1934 April 13 – Sunday Dispatch

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The Missing Book.

Last time I saw Aleister Crowley, he was more interested in a new game he had invented than in magic. It was played with a football against the wall of a garage, the ball being both hit with the fist or kicked, as desired.

Curiously enough, I happened last Friday to dine in a house where the host possesses a copy of Crowley’s book “Goetia”. It was alleged by the defense, that, if they knew where to lay their hands on a copy they would be able to prove that Crowley had dabbled in black magic.

Drivel To Me.

It was privately printed – a thin book with vellum covers. The owner said that he thought there were about five copies in existence. Personally, if I read the book twenty times it would prove nothing. You never saw much apparent gibberish in your life. The illustrations consist of masses of cryptic signs which are equally meaningless to the uninitiated.

Ointment That Failed.

At the same time as Crowley demonstrated his new game, he gave me a “sex appeal” ointment. This was a noisome concoction which Crowley swore would make the man who rubbed it behind his ears irresistible to the opposite sex. I did not find it so. Thinking a bus a good place to try it out, I boarded one. The only result was that my neighbours of both sexes began sniffing heavily and quickly moved as far from me as possible.

Eventually, I gave it to a postman on the theory that if it would ward off human beings it might be efficacious against savage dogs.

Always Maligned.

Aleister Crowley is an amazing character. He boasts openly that Scotland Yard has built a special room to hold his extensive dossier.

At one time he bought a castle in Scotland and styled himself Lord Boleskine. His death has been reported dozens of times.

He was supposed to have been murdered in Tibet, and was reported to have drowned himself off Portugal. He once told me he had been accused of murder in Chicago when he was really 8,000 miles from the scene of the crime.

Once at a Foyle luncheon, I sat next to Miss Rosa Macaulay. Crowley was to speak on “The Philosophy of Magick.” Such is the power of the Crowley legend that Miss Macaulay turned to me and said; “I don’t mind what he does, as long as he doesn’t turn himself into a goat !”

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