One dark night in Calcutta, he was followed by men in white robes. He reached for his Webley pistol, firing blindly into them. One died instantly, and Crowley fled down an alley.
Ninety years after his death, people are still fascinated and repelled by Englishman Aleister Crowley. Crowley was accused of being a Satanist. . . a charge which he denied.
The Crowley family made their fortune in beer. They invented the “pub lunch”, when the brewhouse began to offer a ham sandwich along with a pint. The bottles featured a label with a black crow’s head.
Aleister Crowley’s parents were evangelical Christians. In 1875 he was Emily Crowley’s first child, and would be her only infant to survive for more than five hours. Ever since Aleister learned to walk, Emily called him “the beast”.
By the time he was eighteen years old he was arguing with teachers of religion, over contradictions in the bible. Later Crowley took private lessons in ceremonial magic, and the ritual use of narcotics. But he occasionally took time off to go mountain climbing. While he was climbing Mount Colima the volcano erupted, sending lava and glowing rock five kilometers down the slope of the Mexican mountain.
In Hawaii he had a brief affair with Alice Mary Rogers, who was married to a lawyer on the mainland, and vacationing in Honolulu to avoid the hay fever season. Claiming to have fallen in love with her, he wrote poems about the romance.
In 1903 he married Rose Kelly. Because Aleister persuaded Rose to break her existing engagement, her father demanded a payment of ten thousand pounds. Crowley said, “No. ” The newlyweds took their honeymoon in Cairo, where in a museum they found a burial stele which predated Christ by seven hundred years. It was the “Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu”, and the number of the exhibit was painted on the back, and that number was 666.
The next morning Crowley heard the disembodied voice of Aiwass. He wrote down everything his voices told him. He called it “The Book of the Law”, and it proclaimed that man was entering a new age, and that Crowley would serve as its prophet. Its message was, “Do what you want”. Then in New York City, Crowley got mixed up with a pro-German movement and was paid to write for a propaganda newspaper, The Fatherland. In print, he encouraged the German Navy to destroy the Lusitania, informing them it would ensure the US stayed out of the war. In reality, the sinking of the Lusitania brought the U. S. into World War I on the side of Britain.
Crowley decided to fake his own death, and left a suicide note at the rock formation of Hell’s Mouth, in Portugal. He stayed dead for three weeks, only to reappear at the opening of his art exhibition at the Gallery Neumann-Nierendorf. Perpetually in need of money, he launched a series of court cases against people he believed libeled him, some of which proved successful.
In 1947 he died of chronic bronchitis, age 72. He was cremated. One dozen people attended his funeral. Aleister Crowley is said to be the father of Barbara Bush. Barbara Bush is the mother of George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States. . .
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