ROCK MUSIC AND SATANIST
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Satanist Aleister Crowley (born Edward Alexander Crowley) (1875-1947) has
had a large influence upon modern rock music. The following overview of
Crowley’s life is from Hungry for Heaven by Steve
“Born in 1875, Aleister Crowley had, like the Rolling
Stones, rebelled against a regulated small-town background. He’d been
raised in Leamington, Warwickshire, by parents who were members of the
Strict Brethren, a fundamentalist Christian sect. From an early age young
Aleister identified with the enemies of God in the Bible stories that were
read to him. In particular he identified with the antichrist predicted in
the book of Revelation. In 1898 he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn, a magical society.
“Most of Crowley’s adult life was
dedicated to indulging in everything he believed God would hate:
performing sex magic, taking heroin, opium, hashish, peyote and cocaine,
invoking spirits, and even once offering himself to the Russian
authorities to help destroy Christianity. He wrote volumes of books that
he believed were dictated to him by a spirit from ancient Egypt called
Aiwass. “To worship me take wine and strange drugs,” the spirit
conveniently told him. “Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture. Fear
not that any God shall deny thee for this.” …
“Crowley finished his
life as a sick, wasted heroin addict given to black rages and doubts about
the value of his life’s work. His last words as he passed into a coma on
December 1, 1947, were, “I am perplexed…” (Steve Turner, Hungry for
Heaven, pp. 92,97,98).
Aleister’s father Edward was a Brethren
preacher, but he had inherited a fortune from his father who Crowley
Ale. Edward died when Aleister was eleven and the son inherited the
fortune. From this inheritance, Aleister financed his satanic career. He
began torturing and killing animals at age twelve. Crowley was a heroin
addict and a sexual pervert. His Christian mother referred to him as “The
Great Beast of Revelation whose number is 666,” and he was pleased with
the title. He was convinced that he was the reincarnation of the magician
Eliphas Levi, who died the year Crowley was born. Crowley also believed he
had lived other lives, including that of Pope Alexander VI. Crowley
claimed that dark powers gave him the words to his “Book of the Law.” His
first wife, Rose, died in a mental asylum. His second wife also went
insane. “Five mistresses committed suicide, and scores of his concubines
ended in the gutter as alcoholics, drug addicts, or in mental
institutions” (Hellhounds on Their Trail, p. 56).
philosophy was as follows —
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole
of the law.”
“Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture. Fear
not that any God shall deny thee for this.”
“I do not wish to argue
that the doctrines of Jesus, they and they alone, have degraded the world
to its present condition. I take it that Christianity is not only the
cause but the symptom of slavery” (Crowley, The World’s Tragedy, p.
“That religion they call Christianity; the devil they
honor they call God. I accept these definitions, as a poet must do, if he
is to be at all intelligible to his age, and it is their God and their
religion that I hate and will destroy” (Crowley, The World’s
Tragedy, p. xxx).
Crowley studied Buddhism and Hindu yoga,
following in the footsteps of Helena Blavatsky, and did much to popularize
these in the West.
In 1922, Crowley published Dairy of a Drug
Fiend, which was about the use of cocaine. He described the widespread
use of cocaine among Hollywood stars, which he described as
“cocaine-crazed sexual lunatics.”
As noted, Crowley died a wasted
heroin addict given to rages and doubts. His last words were “I am
perplexed…” Crowley worshipped the demon god Pan, the god of sexuality and
lust. His “Hymn to Pan” was read at his funeral: “I rave and I rape and I
rip and I rend/ Everlasting world without end!”
Crowley has had a
great influence on rock & roll. The International Times voted
Crowley “the unsung hero of the hippies.” One man who helped popularized
Crowley’s work among rockers is avant-garde film artist Kenneth Anger. He
claimed that his films were inspired by Crowley’s philosophy and called
them “visual incantations” and “moving spells.” Anger considered Crowley a
unique genius. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page of Led
Zeppelin both scored soundtracks for Anger’s films about Crowley. See “Led
Zeppelin” for more about Page’s enthusiasm for Crowley.
photo appeared on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album cover. The Beatles
testified that the characters who appeared on the album were their
“heroes.” John Lennon explained to Playboy magazine that “the whole
Beatle idea was to do what you want … do what thou wilst, as long as it
doesn’t hurt somebody” (Lennon, cited by David Sheff, The Playboy
Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, p. 61). This was precisely
what Crowley taught.
Ozzy Osbourne called Crowley “a phenomenon of
his time” (Circus, Aug. 26, 1980, p. 26). Ozzy even had a song
called “Mr. Crowley.” “You fooled all the people with magic/ You waited on
Satan's call / … Mr. Crowley, won't you ride my white horse…”
the back cover of the Doors 13 album, Jim Morrison and the other
members of the Doors are shown posing with a bust of Aleister Crowley.
David Bowie referred to Crowley in his song “Quicksand” from the
album The Man Who Sold the World.
Graham Bond thought he
was Crowley’s illegitimate son and recorded albums of satanic rituals with
his band Holy Magick.
Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson
said: “… we’ve referred to things like the tarot and ideas of people like
Aleister Crowley” (Circus, Aug. 31, 1984). Their song “The Number
of the Beast” said, “666, the number of the beast/ 666, the one for you
and me.” Crowley was called the Beast.
Daryl Hall of the rock duo
Hall and Oates admits that he follows Crowley. “I became fascinated with
Aleister Crowley, the nineteenth-century British magician who shared those
beliefs. … I was fascinated by him because his personality was the
late-nineteenth-century equivalent of mine—a person brought up in a
conventionally religious family who did everything he could to outrage the
people around him as well as himself” (Rock Lives: Profiles and
Interviews, p. 584). Hall owns a signed and numbered copy of Crowley’s
The Book of Thoth (about an Egyptian god).
of the Police, has spent many hours studying Crowley’s
Stiv Bators, lead singer for The Dead Boys and Lords of
the New Church, had a song titled “Do What Thou Wilt/ This Is the Law,”
after the philosophy of Satanist Aleister Crowley. In another song Bators
sang: “I heard the Devil curse/ I recognized my name.”
Timothy Leary was a Crowley enthusiast. He said: “I’ve been an admirer of
Aleister Crowley. I think that I’m carrying on much of the work that he
started over a hundred years ago … He was in favor of finding yourself,
and ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ under love. It was a
very powerful statement. I’m sorry he isn’t around now to appreciate the
glories he started” (Late Night America, Public Broadcasting
Network, cited by Hells Bells, Reel to Real Ministries).
The Marilyn Manson song “Misery Machine” contains the lyrics,
“We’re gonna ride to the abbey of Thelema.” The Abbey of Thelema was the
temple of Satanist Aleister Crowley.
“And have no fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for
what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor.