Distributed by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Copyright 2001.

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Updated January 9, 2002 (first published March 19, 2002) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

Famous 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 Turner:

“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).

Crowley’s 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. xxxix).

“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.

Crowley’s 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…”

On 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).

Sting, formerly of the Police, has spent many hours studying Crowley’s writings.

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.”

LSD guru 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 5:11).

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).

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