Crowley puts the IQ into QI

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My thanks to our regular correspondent, Frater FS, for this piece…

At last, a newspaper reference to Crowley bereft of sex, drugs and rock n roll. The Daily Telegraph (January 2) carried a column from the creators of BBC quiz show QI in which the duo dwell on the topic of magic. AC gets his own subsection under Magick – complete with the K – which reads:

“According to the British occultist Aleister Crowley, adding a final “k” subtly changes the meaning of magic. “Magick”, according to Crowley, was ‘any act designed to bring about intentional change’. ‘We must not exclude potato growing or banking,’ he said. ‘Let us take a very simple example of a Magickal act: that of a man blowing his nose.’ Contemporary occultists tend to apply it less generally, restricting magick to the influencing of events by mystical or paranormal means.”

The writers, John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, doff their hat to other magicians including French illusionist Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, and the legendary Harry Houdini. Little known but equally fascinating is the reference to Jasper Maskelyne, a stage magician hired by the Government during WWII to create large scale illusions – for example fake tanks and fake railway lines – to confuse the Germans. Given AC’s reported role in wartime intelligence, might the pair perhaps have met?

Frater FS

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