • Student says:

    Any oth­er fam­i­ly his­to­ry avail­able on his lan­guage? Or any sug­ges­tions as to a good resource to study up in it? Thank.

  • burn in hell crowley says:

    All those ocults based on this man are noth­ing but delu­sion­al psy­chopaths try­ing to run from the inescapable real­i­ty that is God.paving a way for their own destruc­tion crow­ley was a stu­pid deranged mani­a­cle being he is a sad excuse of a often sub­ne­glect­ed child, he was often dis­re­gard­ed for his fool­ish antics as a child and got into rebe­lious activ­i­ties just to piss those around him it is sad to find out peo­ple base an entire religoin or reli­gions after such a crea­ture sure­ly I hope you burn in hell

  • Jj villarreal says:

    A Man that fol­lowed what he believed in evil genuise

  • Hell is where Crowley resides!! says:

    What a dis­cust­ing and evil human he was and i must say today i am hap­py to know there are oth­er indi­vid­u­als who have looked touched the sur­face of this mans actions and inten­tions and feel the same way i do. He con­tributed a huge amount to immoral think­ing and cul­tures and media black arts and for peo­ple who think evil is there sav­iour!

    Wake up peo­ple this world is in the per­fect bal­ance it exists in and the beu­ti­ful liv­ings things that live in it! can only exist by the will of god! and it is our god who give us life! it is our god who keeps the earth and the sun mov­ing in the orbit they moves in, the tides in the motion they move in, so which of your lords favour do you deny? Only a man of great think­ing will under­stand.

  • Kody says:

    Wow every­body on here seems to be such an expert on exact­ly who and what Aleis­ter Crow­ley was. When I can guar­an­tee you absolute­ly none of the peo­ple com­ment­ing on here have actu­al­ly read one book writ­ten by him. Or if you actu­al­ly have, you don’t under­stand it, because even the most add depth occultist has a hard time under­stand­ing the basics sur­face mean­ings of his a call phi­los­o­phy. He wrote in situ coat­ed way on pur­pose as to fil­ter more advanced and in com­pre­hen­si­ble knowl­edge from the pro­fane. He fig­ured that if some­one were intel­li­gent and hard-work­ing enough to under­stand all the frame of ref­er­ence as he was using to write down his ideas then they tru­ly deserved to under­stand them. To think that he believed in any kind of Chris­t­ian reli­gious con­cept is extreme­ly sil­ly, or exam­ple the antichrist or the great beast 666. The very rea­son he used these words and titles on pur­pose is because he knew that his types of peo­ple that would be scared off by says triv­ial things were the very peo­ple he did­n’t want under­stand­ing him in the first place, so the fur­ther away they were the bet­ter. The main thing this arti­cle got wrong was there repent­ed of use of the term black magi­cian. Any­body who knows any­thing about Crow­ley and his main mes­sage of light and love, knows that he despise the very notion of a black magi­cian. A black magi­cian was the very oppo­site of what Crow­ley taught. He was ter­ri­fied of even think­ing about per­form­ing black mag­ic because mag­ic per­formed in your mind and in your heart is just bad as doing it in real­i­ty. He would always say that black mag­ic is the most dis­gust­ing and vile thing a human being could do. Hey said that any sort of neg­a­tive out­put from the magi­cian would come back on him ten­fold. You’ve prob­a­bly heard a lot of that from Wic­ca which was tak­en direct­ly from his writ­ings any­way.

  • Justin says:

    I strong­ly agree with what Kody says above. Aleis­ter Crow­ley is a seri­ous­ly mis­un­der­stood man (sage even). The peo­ple who have man­aged to cre­ate a very despis­ing lie about him do not have what­so­ev­er grasp of the real truths that this great man is try­ing to con­vey to us. I know for a fact that there are lots of things or rather facts that are being pre­sent­ed against Aleis­ter are most like­ly a prod­uct of com­plete and utter obscu­ri­ty to the truth lies behind this great man. Say what you must about him, or even in my stand to believe in this bril­liant mas­ter of spir­i­tu­al liberation,but I do want you to know that your com­plete and utter dis­gust to Aleis­ter Crow­ley is just a con­crete man­i­fes­ta­tion and proof of your igno­rance. I mean, come on you lot seri­ous­ly swal­lowed all the mis­con­cep­tions that has been thrown upon you with­out thought. He may have done some thing unfor­giv­able in the past, but hey every­body have done the same regard­less of how “ortho­dox” or down­right “agree­able to the norms” your back­ground is. Most of the most infa­mous deeds done in the entire human his­to­ry of the world are done by the actu­al peo­ple who writes and dic­tates the val­ues of our chil­dren. Aleis­ter Crow­ley is and up to this date a true lib­er­a­tor and a man who sole­ly ded­i­cat­ed him­self in height­en­ing the fre­quen­cy of our world by free­ing us from the social con­cepts that have been indoc­tri­nat­ed to us by pow­er hun­gry, greedy, mediocre peo­ple that sits upon the pedestal of our econ­o­my, respec­tive coun­tries, church­es or reli­gious sects,and peo­ple that blind­ly fol­lows the entire pop cul­ture that forcibly dis­fig­ures our own sets of being just so they can elim­i­nate our capac­i­ty to become the great­est ver­sions of our­selves.

  • Ky Q. H. H. says:

    He sounds like some­one who is very f’ed up in the head.

  • Ky Q. H. H. says:

    Wow very fun­ny. Ya know I hope that he is in a place much worse than hell.
    I hope he is in a place where there is infi­nite amount of pain and suf­fer­ing in the dark­ness of his soul. And I hope that he has a mir­ror so he can look at the ugli­ness of his soul.

  • JYL says:

    Hel­lo. Have you read Mag­ick?

  • Shamanarchist says:

    He’ll always be a posh lit­tle prod­dy kid to me. His ‘mag­ick’ was made-up for the sake of theatre(much like all of today’s ‘neo-pagan’ and new-age reli­gions. Wic­ca being a fil­ter to sieve out the unworthy)and he did­n’t stand for any­thing oth­er than self-absorp­tion. A true nar­cis­sis­tic tw@t if ever their was one. If he was around today I’d seek him out, dose him up on Amini­ta Mus­caria and kick the liv­ing shit out of it, ha, ha.

  • Truthseeker says:

    Well, look.… I for one have read one book of his “the book of the law” I don’t dare rec­om­mend it. And good luck find­ing it. He is no smarter or no more stu­pid than the rest of us. Noth­ing more than him try­ing to gain a fol­low­ing much like Man­son did. This book is where he explains “do as tho will” much like Man­son. Ridicu­lous ! I have to say… That book scared the Fuck out of me… But I soon real­ized that it only had the pow­er that I have it ! So there.

  • Dfrid says:

    Says the per­son who believes a fic­tion­al char­ac­ter in a book writ­ten by a man who says he talked to a burn­ing bush! All reli­gions are bull­shit pro­pa­gan­da to prey on weak mind­ed peo­ple!

  • Jack meoufer says:

    Well he did somthing. You only die when the last per­son liv­ing speaks your name.….…

  • David O. says:

    I came to this site for a hon­est eval­u­a­tion of Crow­ley but most writ­ings are filled with neg­a­tive remarks. There can be no doubt that by their fruits you will know them. The fruits of Crow­ley’s life have large­ly been evil men. How many God lov­ing and kind peo­ple have drawn inspi­ra­tion from the life of Crow­ley? True eso­teric knowl­edge leads to whole­some and good fruits of divine love, not evil.No depth of eso­teric learn­ing can jus­ti­fy evil for the sake of evil. Don’t deceive your­self, evil was nev­er ‘hip’ it ulti­mate­ly destroys. Its sim­ple log­ic that the cre­ator of this beau­ti­ful uni­verse is divine love and not the god that Crow­ley pas­sion­ate­ly fol­lowed.

  • William says:

    “I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanat­ics, or the founder of a faith whose fol­low­ers are con­tent to echo my opin­ions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jun­gle.” A. Crow­ley

  • Christine Veazey says:

    I found this video to be full of lies, many of them media lies to out­cast him to anoth­er coun­try. Crow­ley crit­i­ciz­ers lied and scan­dal­ized him because he threat­ened their reli­gion, their polit­i­cal and reli­gious oli­garchies. I am not say­ing he had his weak­ness­es. He was too much a sen­sa­tion­al­ist but thought his approach nec­es­sary to get atten­tion and shake tings up. He wrote things untrue about him­self, alien­at­ed oth­ers with his boda­cious per­son­al­i­ty, but he had won­der­ful insights. He was a man ahead of his time, although you have to slog through all the auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal shock tac­tics and bio­graph­i­cal lies to see the man.

  • Love you all says:

    I am more shocked by the peo­ple who want him to burn in hell. You need to take a look in the mir­ror and sort your­selves out. I hope you find peace in your heart. I wish you well.
    I’m mild­ly inter­est­ed in the man, I’m also aware of the lies we get fed on a dai­ly basis by peo­ple who want us to fol­low them instead! Ask intel­li­gent ques­tions. Don’t blind­ly believe if things make no sense. Trust what makes sense in your heart. Answers will seek you out and you get to the truth. I’ve found my truth and it was like find­ing the last piece of a jig­saw puz­zle.

  • David Sherrington says:

    Crow­ley was and is bril­liant and still has peo­ple spit­ing vile or his prais­es to this day , a hard act for any­one to fol­low

  • Oracle says:

    I am not sure about your ques­tion, but I would like to men­tion some­thing very relat­ed. Per­son­al­ly, as a his­to­ri­an, I am not sur­prised at all by the fact that he admired Ataturk. Here is a quote by anoth­er wicked man, Adolf Hitler (1939): “Who, after all, speaks today of the anni­hi­la­tion of the Arme­ni­ans?” Ataturk anni­hi­lat­ed not only Arme­ni­ans, but also 450,000–750,000 Greeks.

  • Brad says:

    I also agree with Kody to an extent how­ev­er i think he should know bet­ter than to “guar­an­tee” that every indi­vid­ual on here has not only nev­er read any of Crow­leys books but also nev­er under­stood them. Makes you sound elit­ist and does­n’t serve your pur­pose.
    All in all, if like me you don’t agree that Crow­ley and his prac­tices we’re evil or mani­a­cal then per­haps you should fol­low his exam­ple and not waste your time try­ing to con­vince the unini­ti­at­ed or une­d­u­cat­ed in the field of occult stud­ies. Just do your thing, we’ll all keep Crow­ley alive, his work won’t dis­ap­pear because of haters.
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, Love is the Law, Love under Will.
    peo­ple for­get to dis­cuss the sec­ond half of the law of Thele­ma. It’s hard­er to jus­ti­fy dev­il­ish opin­ions when right there in front of you it says Love is the law. And by will it does­n’t mean your every want and whim. It means your deep­est pur­pose of self, dis­cov­ered through intense intro­spec­tive prac­tices. A true spir­i­tu­al com­mit­ment to truth and our moral com­pass.

  • Joe Stands says:

    I nev­er under­stood the fas­ci­na­tion of Mr.Crowley but a lot of Rock Stars like Ozzy, Jim­my Page of Led Zep­pelin, and the Bea­t­les seem to admire this indi­vid­ual, even sev­er­al artists today. So I watched this doc­u­men­tary and all I can say is: “Are you frig­gin kid­ding me!” What a bunch of morons! This guy was low life scum. He has no pow­er! The abil­i­ty to com­mit abom­i­na­tions and have no shame isn’t pow­er nor is it impres­sive It’s idi­ot­ic and proves you have shit for brains. What a com­plete waste of time if you admire this imbe­cile you tru­ly need elec­tro shock treat­ment! Please con­tact your local Men­tal Health care provider. Lol 😂

  • Simon Preston says:

    Just 1 cor­rec­tion need­ed, for the arti­cle. This is a Chan­nel 4 piece, not BBC4. The 2 chan­nels are com­plete­ly unre­lat­ed.

  • the beast 666 says:

    If peo­ple don’t like the truth they sim­ply change it to a ver­sion they do like.

  • Nobdoy says:

    Those who seek fame and for­tune are not shown the cor­rect path and will end up des­ti­tute.

  • Leah Sakowicz says:

    The rea­son why no one, even the most depth occultists can ful­ly under­stand what his books mean, is cause he was a damn nut job. I bet he’s the laugh­ing stock of hell. Hell does­n’t care about their own damn peo­ple. 😒

  • Hillary says:

    Trump Card.
    Well Played.

  • Muchindu Muntanga says:

    I love Aleis­ter crowley.…Long Live The Great Beast 666

  • Andrew Biggins says:

    Thank you for this short but bal­anced account of Crow­ley. I have been fas­ci­nat­ed with Crow­ley since buy­ing his “Con­fes­sions” auto­bi­og­ra­phy for 50p, some years ago in a char­i­ty shop. I under­stood lit­tle of what he wrote giv­en that his life was about a far away from mine as could be pos­si­ble, hence the fas­ci­na­tion.

    I do not pre­tend to be any­thing of an expert on the man or his writ­ings but would wager that I know more than most who will read this, hav­ing been a casu­al read­er of his work for around 25 years. What I do know is that the car­i­ca­ture fig­ure deemed “The Wickedest Man in the World” is, quite frankly, a joke, as our author here duly points out.

    Com­men­ta­tors have writ­ten that Crow­ley’s writ­ings are dif­fi­cult to read due to the fact that they are writ­ten for an audi­ence that, like him, had a high stan­dard of edu­action, being famil­iar with clas­si­cal Greek, Latin, etc. Sad­ly, the aver­age read­er (and I count myself amongst them) will have any­where near the edu­ca­tion to eas­i­ly under­stand these ref­er­ences. How­ev­er, there is real beau­ty con­tained in both his prose and his poet­ry that, in my opin­ion, repays study.

  • Kevin A. Brogan says:

    The most repug­nant, igno­rant, and mali­cious­ly insult­ing “report” I have ever read.
    Obvi­ous­ly by some­one who’s nev­er read the works of Crow­ley, let alone Niet­zsche, Kierkagard,or Kaf­ka.

    Near­by pathet­ic.

  • Lee Edenborough says:

    I am cur­rent­ly read­ing my grand­fa­thers mem­oirs, he actu­al­ly knew this per­son, describ­ing him as ‘the most objec­tion­able man I ever met’! He describes an account of a seance Crow­ley held in a club in Lon­don, and of an unfor­tu­nate event that hap­pened to a young mod­el that refused to par­tic­i­pate in a black mass of his. This sto­ry was writ­ten in a week­ly ‘John Bull’ head­line Alis­tair Crow­ley — Mur­der­er!

  • Steve Be says:

    “Do thy will shall be the full extent of the law” (the actu­al quote) is tak­en from Diary of a Drug Fiend (which is an amaz­ing read). It does NOT mean “do what­ev­er self-destruc­tive crap you want all the time”. It means “find out what your will is and fol­low it”.

  • Glen Cram says:

    Nowa­days he would be con­sid­ered a harm­less eccen­tric.

  • Merrill Watkins says:

    Image on Oba­ma’s t~shirt is clear­ly a pho­to­shopped image, and a very bad one at that!

  • the truth says:

    100% agree with the above com­ment.. weath­er you believe he was a good man or not is besides the point.. the fact that you wish such ter­ri­ble things upon a man you nev­er even met is, bor­der­line, men­tal­ly ill ten­dan­cies. You are no more than por­tray­ing the hatred for your­self upon the scape­goat, aliester in this instance. But then again, who am I to say ? You must believe what you will and fol­low your own path. Good luck fuck­ers 😏 (btw if this man is burn­ing in hell, I’m sure it won’t be too long before you wit­ness for your­self if you main­tain such a judg­men­tal atti­tude🔥)

  • carl jay ingermanson says:

    Aleis­ter Crow­ley came short of fig­ur­ing out the order and val­ues of the Eng­lish alpha­bet. There are 26 let­ters that have 22 val­ues.

    It took me 13 years to fig­ure this out. Go ahead and play with it.

  • Cynthia Crawford says:

    I find it repul­sive and log­i­cal that you would say that, “crow­ley was many things, attrac­tive and repul­sive.” It makes com­plete sense. It is very sad.

  • Mr. Maestas says:

    To be total­ly hon­est. I had nev­er heard of Crow­ley except in Ozzy’s song till I spent some­time in jail recent­ly. I met an old­er gen­tle­man who helped me thru my with­drawals by telling me about him and what he was about and stood for which brought me to present site. At this point in my knowl­edge about him I can’t judge some­one I am not more edu­cat­ed about or nev­er had the plea­sure of meet­ing. I believe and may be fool­ish for doing so, but that every­one is put here for a rea­son whether it be to change the world, or sim­ply car­ry on the fam­i­ly name. Yet this man has impact­ed this world so much that even I am respond­ing. Which hon­est­ly I nev­er do. Any­ways, I know my opin­ion does­n’t mat­ter but those who seem to under­stand him and his writ­ings seem to be very intel­li­gent. Not judg­ing any­one or dis­re­spect­ing in any­way or any­one please don’t think that but those who respond­ed neg­a­tive towards this per­son seem less edu­cat­ed and so quick to judge a per­son they nev­er met, spent time with, and have real­ly no idea of who this per­son was by being open mind­ed and less judge­men­tal and actu­al­ly putting the time, effort, and read­ing his books instead of lis­ten­ing and read­ing what some­one else is telling you about him. Those who are so quick to judge and be so sure he was this awful, nasty per­son, I hope our paths nev­er cross cause I would nev­er judge, dis­re­spect, or be so quick to speak as you have towards a per­son I’ve only briefly read, heard about, or spent just a few hours or cou­ple days around. Maybe those who judged so quick­ly need to ask those who may be more intel­li­gent or just under­stand Mr. Crow­ley bet­ter why you feel this way about him, his life, and writ­ings. It may just open your mind, life and world to end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties.

  • Horus Wimp says:

    AC: antichrist
    AC: 13 (num­ber / let­ter sub­sti­tu­tion cipher)
    CROW­ley: Crow
    crOW­Ley: owl

    The fact that he advo­cat­ed child sac­ri­fice in pub­lished works, and had sev­er­al chil­dren who died very young, is con­cern­ing. Crow­ley apol­o­gists / evan­ge­lists usu­al­ly claim his writ­ings on child sac­ri­fice were humor­ous metaphors (e.g. equiv­o­cat­ing mas­tur­batiuon with mass child sac­ri­fice because each sperm is a poten­tial child), a fil­ter­ing mech­a­nism to deter the unwor­thy and attract the wor­thy, humor­ous or scorn­ing mis­di­rec­tion, self-aggran­diz­ing / mythol­o­giz­ing, and so on. Most of the Crow­ley apolo­gia I’ve read has been less than con­vinc­ing at best, hare­brained non­sense at worst.

    Robert Anton Wil­son comes to mind in par­tic­u­lar, because he was one of authors most capa­ble of writ­ing a con­vinc­ing expla­na­tion of Crow­ley’s most depaved, infer­nal occult blath­er, if not the most, but I found his expla­na­tions of Crow­ley’s motives uncon­vinc­ing, illog­i­cal, and sparse, sur­pris­ing­ly so, giv­en the breadth and depth of his analy­sis of reli­gion, mythol­o­gy, psy­chol­o­gy, phi­los­o­phy, geopol­i­tics, his­to­ry, sci­ence, con­spir­a­noia. RAW fnord claimed that Crow­ley was an arch psy­cho­naut born before his time, but did­n’t back it up with much. I’ve since some to sus­pect Bob was a spook him­self, as Crow­ley may have been. There are plau­si­ble expla­na­tions for many things, but I’m gonna need some­thing pret­ty sol­id before I join the pro camp when it comes to a self-pro­claimed satan­ic pan­sex­u­al child sac­ri­fic­ing spook occultist drug fiend, employed by the Third Reich to pro­mote the cause / ide­al­o­gy of Nation­al Social­ism dur­ing WWII.

  • Kimmy says:

    Qui­et your mind. God will speak sim­ply enough for you to under­stand. Draw near to Him. He loves you.

  • Ignis says:

    If this is true it would­n’t real­ly sur­prise me very much.
    This guy was tru­ly fucked. What a ter­ri­ble con­tri­bu­tion to soci­ety.

  • ignis says:

    repul­sive seems like a poignant piece. He seemed to be a deeply bad human being.

  • Arthur Danu says:

    Aleis­ter Crow­ley is one of the great­est magi­cians in mod­ern human his­to­ry. His works have led count­less peo­ple to their own King­dom of Heav­en, much more effec­tive­ly than the Jesus of The Bible. The attacks our world con­tin­ue to lay against him per­fect­ly illus­trate the cesspool of IGNORANCE from which we all must rise out of, like a Lotus flower float­ing beau­ti­ful­ly above the muck that feeds its roots.

    As Pope Robert Anton Wil­son II, I have paid trib­ute to this great man in video form on the inter­net. Look for it on BitChute, as my works are heav­i­ly cen­sored by the goons work­ing for Google and YouTube.

    As many are right to point out, those who large­ly con­demn The Great Beast have nev­er read his works, or put into the prac­tice the very com­pas­sion­ate and edu­cat­ed point of view he preached, that would alle­vi­ate them from the sor­rows of the own human con­di­tion. As such, the anger and judg­ment of their recrim­i­na­tions and insults keep them locked in their own self-hatred, jus­ti­fi­ably so.

    To those who have found the lib­er­a­tion of their own lives and Souls through his works, I say, “Greet­ings, Broth­ers and Sis­ters! The bless­ings of 93 upon you all!”

  • Simon says:

    “Don’t what thou won’t shall be the rest of The Law”

  • Giulia Eone says:

    Ciao a tut­ti, sono Giu­lia Eone, l’autrice del libro Il Ritorno di Aleis­ter Crow­ley. Questo libro è basato sul­la mia tes­ti­mo­ni­an­za per­son­ale sul proces­so di rein­car­nazione, in cui dichiaro che nel­la mia vita prece­dente ero il mago bri­tan­ni­co Aleis­ter Crow­ley. Men­tre il mio libro è sta­to accolto da alcu­ni con inter­esse, altri han­no espres­so pregiudizi nei miei con­fron­ti. Ma la ver­ità è che l’essere umano può giu­di­care tut­to ciò che vuole, sen­za mai pren­der­si il tem­po di osser­vare se stes­so e trovare le pro­prie risposte. Per­ciò, invi­to tut­ti a leg­gere il mio libro.

  • Giulia Eone says:

    Ista­gram: Giu­lia Eone ” The Return of Aleis­ter Crow­ley”

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.