John Bull. 17th March 1923
A WIZARD OF WICKEDNESS.
A new mass of evidence which we have secured regarding the criminal excesses and revolting debauchery of Aleister Crowley, the degenerate poet and occultist, traitor and drug fiend, who has established an Abbey of Lust in Cefalu, Sicily, more than bears out the startling revelations which we have already made. This article describes the terrible experiences of one of his woman victims in London.
At Cefalu, in Sicily, there lives a renegade Englishman whose name, Aleister Crowley, is familiar to the readers of John Bull. The record of his infamies have appeared from time to time in the pages of this journal, and we are in the unique position to disclose the present activities of one of the most shameless degenerates who ever boasted of his British birth.
It is hard to say with certainty whether Crowley is man or beast; certainly he seems to be possessed of uncanny powers, hard to reconcile with the attributes of decent humanity. Unhappily, he has chosen to employ his gifts in the most depraved fashion, and at Cefalu has established a University of Vice within the portals of which more than one tragedy has of late been enacted. His own wife, herself a cultured woman, was driven mad by his malpractice’s, and he succeeded in achieving the same end in the case of another girl of barely twenty-two years of age, a member of an old Wiltshire family.
The tragic experiences of that girl at the hands of this devil incarnate have been unfolded to us since her recovery from the effects of his influence. It is a story so extraordinary weird that it seems hard to believe that such happenings could have taken place right in the very heart of London, but there is no gainsaying the solid truth of her assertions.
We reveal the facts in the hope and belief that they bring home to officialdom the urgency of dealing promptly and effectively with the beast by securing his extradition from Sicily and placing him on trial in this country.
We hope, too, that the eminent University professor whom we know is contemplating proceeding to Cefalu to "study the Cabbala" with Crowley this spring, will take heed of the true character of the man whose guest he proposes to be.
Crowley had a large studio in the Fulham Road, fitted up as a sot of Rajah’s temple, in which, with his male and female acolytes, he performed various sacrificial and other heathen rites of a nature quite indescribable, when the young girl whom we have referred first encountered him. At that time he was an attractive and almost handsome man, and his fluent and intensely interesting talk of the strange places he had been to and the wonderful sights he had seen made a deep impression on the girl (whom we will call Miss N.). She found herself fascinated by his conversation and became a keenly enthusiastic listener to his dissertations upon the weird and wonderful adventures he had experienced, despite the fact that she was at the time engaged to be married to a young doctor - to whom indeed, she owes the restoration of her reason. Her lover was later killed in the war. With no idea of the true character of the depraved wretch who was cunningly inveigling her into his clutches, as he had inveigled others before, Miss. N. allowed herself to be persuaded to pay a visit to his Fulham Road "Studio". When she arrived there she was received by Crowley, who had dressed himself up in a typical magicians robe, and to her amazement, and no little amusement, after showing her around the place, he proceeded to perform a strange sort of religious ceremony, offering up prayers and singing an incantation in a foreign language. Miss N., having come to the conclusion that the man was not entirely in his right senses, started to make a tour of inspection of the weirdly fitted up room. When she opened the cupboard, however, she fell back in horror, for facing her were two grinning skeletons.
She swung around to find Crowley gazing down at her with a peculiarly fixed stare. Then in a low vicious voice he said : "I’ll add you to those if you don’t do as I tell you."
It is Miss. N.’s opinion that the man had lost control of himself for the moment, for he quickly recovered and appeased her fear to some extent by giving her tea, and talking rationally about his favourite subject, the occult. He also handed her a book to read, which she discovered was of a vile nature, and dealt with the revolting theme of driving people mad with suggestion.
All during the visit, however, Crowley maintained the manner of an Eastern mystic, and to please him Miss.N. pretended to enter into the spirit of the thing. The climax came, however, when he persuaded her to drink a curious concoction he had prepared. Soon after taking it, the deluded girl became sick and faint, and finally fell asleep.
What took place while she was unconscious, she does not know. Sufficient to say that she afterwards felt powerless to resist his invitation to visit him with the result that she became a frequenter of the studio. The outcome of these visits was that she learned to take cocaine along with several other young girl disciples of this degenerate scoundrel.
At last when alone with Crowley in his "Temple" one day, Miss. N., who was by this time in an extremely nervous and excitable condition, was terrified to see a large rat run across the room. It had been released by Crowley as part of a hideous experiment he was carrying out with this girl.
He taunted her with being afraid. She denied this, whereupon Crowley offered to put her to the test by daring her to allow him to hypnotise her. She replied that he couldn’t, as her will was so strong, but he might try.
He did, and with terrible effect. First he gave her something to drink, then holding her gaze with his, he said slowly : "Rats are the first stage of madness - you won’t forget."
As he said this he touched her repeatedly in different parts of the body, everywhere in fact except on the throat. In her sworn statement Miss. N. says : "When I awoke I saw that it was four hours later. I don’t know what he had done to me, but I was filled with terror."
The doctor as soon as he learned the true cause of her condition, called at Crowley’s studio to teach him a lesson, but the wily wretch had fled, though he returned later to resume his depraved practices.
These are the bare unvarnished facts about this girl’s experiences at the hands of the man who now seeks to staff his loathsome home of lust in Sicily with British girls and men, and who will undoubtedly succeed if drastic measures are not taken to prevent him.
Already five children are in his clutches. Two he claims as his own, but the other three have undoubtedly been kidnapped of lured into his den by his misguided and deluded satellites.
Are such outrages to be allowed to continue unchecked? She fled from the place, and in her own room fell into a deep sleep, or rather nightmare, for when she awoke she was literally in the throes of madness. "I saw a big rat jump out of a drawer," she says, "followed by another and another. Soon the room was filled with rats. Everything I touched turned into rats, even the hairs on my head. I was raving mad."
The rat obsession continued until the restoration of her reason was almost despaired of, but her young doctor fiancee persisted in his efforts to combat the vile work of Crowley and gradually she recovered sanity and health.