Saturday June 28th Dr. Richard Spence on Coast to Coast
Saturday June 28th 11pm Pacific
Professor of History, Dr. Richard Spence will discuss his new book, Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult, tonight on Coast to Coast AM640 radio show.
Below is a link to the coast to coast website.
I shall be tuning in..
I listened to some of the show last night---a whole evening
of Coast to Coast dedicated to speaking about Crowley
and his relationship to the British press and government.
I may even check out Spence's biography on Crowley.
Thanks for the heads up.
RE: The Crowley - Spy question
What makes me think this was true is: If he was really a traitor, ripped up his passport etc then how would he get his passport back? He may have been a British government asset.
He didn't rip up his passport: he was eccentric but he was no fool.
But the fundamental point of your post is sound: part of the supporting evidence that Crowley was an "asset" is the lack of action taken against him by the authorities.
Owner and Editor
Yes it seems that the MI5/MI6 silence speaks volumes as they never reveal agents period.
What i find interesting is tho the the CIA always called him "Sir Aleister Crowley" and actually spoke almost favorably about him in the released papers i have read in relation to parsons.
Did they actually know his role within the MI5 or MI6?
The CIA was not involved in this matter (not then founded); I think you probably mean the FBI.
Although they questioned AC a couple of times they do not seem to have been following him about. They did, for instance, follow Jeanne Foster (Hilarion) using a three man team when she travelled by train between towns and used a false name (Julie Calhain) to check in at a hotel.
I got this from Footnote.com where it is possible to buy access for 1 month for not much money. I suspect there is an easier way under FOI if you know how, which I don't.
Generally I agree with Spence.
Yes apologies... your 100% correct... FBI.
I do find it strange that they wouldnt be following him about or have an interest in him due to him writing for German run The Fatherland paper, not to mention the allegations that had been dropped at his door by various countries along his travels.
Possibly this could reflect the stance the FBI knew of his status in the international secret service and had an agreement with the british government not to show an interest in him etc.
A man of such renown and no paper trail by the FBI... something does seem right to me and the FBI papers will prob never be released IMO.
I'd suggest that it would look very fishy to the Germans if a known sympathiser was not being monitored, therefore it would make sense that they at least go through the motions of having him followed etc.
For convenience, the program is here:
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Owner and Editor
Well I thought I would buy the book and wish I had saved myself the money. I did not read it thoroughly but the parts I did read were crap. I think it takes the word speculation to a new level.
Why would the British government hire somebody like Crowley as a spy? he stands out like a bulldogs balls so his chances of getting into a place, gathering informating, then escaping undetected are pretty slim.
I came across this topic in the David Icke forum where people make all sorts of crazy speculations about crowley and the OTO. You try to highlight the fact that a well known person would be an ineffective spy but suddenyl they go deaf and blind.
I guess is it easy to make a reputation off the back of a dead man. Who can refute the claims?
Its my opinion due to the infamous image and ridicule AC received in his own country and his obvious links with Magick and the Occult the the Nazi Occult machine would be very interested in him.
Therefore it would also be relatively easy for him to become a spy.
He would have been the least likely person the British government could have chosen but one who could understand how the Thule Society operated.
I suggest that you read "Hilter : The Occult Messiah" by Gerald Suster, if you can get your hands on a copy.
I found the book to be interesting, and there was a great deal of research by the author. It's my opinion after the first reading that there was some intelligence work of some sort, but that the author considerably overeggs the pudding, casting Crowley's involvement as much greater than it actually was. For instance, it was the author's assertion that the locations of the Magical Retirements of 1918 were chosen for espionage purposes. He also posits that the location of the Abbey in Cefalu was chosen in order to be able to keep an eye on comings and goings.
In my view there is undoubtedly something of interest there, but there's a great deal of speculation on the basis of little fact.
It may have been the case, back in those days, that British citizens abroad - especially at a time of conflict - were approached on an informal basis to keep their eyes and ears open and report on anything of interest.
He also posits that the location of the Abbey in Cefalu was chosen in order to be able to keep an eye on comings and goings.
Would you care to elaborate, 'comings and goings' who?
Agreed, Mr. Staley, a *great* amount of research by the author. To be sure, he can certainly be accused of speculation, but the basic facts he presents sans speculation are good enough to require revisions in all previously written biographies. It seems that Crowley must have been an operative, but not an agent of Her Majesty's intelligence services.
It must be said that "Aleister" moved within the higher circles of Knowledgable people with ease, and no doubt made a number of "contacts" which would have been useful to the british-secret-service. Besides, his talent of inspiring the Nazi Occult Societys kept Hitler somewhat "at bay" from the realities of War. Hitlers research into the Vhril society cost much money and as such limited his war-mongering machinery, He both wanted domination and Occult power, but the latter took a lot of resources, giving the british-agents in Nazi dominated areas a head start! Yes Aleister gave some "assistance" but no doubt "gained occult knowledge" he hitherto would not have normally aquired. He was no 007, but he was a good conversationalist and his charisma would have charmed the "serpent-within" from many a female german aquaintance! Naasbite
Crowley's connection to the British Military was through the late Commander King Bull, who was in the Malaysian theater of operations during WWII.
In March this year I visited a series of lectures to commemorate the outbreake of the World War I. One of the lecturers was Keith Jeffery, currently the Professor of British history at Queen's University Belfast, specializing in modern British, British Imperial, and Irish history. In 2005, he was commissioned by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) to write an authorized history for the organization's centenary, covering its founding in 1909 up through to 1949. It was published in 2010.
In the introduction to his lecture British Intelligence and the First World War, he said that MI6's standard answer to difficult questions was "We can neither confirm nor deny if this is true.", and this was the answer that he - with a smile - gave me when I after his lecture asked him if Aleister Crowley had worked for British Intelligence. He also said that his impression was that the time Crowley was in Germany in the Thirties, is the period he is most likely to have been of interest for Intelligence work.
Another of the lecturers was Thomas Boghardt, a senior historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. Thomas Boghardt has written the book Spies of the Kaiser: German Covert Operations in Great Britain during the First World War Era published in 2004, and the title of his lecture was: German Intelligence in World War 1: Tactical Victories and Strategic Failure. He told me that the German Embassy in the USA officially distanced itself from Aleister Crowley's pro-German propagandist employer George Sylvester Viereck in 1916, because the latter was considered a loose cannon.
On page 110 and 111 in Colin Wilson' book Aleister Crowley The Nature of the Beast (The Aquarian Press 1987 edition), the subject matter of Crowley supposedly working for British interests in America is covered. The following is quoted from page 111 of the said book:
"Years later, John Symonds wrote to Crowley's 'friend' Commodore Sir Guy Gaunt*, director of British Intelligence in America, to ask if it was really true that Crowley was working for British interests in America. Gaunt replied:
I think you describe him exactly when you refer to him as a 'small time traitor.' As regards his activities, I think they were largely due to a frantic desire for advertisement - he was very anxious to keep his name before the public somehow or other.
But he [Gaunt] revealed that the British government was sufficiently worried about Crowley's activities to recall Gaunt from America to discuss what could be done; Gaunt urged that Crowley and The Fatherland were too unimportant to be worth worrying about."
* Wikipedia article about Guy Gaunt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Gaunt
I have written more on Aleister Crowley in relation to Intelligence service work in the thread 'Spreading Germs of Hate' by Viereck --- http://www.lashtal.com/forum/http://www.lashtal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=0