1922 – Sunday Express

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Sunday Express, Circa Late 1922/1923.


The revelations in the “Sunday Express” recently on obscene orgies carried on by Aleister Crowley – “The Beast 666” as he styles himself – in his “abbey” at Cefalu, Sicily, have been followed by a sinister and tragic happening.

Information has just reached this newspaper of his two latest victims. one of them a brilliant young English university man, a writer, is dead.

His young wife, a beautiful girl prominent in London artistic circles, arrived in London two days ago in a state of collapse. She is unable to give more than a hint of the horrors from which she has escaped.


She said, however, to a “Sunday Express” representative yesterday that the story of Aleister Crowley’s sexual debauches and drug orgies as published in this newspaper far understates the real horror of life in the “abbey” at Cefalu, where he keeps his women and practises black magic.

This young girl, whose name and that of her husband the “Sunday Express” withholds in deference to the parents’ sorrow, said that Crowley offered her husband a secretarial position last autumn when in London. The Beast is possessed of a persuasive smile and suave manners. The young couple had no idea of the true character of the place to which he was inviting them. As the offer seemed to mean travel and congenial work the young husband – a boy of twenty-two – accepted it.

Once they were in Sicily, however, they found they had been trapped in an inferno, a maelstrom of filth and obscenity. Crowley’s purpose was to corrupt them both to his own ends.

They resisted him and his women with all the _______ they could summon. The wife was forced to do the cooking for the nine people in the house.


Then suddenly the boy husband fell ill of enteritis, due to the insanitary conditions there, and was too weak to be moved. The girl-wife was left alone to fight the Beast 666. Since she defied him in every way, and managed to keep herself clear of the bestialities of the house, he turned her out one night. All that night she was unable to return into the “abbey” on the hills above Cefalu to tend to her dying husband. Two days later the boy was dead.

The girl who had made so courageous a fight against the Beast who sought to destroy her was given money by the British Consul to return to England. Crowley was obliged to let her go. But he made dire threats of vengeance if she told what she knew.

She has not told anything more than has already been published in this newspaper, but she is still in danger from the Beast. The “Sunday Express” is putting the facts of this tragic case in the hands of Scotland yard.


It is among clean minded and inexperienced that he seeks his victims. This latest tragedy has brought to light the fact that the Beast 666 has laid all plans of establishing a colony of Oxford youths in Cefalu, knows how to word them enticingly, and leaves out any hint of the unspeakable facts of his “religion” until such time as he has his victim firmly in his clutches.

The facts are too unutterably filthy to be detailed in a newspaper, for they have to do with sexual orgies that touch the lowest depths of depravity. The whole is mixed up in a hocus-pocus of doubtful mysticism of which Crowley is “the Purple Priest.”

Children under ten, whom the Beast keeps at his “Abbey” , are made to witness horrible sexual debauches unbelievably revolting. Filthy incense is burned and cakes made of goats blood and honey are consumed in the window-less room where the Beast conducts his rites. The rest of the time he lies in a room hung with obscene pictures collected all over the world, saturating himself with drugs.


An interesting piece of information has just reached the “Sunday Express” Crowley has outgrown the “abbey” at Cefalu. He desires to extend his activities but lacks the money to do so. He put the problem before some of the spiritualists that attend his magic rites.

Suing the “Sunday Express” for £5,000 that would build a new “abbey” with the money that came the command.

The Beast foresaw difficulties. He could not risk brining suit himself, for all the statements made in this newspaper were correct. If they had not been he would have brought suit long ago. Yet the “spirit” was insistent.

“£5,000 for a new abbey!”

So the Beast is sending one of his women to London to see what she can do. The “Sunday Express” promises Crowley that it intends to pursue it’s investigations with the utmost ruthlessness, and that next Sunday it will endeavour to supply him with considerable further material on which to base any action which he may care to bring.

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