July 22, 2024
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Sunday Express 26th November 1922

The “Sunday Express” last week demanded the suppression of a book, “The Dairy of a Drug Fiend.” Written by a person called Aleister Crowley. “At the baser and more bestial horrors of the book it is impossible to hint.” Wrote Mr. James Douglas. The publishers state that it is their intention to push sales of this pernicious work.

The “Sunday Express” was determined that the public should be protected, and made the fullest investigation into the career of the author. These investigations have produced the most astonishing revelations. The man Aleister Crowley is the organiser for pagan orgies. He engaged in pro-German propaganda during the war. He published obscene attacks on the King. He made dramatic renunciations of his British birthright. He proclaimed himself “King of Ireland.” He stole money from a woman. He now conducts an “Abbey” in Sicily

He was in London a month ago, unknown to anyone except his small circle of intimates.
This is the man whose latest work is a deliberate symposium of obscenity, blasphemy, and indecency.

He was in London a month ago, unknown to anyone except his small circle of intimates.

This is the man whose latest work is a deliberate symposium of obs

Man of Many Names

His picture was painted in 1911 by Augustus John, and this year by Jacob Kramer. The latter picture is now on exhibition in London, entitled, “The Beast 666” – which is how the artist saw him.
The “Sunday Express” in reiterating it’s demand for the withdrawal from circulation of this volume, feels certain that these revelations will induce the publishers – a firm of high repute – to reconsider the decision.
The following is the full life history and record of this sinister author :-
Aleister – formerly Aleister – Crowley was a notorious character in London before the war. He had several aliases which he used on various occasions, including A. E. Crawley, Count von Zonaref, Alastair McGregor, and Earl of Middlesex. He was, according to his own statement, born at Leamington on October 12, 1875, and is reported to be the son of a Kentish brewer. He is further stated to have studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1896.


Crowley is an author and journalist by profession, and a poet in spite of the morbidity and perversity of his work, of undoubted accomplishment. His underground activities are less avowable. He came under the notice of the police in 1900, when he stole £200 from a widow with whom he cohabitated; the woman, however, refused to prosecute. According to his own statement, Crowley was exploring in Kashmir in 1902 under the auspices of the Australian Government. He reappeared in 1903, when he married at Strathpeffer a young widow, Mrs Skerrat, formerly Miss Rose Kelly; he then called himself McGregor of Boleskine. After this Crowley went to Paris, where he celebrated what he called “Isis Worship”. His wife divorced him, and he subsequently married a violinist named Leila Waddell.
The unclear forms of occultism, purued as a means of making money, have been Crowley’s chief interest from his early days. He has made various unsuccessful efforts to get recognised by the English Freemasons. He organised an association known as the A.A. (Atlantean Adepts.), and later became a member of a Rosicrucian Society, known as the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis). His adepts begin every letter and conversation with the greeting, “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the Law” (evidently suggested by Rabelais’ “Fay ce que voudrais”), and end up, “Love is the law, Love under will.”
In 1910 Crowley was holding meetings at the Caxton Hall to witness the performance of the “Rites of Eleusis”; he cultivated an immoral society for the worship of the god Pan; and he organised every kind of evil rite including the “Cult of the Beetle” and the Black Mass.


The outbreak of war put an end to Crowley’s activities in England. In November 1914 Crowley went to the United States, where he entered into close relations with the pro-German propagandists. He edited the New York “International”, a German propagandist paper run by the notorious George Silvester Viereck, and published, among other things, an obscene attack on the King and a glorification of the Kaiser.
Crowley ran occultism as a side line, and seems to have been known as the “Purple Priest.” Later on he publicly destroyed his British passport before the Statue of Liberty, declared in favour of the Irish Republican cause, and made a theatrical declaration of “war” on England. According to another version of this story he proclaimed himself at the same time “King of Ireland.”


During his stay in America Crowley was associated with a body known as the “Secret Revolutionary Committee,” which was working for the establishment of an Irish Republic. He is known also as the writer of a defeatist manifesto circulated in France in 1915. Crowley arrived in France at the beginning of 1920, and subsequently went to Cefalu, Sicily. Here he was head of a community of kindred spirits established at the Villa Santa Barbara, renamed by them “Ad Spiritum Sanctum.” Free sexual intercourse seems to have been one of their tenets.