(11/06/1944) Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley

1814th Ord S&M Co (Avn)
APO 149, % PM, U. S. Army
6 Nov. 1944

Dear A.C.,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Yours of the 16 Oct to hand. Yes, one or two of your letters must still be floating around. I have heard nothing of a theft of the 373 pounds you speak of and as for the Caliphate I remember no concrete proposal – just a vague reference once. My prospects for the ninth degree – frankly I am puzzled. Very much so. Just how could such a project be undertaken by mail? I just don’t see it. And then there is the time element. You gave me a considerable build up on that sometime before I left England. I expressed my interest by letter and let you know that I couldn’t expect to stay in England forever – but when I came to see you the subject couldn’t be brought to a head. So you see. I am just now getting settled down and clearing the decks for action on that project we were speaking of before I left. Yet you seem to think that I have been on some kind of excursion over here with nothing to do but write poetry and so setting up exercises. Sorry – just a little browned off. Now that things have quieted down a bit expect to get some constructive work done in the near future.

Yes, Jack has aspiration. Plenty of it. He may have shown faulty judgment from time to time but he was certainly trying hard. And he was under considerable obligation to Smith – which thickened the plot and made him appear in a worse light than he really should have. If only he can get, or has gotten, that idea of witchcraft out of his head as a primary basis of operation then he will quite probably turn out to be first rate. After extolling Jack’s virtues, you say that I should look to my laurels – or something – it is spelled bays or lays. Am I supposed to be provoked into competition with Jack? If so you will find no takers. Sorry. We think differently, Jack and I, and it is quite possible that a sharing of responsibility would be advisable. I don’t think that Jack’s program will be successful as is. Even you, and I say it in profound respect for you, did not succeed. Why? “Circumstances. Precisely. Circumstances over which you had no control. You remember my ‘Method is more important than product’ dictum? The Way, The Truth, the Light, etc. Without the method there is no product. Jack is up against the same thing. So I have set myself the task of the Hymenaeus Alpha – to prepare the ground. Once that is done it makes little difference who is Caliph – naturally I would consider it an honor – but first I must be practical. Having set this task for myself it is quite possible that for a year or two I will not have the necessary time to devote to your work. Jack, I presume, will. Either way the end result will be the same. The decision is yours.

No, I do not have a typescript of the Tao Teh King, I returned that to you in London. Must knock off now – glad to hear that Jack finally sent that $80. Gad, I sent it to him the first of July.

Love is the law, love under Will. {sic}


Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, September 2001.

(11/06/1944) Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley

Note: Thank you to William Heidrick for making this image available.