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The Guardian : "Black Magic" Libel Trial (1934)  


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01/07/2020 6:52 am  

From the archive, 13 April 1934: "Black Magic" Libel Action

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 13 April 1934: Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, declines to make himself invisible in court

The "black magic" libel action again came before Mr. Justice Swift and a special jury in the King's Bench Division yesterday.

Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, claimed damages against Miss Nina Hamnett, authoress of a book entitled "Laughing Torso," and Messrs. Constable and Co., Limited, the publishers, and Messrs. Charles Whittingham and Briggs, the printers.

Mr. Crowley complained that the book imputed that he practised "black magic" and he said this was a libel upon him. The defence was a plea of justification.

At the material time Mr. Crowley had a villa on the mountain-side at Cefalu, Sicily, which was known as the "Abbey of Thelema." He denied that he practised "black magic" there. He also denied that a baby mysteriously disappeared, as the defence alleged, from the "Abbey."

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