April 10, 1908: “Wickedest Man in the World” Finishes “The Book Of The Law”

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A Brief History

On April 10, 1908, a Cambridge educated Englishman finished translating The Book of the Law which had been given to him by a messenger of the God, Horus!

Digging Deeper

Aleister Crowley was born into privilege in England and studied philosophy and literature at Cambridge.

Known to revel in his bisexuality, Crowley dabbled in poetry, painting, writing novels and plays, mountaineering, experimenting with drugs, and the occult.  Remembered primarily as the founder of the religion known as Thelema, Crowley claimed to be the prophet of the God Horus and that Crowley’s mission was to guide mankind into the Aeon of Horus!

Crowley claimed he had been approached by Aiwass, a supernatural entity that was the messenger of Horus, and given The Book of the Law orally while Crowley wrote down the English translation.  The transcribing took 3 days, after which Crowley said he was supposed to translate the book into every language in the world, but instead he just distributed the English version to some of his occult acquaintances.

Crowley had largely been living off his inheritance and when that ran low he turned to making some money on the occult circuit, “protecting” people from witchcraft and such.  He traveled the world having all sorts of mystic experiences and revelations, and made his way to the United States in 1914 where he became an anti-British pro-German agitator.  Far from being the traitor he was accused of being, Crowley was actually a double agent working for British Intelligence!

Arriving back in London in 1920, Crowley was broke and wrongly reviled as a traitor which of course was depressing, for which he was prescribed heroin!  Moving to Paris he opened an Abbey of Thelema while continuing his sexually oriented magic acts and drug and sex oriented lifestyle, incorporating cocaine into his routine.  Crowley was accused of forcing followers to drink the blood of sacrificial cats and to cut themselves every time they used the word “I!”

Taking his weird show on the road yet again Crowley went to Sicily and was denounced in newspapers across Europe as “the wickedest man in the world!”  In 1923 Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator, personally ordered Crowley deported causing him to bounce back and forth between London, Tunisia, and Paris. Ending up in Berlin in 1930, Crowley continued to have bizarre sexual affairs with men and women alike, often resulting in physical violence. Although Crowley initially thought Adolf Hitler would make a fine convert to Thelema, when Hitler banned the Ordo Templi Orientis occult organization that Crowley was connected to, Crowley called Hitler a “black magician!”

In failing health, Crowley was turned down for service by British Intelligence and went back to using heroin. Crowley died in 1947 at age 72 of a variety of respiratory ailments.  Crowley was named the “73rd greatest Briton of all time” in a 2002 BBC survey!  Crowley appears on the album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Led Zeppelin and David Bowie refer to him.  Ozzy Osburne actually wrote a song, Mr. Crowley!

Perhaps the most cracked fact of all: Crowley was accused of advocating human sacrifice!

Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Crowley, Aleister. Book of the Law. Weiser Books, 1987.


About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.