(1946) Clear Crowley’s Name Campaign

NOTE: Frater Hymenaeus Alpha designed this campaign in hopes of reforming the public image of Aleister Crowley during the final years of the Beast’s life. It appears to have arisen from discussions between “the Prophet and his Caliph” in wartime Britain, with hopes of implementation in peacetime with the cooperation of the Agape Lodge of O.T.O. in California. Grady typed out his carefully organized notes and posted them to Crowley in order to solicit additional comment. The young initiate seems almost too pleased to display some of the modern management techniques and organizational strategies which he had been studying before his military service. Probably drafted early in 1946 e.v. after discussions of the project with Crowley himself, these notes were sent to the aged magus by his young American student not long after Grady had returned to California from military duty in World War Two. In an effort to secure permission for Crowley to emigrate to California, various plans were discussed around that time by American O.T.O. members. It was hoped that the warm dry climate of “Rancho RoyAL,” a property owned in the southern California desert by members of Agape Lodge, would be beneficial to their leader’s declining health, and that his proximity to the largest functioning group of O.T.O. initiates would inspire the growth of the Order. Unfortunately these efforts came too late for the old man, and even if Crowley had been strong enough to make the journey there were too many bureaucratic hurdles involved in post-war emigration for the scheme ever to have had much of a chance. We now can gather from FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that J. Edgar Hoover’s personal paranoia regarding occult groups would probably have kept Crowley from obtaining an entrance visa at that time, regardless of how much effort had gone into the application process.

Clear Crowley’s Name Campaign
by Grady McMurtry

Policy: To clear Crowley’s name of the slander instigated by bigoted journalists and propagated by the sensational press.

Addendum thereto: Aleister Crowley has dedicated his life to the alleviation of the suffering of mankind by the practical application to every day living of philosophy in its highest concepts. In order to test his theories it was necessary for him to experiment. As many of these experiments, especially in his early youth, were at the expense of what are commonly considered “Christian Concepts” he gained considerable notoriety as a “Black Magician” merely on the basis of the experiments and without regard to the conclusions reached. An example: He conducted research on a scientific basis to determine the effect of certain narcotics — a laudable occupation. His conclusions have been published and are open for reference. Did this make any difference to the sensational press? Not in the least. The mere fact that he had made the experiment provided them with material for reams of Sunday supplements featuring “That Fiend Crowley,” etc. It is well to bear this in mind when considering the present effort to bring his teachings to mankind — this being the ultimate object in clearing his name of stigma.

Aleister Crowley has brought the world the Law of Thelema. The Law of Will. The concept that no person has the right to do other than his true Will, and that this law is Love, Love under Will. This is not the soft, sentimental love of the romanticist but the virile, brilliant love of humanity — the concept that the union of mankind in the brotherhood of Thelema will bring a new aeon of peace and progress to the world. That is worth fighting for. That is why we must CLEAR CROWLEY’S NAME.

In order to bring this about a plan of action is necessary. The following is such a plan.

I. Headquarters

A. Location — London or vicinity.

B. Type — business office large enough to accommodate executive in charge of campaign and several secretaries to handle correspondence, classify pertinent material and gather information.

II. Staff

A. Executive — must be a person competent to handle editors, reporters, publishers, writers and supervise the collection and distribution of material pertinent to the campaign.

B. Executive Secretary — must be competent to supervise the staff of secretaries and keep the flow of incoming and outgoing information coordinated. May be expected to take over the position of the Executive in an emergency.

C. Treasurer — in charge of procuring and disbursing funds for the campaign. Should be an accountant.

D. Secretarial Staff

1. Personnel — to advise Executive of personnel in the field, new members, etc.
2. Intelligence — to determine, predict and advise the Executive on the movements and thought trends of the opposition.
3. Planning — keeping the roster of activities up to date and coordinating future moves as the campaign progresses.
4. Stenographers, typists, and file clerks to keep the subject material properly classified and readily available.

E. Reporters — to obtain needed information from documents, newspapers, records, and also to interview writers and men in public life.

III. Activities

A. Slogans

1. CLEAR CROWLEY’S NAME – for use on posters, advertisements, articles
2. “Crowley is England’s literary martyr” – ditto
3. Help the author of the V campaign – ditto
4. etc.

B. The Law of Thelema – it is necessary to present the Law of Thelema so that people of all types may appreciate that particular part which they can understand. In this manner those who can Understand the Law will be given an opportunity to do so by calling their attention to it and providing them with the material for study, while at the same time providing a guide for those whose understanding is incomplete. In order to facilitate this several vehicles of instruction must be set up:

1. The Law – the OTO as now presented. An order of initiates studying the philosophy of life and aspiring to the Great Work.

2. The Law – presented as philosophy for the intellectual. (The philosophical concepts of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” and “Love is the law, love under will” provide material for much discussion for those who wish to differentiate upon the philosophies of Man. A study must be made available showing the difference between doing as one wishes and doing one’s Will. The subject that Love is the Law but only under Will must also be fully explained in this work. This to be publicized in articles written by prominent men and reports on discussion groups of same.)

3. The Law – presented as a “Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty” for the devout. (There are a great many very admirable people whose Understanding has not developed sufficiently for them to be able to fully appreciate the Law as counseled in the High Lodge of the OTO. They are the people who attend Church on Sunday and devote the rest of the week to the problem of ordinary life. These are the people who need religion as a faith – and we must give it to them with Liber Legis as their bible and a supplement thereto explaining its place in the scheme of the Aeons as a text. “In the beginning there was Ptath, the Shining One” – or Shiva, or Jahveh or whatever – the philosophy of the early adepts, how this became degraded by those who were not full initiates, the meanings of the Aeons in succession, the meaning of the present Aeon and how it affects us, how this Cosmic Plan for the liberation of mankind from the chains of ignorance and superstition embraces past, present and future. The Law of Thelema cannot become the popular religion of the majority of people until it is presented in a form which appeals to their understanding.)

a. Ceremony – a Mass suitable for performance before large congregations. This does not limit the private performance of the Mass in the Lodge.

i. Part of the teachings of the High Church will be devoted to instruction of the individual in the performance of the rites of ceremonial magick.

4. The Law – presented to young people who will mature as Thelemites.

a. Youth Organizations

i. DeMolay – or organization of similar name – giving instruction in a Lodge form that will couple vigorous outdoor life with the serious teachings of the principles of Light, Life, Love and Liberty applied to everyday life. This might be divided into junior and senior sections.
ii. A similar organization for girls.
iii. A co-educational organization with more emphasis on the social graces. This should be limited to members of the two former organizations to insure unity of purpose.

5. The Law – for “the joiners.” (One or more “Lodges” for those fraternal people to whom “religion” has no appeal as such but who join fraternities, clubs and lodges such as the Masonic Lodge, the Rotary Club, the Elks and many others organizations where they may meet for fraternal gatherings with their colleagues and friends. The more serious Mason will quite probably be found in the High Lodge of the OTO. The Mason who takes his lodge duties less seriously and looks on the organization more as a meeting place will find a place in these less serious clubs. There is no need to alter the Masonic Lodge as it exists today.

6. The Law – in every day usage. Teaching that Brothers should be greeted with “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” and “Love is the law, love under will,” the saying of “Will” before meals, etc. will be part of the function of the Church and the Lodges.

C. Liber AL vel Legis – a study on its praeter-human origin and what its teachings mean to mankind. (I can’t write this)

D. A list of inspired books. (a job for the secretariat)

E. A list of semi-inspired books. (a job for the secretariat)

F. A list of treatises on the subject. (a job for the secretariat)

G. Lectures

1. The Law of Thelema as a way of life.

2. Crowley is England’s literary martyr – see “The Legend of
Aleister Crowley,” addendum to Policy, etc.

a. Exposing the editors and journalists who vilified Crowley and their distortions of the truth, etc.
b. These prominent men defend Crowley (with reference to H below)
c. The true reason for those experiments seized upon by the sensational press, etc.
d. The truth about certain incidents that have been distorted and used against Crowley – why he left Sicily, his fight against Fascism, he stayed in London through the darkest days of the blitz and is still there, etc.
e. Men of history, art and literature with whom Crowley has been intimately associated – Rodin, Maugham, (this is where you come in)
f. Crowley was one of the first victims of Fascism – are we to condemn a man for that? Were not Einstein, Toscanini, Thomas Mann, etc. driven before the Fascist storm for being individualists? Here is one of England’s foremost literary men etc.
g. Here is the author of the V campaign being senselessly persecuted (what is our proof that you are the author of the V campaign? Not long ago I heard a BBC broadcast attributing its origin to the Belgians.)
h. Crowley has never been convicted of any crime in any court (better qualify this statement or check it closely before making so wide a declaration).
i. Scotland Yard gives Crowley a clear record (and better be damn sure of this, a job for the staff).

H. Articles written by figures in public life (I’ve worded this so as not to offend some of these Lady so-and-so’s you speak of who may be militant for woman’s rights. Do you agree?)

1. Bernard Shaw, Tiffany Thayer, Ben Abramson, Menchen, Cabell, Dunsany, Fuller, Maugham, (and who else? Better give me a list.)

I. Songs, national and other (list, please).

J. Finances

1. Donations to campaign fund, subscriptions to publications, pledges, etc.

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, May 1999, June 1999, and July 1999.