(1940-1945) Diaries

NOTE: Grady had been keeping a diary since mid-1937 e.v. in a 365-page leather-bound pocket volume. His brief entries cover every day through his senior year at Valley Center High School in Kansas, his move to Southern California the following year to attend Pasadena City College, and his student life there. In the spring of 1940 e.v. the entries become irregular, but the following winter, during the time he was becoming acquainted with Jack Parsons and Wilfred Smith of Agape Lodge, he took up the diary again, making occasional entries, mainly for the weekends. Last August the first half of the material from this period appeared in these pages, and the remainder appears here. The diary ends altogether at this point. Grady was a college upper-classman at P.C.C. during these months; Claire and Foxie were his “two girl friends”. (Grady was later to enjoy a marriage of more than fifteen years with Foxie.) Clair and Grady received Minerval and First Degree initiations into the O.T.O. together the following summer on 13 June, along with Sr. S.E.N. (the famous “Betty” of Agape Lodge).

DECEMBER 1940, e.v.

NOTE: Covers early period of Grady’s getting to know Jack Parsons.

TUESDAY, 17 DECEMBER: Invited down to Parsons (John W.) home this evening for a general bull session with his partner in rocket research and Jack Williamson. Must have drank a quart and a half of beer. Smith (Wilfred) couldn’t make it. Talked about rockets, witchcraft, etc.

THURSDAY, 19 DECEMBER: Taking notes from The Golden Bough and Mythology of All Races at the downtown library. Took Foxie over to the LASFL [Los Angeles Science Fiction League] Xmas party. Williamson, Leigh Brackett, Heinlein, etc. there.

FRIDAY, 20 DECEMBER: Worked some in the physical science office for Jane. Mimeographing. Finished reading Cabell’s Jurgen. Quite the most remarkable book I have ever read. Maybe I will understand it someday.

SATURDAY, 21 DECEMBER: Down to Jack’s again tonight. Just he and I. Comparing our poetry and reading some good verse.

SUNDAY, 22 DECEMBER: Went home by bus. Got in around 4 p.m. Glad to see the folks. Got a can of Half & Half tobacco from Ada & Walt. Foxie gave me a set of hair brushes some time ago and Tony gave me a can of Edgeworth Thursday.

WEDNESDAY, 25 DECEMBER: Xmas. Ate dinner at Uncle Elvier’s.

SATURDAY, 28 DECEMBER: Came back to Pasadena. Get three old Astonishing [magazines] in Hollywood.

SUNDAY, 29 DECEMBER: Returned the Equinox and Blessings of Pan to Jack. His wife, her sister, he and I went down to the Arroyo and looked over the C.I.T. [Cal.Tech.] rocket project and went for a hike. Had a chili supper, heard Rites of Spring by Stravinsky, borrowed Aradia. Came home anchored [?]. Tony down to San Marino. Picked him up walking home and —– then got home about 12:30 a.m.

MONDAY, 30 DECEMBER: Working for Ameringe on Geology maps.

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, August 1990


NOTE: Covers Grady’s early contacts with Agape Lodge, Jack Parsons and others a few months before taking initiation.

SATURDAY, 4 JANUARY: Finished The Witchcult in Western Europe by Margaret Murry, and read Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland. Went through about half of my physics notes.

SUNDAY, 5 JANUARY: Took Claire and Foxie over to Smith’s to see the mass of the Gnostic Catholic Thelemites. They were nearly scared to death. We talked over there for some time about it and related subjects.

SATURDAY, 11 JANUARY: Went over to Smith’s place this evening and talked with him at some length on the O.T.O. Many things I like, some I don’t.

SATURDAY, 18 JANUARY: Moved Foxie and took her to L.A. Went down to Claire’s this eve to do some studying. Didn’t do much studying. She looked very wifely ironing.

SUNDAY, 19 JANUARY: Had a long talk with Parsons this eve. On occult, pure {?} evil, science. Offered to let me use his spare room for sleeping subject to wife’s approval. Took Paul over to L.A. today. Very heavy traffic.

SUNDAY, 26 JANUARY: Jack, Helen and I took Paul over to O.T.O. Took the sacrement for the first time.

FRIDAY, 31 JANUARY: Car knocked some teeth in the differential while taking a gang to Lucen’s in L.A. Had a swell time.

SUNDAY, 2 FEBRUARY: Couldn’t get a car to go to C.R.S. meeting and Paul missed his street car so had him just to Katie’s, while I ate dinner, to have a hilarious time with Katie, Foxie, Claire, and L. Katie convalescing from a appendectomy.

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, January 1991

DECEMBER 1944, e.v.
11 Dec. Received info re 93 from A.C.
25 Dec. Christmas Dinner at Bell Inn, Aston Clinton, with Crowley. Chess & discussion of degrees. Said goodbye. Had to hitchhike back to London because of strike by subway workers.
20 Dec. Met Louis Wilkinson (Marlowe), author, while visiting A.C.
26 Dec. Visited lady Frieda Harris this morning. Met her husband, Sir Percy Harris, at lunch. Invited to the House of Commons to meet {?}everidge.
27 Dec. Visited Tower of London. Foggy to freezing cold. …
28 Dec. Trip postponed again until Sat. Things are looking up on the Western Front. The Germans seem to be stopped – for the present. For all time if the weather holds.
31 Dec. New Years Eve with Cau{?} out at Kensington.
JANUARY – DECEMBER, 1945, e.v.
1 Jan. London to Paris
2 Jan. Paris to Brussels by night sleeper

. . .

10 Feb. Letter from Kenneth Grant – brilliant young Englishman, doing good work also AC.; Louis.
14 Feb. Letters from Jack, A.C., Kenneth Grant, etc in the last few days. Getting rid of books to pack. Sent off the last of Germer’s paper, sent A. C. “The Lonely Ones” by S….
. . .

9 June From R42 to Y92 at Frankfurt by truck for purpose of going to the U.K. on leave.
10 June Sweating it out.
11 June ’45 Sweating it out.
12 June Y91 to … London, in 2 1/2 hours. Had to wait at airport for 3 hours for transportation and then knocked a double decker streetcar off the track going into town. As a consequence missed seeing the reception for Gen Ike. Couldn’t get a’hold of Frieda so went to the {?} Club on Prince St., near Oxford Circus.
13 June Had a long talk with Frieda, met a Mr. William Holt, writer, took a trip to {Gretna?} Green and went around with a young woman who was canvassing for Sir Percy. Shook hands with same as we met and parted.
14 June Met Sir Percy in the lobby of the House of Commons, had lunch with him in the guest hall, had a lively discussion of petitions and economics, said he had used some of my ideas in his campaign speeches, showed me his “whip room” and other parts of Parliament – left me in lobby to wait for Lord Pomeroy – or somename – to get tickets for a seat in the House – waited around for 1 1/2 hours and then took off. …
. . .

16 June 45 By bus to the Ridge to see Aleister. Looking about as good as usual. Found that he had received a 2 hexagram on the 11th and a 1 hexagram for the 12th the day I arrived in the U.K. — and the day Gen. Ike was celebrated in London. Went down to the chess club in Hastings — played a game — back to Netherwood for talks on Economics — I explained the “S” shaped biological growth curve — lost wallet on way home.
17th June Had to take a taxi out to Netherwood — was surprised when a Mr. Harris showed up with my wallet — intact — before lunch. Seems his daughter had found it on the bus — gave him a pound and many thanks. Beat Aleister one game of chess (2nd time to date) on a sort of modified Danish gambit. Sutton’s place filled up with relatives is moved to Netherwood for the night, studying “De Nuptiis Secretis.” Aleister gave me a railing about using too many words to say some thing — we went round and round.
18th June Had a few games and lunch. Our argument last night seemed to clear the air a great deal. We find this morning that, as usual, we were both saying the same thing only in different ways. He went in with me to the station. Hastings to London. Tried my luck.
19th June Saw {?} this morning at the Savoy. Buying books on Charing Cross Road this afternoon … Aleister’s “Moon Child” … Met Ja{?} Aitkins this afternoon. I had seen her once at Aleister’s place on Jermyn street with Frieda. …
20 June 1945 Leave over so reported in …
. . .
Note: Grady was mustered directly back to the US after the end of the War, and his diary recounts his first meetings with Stateside O.T.O. members after his visits with Crowley:

17 Nov {1945} … AWOL to see Karl & Sascha. …
18 Nov. Karl & Sascha picked me up at Gate #1, … back to NY via 23rd St. Ferry. Mama Marussa’s Italian Restaurant. Beat Karl at chess. Picked up Liber 132 & Liber A. Horoscope Mars ruling, Sagittarius rising.
20 Nov. Took off from Newark …

. . .

17 Dec. San Francisco to L.A. on Daylight. Put up at Ada’s.
18 Dec. Down to Jack at 1003. Met Roy Leffingwell – with him to see Max Schneider in Beverly Hills. Long talk with him & Jack – separately. Slept at Jack’s. Same story.
19 Dec. Checking books in Jack’s library … Betty & Gary{?} at Jacks.

. . .

25 Dec. {’45} The integration of the mind. — mental integrity — the mind must be integrated before it can achieve coherence. One method of integration is the discipline of daily practice in the Magick arts. Magick, by definition, is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, March 1993.