Daily Telegraph Reporter
Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley, author and poet, who was cross-examined in the High Court about his alleged practise of “black magic” and bloody sacrifice, died yesterday at Netherwood, a Hastings guest house. He was 72.
Crowley, once described as one of the mystery men of Europe, brought a libel action in 1934 over statements in “Laughing Torso,” a book written by Miss Nina Hamnett and published by Constable & Co. Ltd. He was questioned about “magic” he was said to have practised in the “Abbey of Thelema,” at Cefalu in Sicily, and initiates he had there.
Mr. Justice Swift commented to the jury, who stopped the case and awarded verdicts to defendants, “I have never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable stuff as that which has been produced by this man who describes himself as the greatest living poet.”
In 1935 Mr. Crowley, was made bankrupt with liabilities of about £5,000. Four years later it was announced that creditors would receive a first and final dividend of 2d in the pound.