Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics by Marco Pasi

By Marco Pasi

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is without doubt one of the most renowned and important authors within the background of western esotericism. Crowley has been lengthy neglected by way of students of faith while the tales of magical and sexual perform which stream approximately him proceed to draw well known curiosity. "Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics" appears to be like on the guy at the back of the parable - by means of surroundings him firmly in the politics of his time - and the improvement of his principles via his broad and terribly diversified writings. Crowley used to be a rationalist, sympathetic to the values of the Enlightenment, but in addition a romantic and a reactionary. His look for another approach to exhibit his spiritual emotions led him to complicated his personal imaginative and prescient of social and political swap. Crowley's advanced politics resulted in his involvement with many key participants, organizations and teams of his day - the key provider of varied international locations, the German Nazi get together, Russian political activists, newshounds and politicians of varied persuasions, in addition to different writers - either in Europe and the United States. "Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics" offers a lifetime of principles, an exam of a guy formed by means of and shaping the politics of his occasions.

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In December 1919 he left the United States and returned to England. The American period can be said to have been a fairly homogeneous time in his life. During these five years he experienced poverty, if not true destitution. It should be noted that Crowley considered his entire sojourn in the United States as a long initiation ritual to the degree of Magus. 73 Wandering in Europe (1919–32) Apparently, the British authorities gave Crowley no trouble after his return to England. However, he did not stay long in his homeland.

In the passage cited above, Crowley mentions the famous statesman William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98). 30 The references to the “nuisance” of Ireland and to Gladstone’s “treachery” point to the convoluted political situation of this period with regard to the question of Irish selfgovernance (“Home Rule”). At the time, Ireland was a direct dependency of the British central government and had no autonomy whatsoever. A few years earlier the Irish Nationalist Party had emerged on the scene and, thanks to recent suffrage reforms, had quickly acquired an ever-increasing number of representatives in Parliament.

The suit was followed with great curiosity by the press, both domestic and international. In July of the same year, he was in court again, this time as a defendant. He was accused of having received letters that had been reported as stolen, with the purpose of using them in his lawsuit against Hamnett, even if he was found guilty and sentenced to two years’ probation. In the next year (1935), unable to pay his numerous creditors, he was declared bankrupt. This can be viewed as the last “mundane” event in Crowley’s life, for after this he lived in relative tranquillity, even if he still had a very active social life (as we will see in the coming chapters) and continued to publish important works.

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