From: <nickz@IDT.NET>
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,alt.religion.scientology.xenu
Subject: Crowley and satanism
Date: 20 Dec 1997 08:40:31 GMT

In alt.religion.scientology.xenu Michelle Klein-Hass
          wrote:
: On 18 Dec 1997 13:47:08 GMT,  wrote:

: >It might also be relevant that Aleister Crowley, the satanist who so
: >influenced LRH, made a big thing about the word "thelema" which also
: >starts with theta and means "will" as in "thy will be done"; in his case I
: >think it was a matter of wanting his will supreme over others, which is a
: >big part of the black magic he practiced.  Also a big part of bullying
: >opponents.

: OK...time to set some stuff straight:

: 1.) Aleister Crowley was *not* a Satanist. To be a Satanist entails
: belief in the Judeo-Christian god and therefore also his opposite
: number.

No, Islam for example believes in Satan, and most other religions have a Satan-like entity, like Kali in Hinduism. As for what Crowley wrote about Satan, see article below.

: 2.) The Law of Thelema, "Do what thou wilt shall be the Whole of the
: Law/Love is the Law, Love under Will" does not mean do whatever you
: feel like doing. It means, "go out and find the purpose of your life
: and then devote your energies to fulfilling that purpose." The True
: Will of the individual most closely resembles the concept of the
: "little Tao" of Lao-Tzu...the individual's Tao rather than the "Great
: Tao" of the universe.

No, Taoism is much more sober. "Do what thou wilt" can easily be abused by the self-important and by bullies (and it has been). I've never seen a Taoist bully; Taoism teaches humility. This is anathema to Crowley and Satanism. The concept of will (thelema) is not the same between these systems either.

: 3.) Aleister Crowley was a bit of a bully in life, an enfant terrible
: who treated his friends like dirt and lavished praise and attention on
: people who turned out to be loose cannons at best like Frater Achad

Perfectly in line with "Satanic Statement" Number Four (see below).

: and Dr. Jack Parsons. I do not hold him as an exemplar of how to live
: ones life and cringe when I see people do so. Crowley the man was not
: worth writing home about...Crowley the philosopher and spiritual
: researcher is infinitely more valuable and one does not cancel out the
: other.

But the way one lives one's life is often a reflection of the validity, or lack thereof, of one's philosophy. This newsgroup constantly points out unsavory aspects of LRH, for example, since these often are relevant to the development of Scientology and various of its practices. The fact that LRH borrowed some major beliefs and practices from Crowley is why this discussion is posted here rather than in an alt.satanism group.

: Again, look at point 2. "Do what thou Wilt" does not mean "my will be
: done or else"...it means find your purpose and fulfill it. "For true
: Will, unassuaged of purpose, is in every way perfect." Your own
: preferences, habits and idees fixes may or may not be part and parcel
: of your True Will...it's up to you to separate what you like or prefer
: from what you Will.

But, "no one is perfect". If one has only one's own perceptions to discern what is good and what is not, the likelihood that this endeavor will fail is very high. This is why major religions teach adherence to an ethical system that transcends the self and sometimes even requires doing something one does not want to (like, e.g., a thief reimbursing someone he or she stole from).

[...thanks for informative background on Crowley...]


: Please, don't speak of things that you have not investigated
: thoroughly. The Crowley=Satanist shibboleth is one which has existed
: in the press since the first few years of this century, and one which
: has persisted 50 years after the man died. It's not true, and anyone
: who says it is either has not read any of Crowley's writings, or if
: they have has misunderstood them terribly. The latter has been
: responsible for a lot of mischief, especially with one "Ron" of our
: acquaintance.

While I appreciate the background information of Crowley which you have provided, I must disagree with you on the above. The notion that Crowley had beliefs and practices which are satanic has existed in the press for so long because it has a basis in what Crowley wrote. Here is an article I wrote regarding this (please note; it is rather long. The first part deals with Crowley proper; the appendix is a discussion of Satanism in general).

Was Aleister Crowley a Satanist? What is a Satanist, anyway?

Crowley said this about Satan, the devil:


   "I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him, in
   the ordinary sense of the word. I wanted to get hold of him personally
   and become his chief of staff."

   Aleister Crowley, _The_Confessions_of_Aleister_Crowley_, chapter 5
 (1929; revised 1970).

This is a pretty clear statement of belief and what actions were desired by him as a result. It makes it obvious that (1) he believes in the devil's existence, (2) he had considered serving the devil in what he considered the "ordinary" way, but was not satisfied with that, (3) He desired a much closer relationship with the devil, to become what he would consider a major officer of the devil.

There are other things, such as his fascination with the number 666 and his consideration of the "Lady Babylon" and her beast (an unmistakable reference to that which is commonly considered as a demonic allusion in the Book of Revelation) to be holy.

Regarding 666, it is well-known that Aleister went to Egypt on his honeymoon with his new wife, Rose. She had previously shown no interest in occult matters until they returned to Cairo in early 1904. Rose then began entering trances and insisted that Horus (an ancient Egyptian god) was trying to contact Aleister. They went to the Boulak Museum and Aleister wanted Rose to show her Horus; she passed several other images of this god and went straight to a 26th-Dynasty wooden funerary stele which showed Horus receiving a sacrifice from a dead priest, for whom the stele was made. Crowley, who had identified with the number 666 since childhood, was very impressed by the fact that this stele was numbered 666 by the museum.

Regarding "Lady Babylon", one can turn to his _Magick_in_Theory_and_Practice_, chapter 11 (XI): "Of our Lady Babylon and of the Beast whereon she rideth. Also concerning Transformations", which states:


  [Section I]

   "The contents of this section, inasmuch as they concern OUR LADY, are
   too important and too sacred to be printed. They are only communicated
   by the Master Therion to chosen pupils in private instruction."

Note that "Therion" is simply the Greek word for "beast", but it of course sounds more impressive and mysterious if an ancient language is used instead of simply saying "beast".

Other satanic aspects of Crowley's works

From the same chapter 11, in case you were wondering about what he meant by "transformations", he describes some which may be too difficult to be performed, but then this one is easy:

     "The one really easy `physical' operation which the Body of Light
     can perform is `Congressus subtilis'. The emanations of the `Body
     of Desire' of the material being whom one visits are, if the visit
     be agreeable, so potent that one spontaneously gains substance in
     the embrace. There are many cases on record of Children having been
     born as the result of such unions. See the work of De Sinistrari on
     Incubi and Succubi for a discussion of analogous phenomena."

As he notes above, this is "too important and too sacred to be printed." Reminds one of a certain other cult whose so-called sacred scriptures are bizarre, but to consider them sacred would be laughable.

"De Sinistrari" means "Regarding the Sinister" or loosely, "Magick of the Left Hand". Incubi and succubi (plural; singular has -us ending) are Latin terms for demons which would have intercourse with people, which fascinated people during both the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials. The "subtle congress" he refers to is intercourse with spirits. Without getting into a discussion about the existence of this phenomenon (or even disputing its existence), I think it is clear where Crowley stands on this.

Then there is this prayer from the _Book_of_Lies_. It obviously takes its form from (a mild term would be that it parodies) the Lord's Prayer (Our Father) of Christianity. Well, unlike Co$, no one will sue him for that, though it is true that the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) organizations can be rather litigious about the Crowley works that are not under the public domain.

                  {Kappa-Epsilon-Phi-Alpha-Eta Beta}

                         THE CRY OF THE HAWK

           Hoor hath a secret fourfold name: it is Do What
            Thou Wilt.
           Four Words: Naught-One-Many-All.
                       Thou-Child!
                       Thy Name is holy.
                       Thy Kingdom is come.
                       Thy Will is done.
                       Here is the Bread.
                       Here is the Blood.
             Bring us through Temptation!
             Deliver us from Good and Evil!
           That Mine as Thine be the Crown of the Kingdom,
             even now.
                             ABRAHADABRA.
           These ten words are four, the Name of the One.

Parody of well-known Christian prayers, symbols and so forth are a major feature of Satanism as well, such as the Lord's Prayer recited backwards (Crowley felt that becoming an expert in reading, writing, speaking and understanding words backwards was essential; cf. the 1970's fascination with backward lyrics on LP's) and the upside-down cross. So this prayer by itself is not rock-hard evidence of Crowley being a satanist, but is very suggestive, especially when considered together with the very obvious satanism noted above.

With these kind of things in the works and beliefs of Crowley, it is not surprising that Anton LaVey's Church of Satan considers Crowley one of its sources. A cursory net search reveals that plenty of overtly satanic-identified individuals and groups consider Crowley as one of their own, and his books are peddled along with "Hail Satan!" T-shirts on one site. This is not a case of ill-informed fundamentalists finding a "devil under every rock".

Appendix

What is Satanism and what does it believe and practice?

The word Satan comes from the Hebrew word for adversary or enemy (Shaitan) and was adopted in Greek and Latin (Satanas) and modern languages. In the major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Satan is seen as basically the same entity. He was Lucifer, who through his arrogant pride desired to usurp God's status as the Supreme Being. God cast him into Hell with the other fallen angels (otherwise referred to as evil spirits, demons, devils), but they continue to influence the actions of those who unwittingly or (especially) wittingly permit it. To this day they act as adversary to God and His creation. Not all adherents of these religions today believe all these things. Many reject the idea of a devil at all. Some have even said that evil does not even exist; it's just a perception of lack of good. IMHO, they have probably not ever seen anyone willfully act in evil ways, or other manifestations of evil; if they have they ignore it.

Satanic groups often also accept this, but they claim that Satan is the enlightener and Yahweh is the great enemy of mankind, inverting their cosmology much as they invert the Christian cross.

One can consider Satanism to be either anything which involves worship or service to Satan, the devil, whether referred to as Satan or as some other entity or deity with similar properties (such as Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction), or one can consider the official principles of the Church of Satan as listed in their "Nine Satanic Statements":

[Much of these are just parodies of Christian belief, which are noted in brackets except when very obvious]

  1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!; [See #8]
  2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!; [The "spiritual pipe dreams" are other religions, such as Christianity, Satanists certainly don't practice religious tolerance]
  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!; [Wisdom in Greek is Gnosis, and Gnosticism plays a major part of both CoS, Co$ and Crowley's beliefs. Gnosticism is the belief that one attains enlightenment (even salvation in the schismatic Christian version of this) through esoteric, secret knowledge and initiations that place oneself on a higher plane than the unenlightened hoi polloi. It helps to use lots of Hebrew, Greek and Latin; jargon; and cryptic messages, to make it look all the more esoteric, and to help its adherents feel self-satisfied at the arduous work involved in absorbing the texts' messages]
  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates! [Rather than loving your neighbor. One must take it upon oneself to play God and decide who is worthy]
  5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek! [Including Dead Agenting, even if not admitted or concealed]
  6. Satan represents responsibility for the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires! [See #4]
  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his "divine and intellectual development" has become the most vicious animal of them all! [With emphasis on "divine"]
  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification! [An obvious parody, but deadly serious. Thou shalt kill, thou shalt lie, thou shalt screw your neighbor's spouse and cat, and kill them after, or at least the cat, etc. Many satanic groups place great importance on this; the Cult Awareness Network, before being destroyed by Co$, reported that a common initiation ritual involved eating vomit and some sort of sex such as necrophilia or rape. The idea was to do something which was considered "as sinful and disgusting as possible", the more sinful the better, because that would "be pleasing to Satan"; this is why babies (sometimes adults, too) and pets have been deliberately killed in some of these cults.]
  9. Satan has been the best friend that the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all of these years! [Rather than humility, this "church" teaches an arrogant kind of pride, emulating Lucifer's arrogance. This attitude is not limited to this cult.]

What is my own experience with Satan cultists?

Now the "Church" of Satan would love to be seen as just another religion, and for PR purposes claims it is a means of bettering one's abilities. Just like the other CoS. No "Eat Vomit for Satan" bumper stickers. They disclaim association with the unaffiliated groups that the media refer to as "satanic cults", but their beliefs are very similar. My former home town in Long Island, NY (Northport) had quite a problem with them in the 1970's and 1980's; in 1977 there was a murder associated with one such group which got lots of media coverage, where a junior-high-school kid was forced to say "I love Satan" prior to his being murdered (an attempt to get the soul, not just the body; but Newsday reported that he said "I love my mother" instead). Even in 1988 there was satanic grafitti scrawled near a junior high school reading "Ave Satanas" ("Hail Satan") and upside-down crosses were inscribed on road signs (there is still one visible on Normandy Dr. 2 blocks from my former residence there; this was last observed early in Dec. 1997). In 1991 a friend of mine related how he once ran a religious bookstore in Alabama, and a woman ran in, terrified, and asked him to help her escape from a satanic cult which would kill her as penalty for escaping. He helped her, and thus incurred the wrath of Satanists as far away as Boston, who tried to hound him at every turn for doing this. Several times they beat him physically, sending him to the hospital (sounds like Dead Agenting). They also tried to use spiritual means, i.e. black magic. My friend, then a seminarian at a Greek Orthodox theological school, said that when they performed their spells this caused him to see black demons, which fled when he said the Lord's Prayer. I have never heard of this happening to anyone else, but have and had no reason to believe he was lying. The only question I could have about that is whether the demons he saw were actually satanic in origin or merely a psychological condition. It was, however, the intent of the spells to not merely cause some visions. The other tactics they performed consisted of spreading lies to friends (my brother and I), who were sent letters claiming that our friend had just died in a gruesome car accident, and meticulously detailing every car part and how it impaled him and where. Thank God that I had talked to him the night before on the phone, and the postmark was much older than that (The last one received was postmarked 5 days previous), so I knew it was fake. One sees here why Satan is referred to as the author of lies. "Satan masquerades as an angel of light", and satanism is presented as something good to its "raw meat", until they have been conditioned to accept the heavier stuff.

Around the time this was happening, the friend gave my brother a copy of a book he had read which he found very useful and informative in explaining the nature of black magic, and which I read the following summer: _The_Soul_After_Death_, by Seraphim Rose (Platina, CA). One interesting point this book made was that there is nothing new about UFO cults, which aside from having much in common with various occult groups, bear a large resemblance to the incubus and succubus obsessions of the Middle Ages; it's just that nowadays people are more obsessed and fascinated with something that cloaks itself with a high-tech look; these medieval demons would abduct, rape, drive insane and otherwise toy with their human prey just like the entities reported by modern-day UFO abductees.

Another relevant fact is that satanist ritual does "work"; if performed it causes some actual change to occur (that is Crowley's definition of magick, as well). The moral issue is not whether it works, but if it is morally and ethically right to subject people to the effects of such actions. Now scientological ritual also "works" and has observable effects, but I think most readers of this newsgroup agree that it is harmful to both the practitioner and to others. This is not to say that all attempted magic has the desired effect, but it cannot be all dismissed as a hallucination either.

Some on this newsgroup take the position of "live and let live", respect other religions as long as they don't impinge on others' rights. This is fine for real religions, but I think that efforts by individuals, groups, and governments to suppress and dismantle such cults as the two CoS's is not a matter of violating religious freedom but a matter of preventing destructive and often criminal acts.


-- 
Nick Zymaris
nickz@tribeca.ios.com                          IC XC + NI KA

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