9781620556306

Aleister Crowley in America

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781620556306

  • ISBN10:

    1620556308

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-12-05
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions

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Summary

An exploration of Crowley’s relationship with the United States

• Details Crowley’s travels, passions, literary and artistic endeavors, sex magick, and psychedelic experimentation

• Investigates Crowley’s undercover intelligence adventures that actively promoted U.S. involvement in WWI

• Includes an abundance of previously unpublished letters and diaries

Occultist, magician, poet, painter, and writer Aleister Crowley’s three sojourns in America sealed both his notoriety and his lasting influence. Using previously unpublished diaries and letters, Tobias Churton traces Crowley’s extensive travels through America and his quest to implant a new magical and spiritual consciousness in the United States, while working to undermine Germany’s propaganda campaign to keep the United States out of World War I.

Masterfully recreating turn-of-the-century America in all its startling strangeness, Churton explains how Crowley arrived in New York amid dramatic circumstances in 1900. After other travels, in 1914 Crowley returned to the U.S. and stayed for five years: turbulent years that changed him, the world, and the face of occultism forever. Diving deeply into Crowley’s 5-year stay, we meet artists, writers, spies, and government agents as we uncover Crowley’s complex work for British and U.S. intelligence agencies. Exploring Crowley’s involvement with the birth of the Greenwich Village radical art scene, we discover his relations with writers Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Dreiser and artists John Butler Yeats, Leon Engers Kennedy, and Robert Winthrop Chanler while living and lecturing on now-vanished “Genius Row.” We experience his love affairs and share Crowley’s hard times in New Orleans and his return to health, magical dynamism, and the most colorful sex life in America. We examine his controversial political stunts, his role in the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania, his making of the “Elixir of Life” in 1915, his psychedelic experimentation, his prolific literary achievements, and his run-in with Detroit Freemasonry. We also witness Crowley’s influence on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and rocket fuel genius Jack Parsons. We learn why J. Edgar Hoover wouldn’t let Crowley back in the country and why the FBI raided Crowley’s organization in LA.

Offering a 20th-century history of the occult movement in the United States, Churton shows how Crowley’s U.S. visits laid the groundwork for the establishment of his syncretic “religion” of Thelema and the now flourishing OTO, as well as how Crowley’s final wish was to have his ashes scattered in the Hamptons.

Author Biography

Britain’s leading scholar of Western Esotericism, Tobias Churton is a world authority on Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism. Appointed Honorary Fellow of Exeter University in 2005, he holds a master’s degree in Theology from Brasenose College, Oxford, and is the author of many books, including Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin and Occult Paris. He lives in the heart of England.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

PART ONE

The Adventure

ONE
A Special Relationship

1898: A Diplomat Manqué
Recruited at Cambridge?
Crowley and the Carlists
Crowley and “MacGregor” Mathers

TWO
The Song of the Sea

THREE
Out of the Frying Pan, into New York

FOUR
The Eagle and the Snake: Mexico City The Two Republics

FIVE
Chevalier O’Rourke and The Mexican Herald

SIX
The Mother’s Tragedy Post Script: The Last Laugh

SEVEN
Return to New York 1906

EIGHT
Art in America John Quinn

PART TWO

The Furnace

NINE
1914

TEN
The Sinews of War Germans Come Shopping Meanwhile in London . . . Cap in Hand, to the Savages for Cowries

ELEVEN
My Egg Was Addled What the Papers Said

TWELVE
Lower into the Water

THIRTEEN
The Magick of a New York Christmas: World War I Style John O’Hara Cosgrave, Evangeline Adams, and Frank Crowninshield

FOURTEEN
Toward the Fatherland Into the Dark Lair Getting In with the Germans Münsterberg

FIFTEEN
Getting Hotter Philadelphia: City of Brotherly Love The Lusitania

SIXTEEN
Jeanne The Statue of Liberty Stunt Normal Service Resumes

SEVENTEEN
The Wrong Thing at the Right Time

EIGHTEEN
The Way West Vancouver

NINETEEN
California Welcomes the World San Francisco Create in Me a Clean Beast, O God

TWENTY
Replacement Therapy The Spying Game

TWENTY-ONE
The Owl and the Monkey Went to Sea Philadelphia The Elixir of Life

TWENTY-TWO
Aleister Crowley’s Psychedelic Summer Dr. Crowley the Night-Tripper Another Crowley, Another Place The Book T The Ball of Fire Stauros Batrachou

TWENTY-THREE
Crowley on Christ Shaw Takes a Pasting

TWENTY-FOUR
Nothingness with Twinkles The Star Sponge Vision

TWENTY-FIVE
New Orleans--and Bust

TWENTY-SIX
The Butterfly Net

TWENTY-SEVEN
Suffer the Little Children The Affidavit

TWENTY-EIGHT
The International Secret Service Interview

TWENTY-NINE
Enter the Camel

THIRTY
It’s All in the Egg Amalantrah Enter Samuel Aiwaz Jacobs

THIRTY-ONE
Unholy Holiness at 64a West Ninth Street Meeting Leah Hirsig Eva Tanguay

THIRTY-TWO
Island The Redhead Strikes Visions The Blue Equinox

PART THREE

Escape

THIRTY-THREE
Genius Row Thelema in Detroit

THIRTY-FOUR
Summer in Montauk-- and a Thousand Years Ago

THIRTY-FIVE
End Game

THIRTY-SIX
Legacy

The O.T.O. in America
The Church of Thelema
Jack Parsons: Rocket Man
L. Ron Hubbard
Whatever Happened to the Beast in America?
EK-STASIS

APPENDIX ONE (Simeon) Leon Engers (Kennedy)
(1891–1970) by Frank van Lamoen, Assistant Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

APPENDIX TWO Sale Catalog from the Auction of the John Quinn Collection
A Note by John Quinn
Aleister Crowley

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Rewards Program

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