What is it with people's fascination with Crowley?

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What is it with people's fascination with Crowley?

Post by NeverMoonAWerewolf »

Asides from "his" Tarot, he was a sensationalist, self-mythologizing bloke who was not even a real scholar in the magical arts. He made stuff up as it went, which in itself is fine as most people do to some extend, but he sold it as absolute truth. All the "shocking" things he supposedly did are quite the norm nowadays, but it is what his notoriety is based on. Reading his writings, it is clear he's rather uneducated on most topics, with bad translations and jumping from one thing to the next. The "Liber AL Vel Legis" is, in my opinion, one of the most meaningless writings in the history of modern magic, and none of the few ok things are really his ideas.

As long as he could keep his little cult engaged, so it seems to me, anything was fine.I am really amazed at the following he still has, especially from the O.T.O. - although there it is mostly money thing I begin to believe.

I think it is high time to deconstruct his so-called legacy. Why aren't more pagans turning the new generations to more important texts? And basically everything modern pagans write is more important.
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Re: What is it with people's fascination with Crowley?

Post by Black Cloud »

Well, we are all different, to each their own.
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Re: What is it with people's fascination with Crowley?

Post by Jjapsen »

And everything "shocking" Elvis did back in the day is quite boring today, yet it is one of the first things one learns about him. Times change, but we tend to remember those who started the change, or belonged to the first doing something different for exactly that. Now, I never read anything from Crowley. I owned a Crowley Tarot once, but never used it. Generally I'd say the same as Black Cloud here, to each their own.
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Re: What is it with people's fascination with Crowley?

Post by Firebird »

Addicts do talk a lot of trash.
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Re: What is it with people's fascination with Crowley?

Post by supremz »

Maybe today he is not that big of a deal, now that Chaos Magick is a little over a century old, and more people have been exposed to the occult, but back in the day, he was the first to truly break all the artificial moral restrictions people entertained during that time. He also basically created his own religion, Thelema, which was originally supposed to be the crutch that all religions relied on. He experimented with drugs long before the 1960's. Basically it's only the fact that we have all caught up with his ideas that he no longer seems that scary. In the turn of the 20th century, however, most of the world was monotheistic and had very dogmatic morality, including those who practiced magic, and he was the first to say, to hell with all that.

He easily transcended the dualistic notions of "black" and "white" magic, and also noteworthy during his lifetime was the fact that most adepts hid their beliefs behind the claim that what they did was just an illusion and science could easily disprove any irrational claims. Only he was was bold enough to deny this, and invent the spelling of the word "magick" to distinguish it from the stage act performers did as a way of proclaiming that, yes, this stuff is real and has only been kept secret for a very long time. Skeptics and clergymen are not only wrong about it, but centuries behind compared in terms of progress. He broke away from the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn which made him controversial even among other magicians, especially Macgregor Mathers and his followers.

On the negative side, he was an outright psychopath with no morality and freely admitted to being attracted to underage boys and abusing his initiates. One of his protégés was none other than L. Ron Hubbard, and the other was a guy who gave acid to dolphins. That's unfortunate, because it means we didn't only inherit his legacy, but also that of Scientology and what would later become Project MK Ultra, too.

And yes, the O.T.O. is nothing but a money making scheme at this point. Some say it always was and others say its original message was corrupted. The truth is probably in the middle, and a little of each.

I think we owe a lot to Crowely, for both the good and the evil he has done. Those of us who were influenced by him are thankful that the awful days of the witch hunts are over and we can [more] freely practice in peace, and everyone who disagrees with him can strive to do better and learn from his shortcomings.
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