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Shiva
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10/04/2015 8:18 pm  

"Let any Probationer who has [done his work] ... read through this note of his office, and sign it, paying the sum of One Guinea for Liber VII which will be given him on his initiation, and One Guinea for this Portfolio of Class D publications, B-G."

"The guinea is a coin of approximately one quarter ounce of gold that was minted in the Kingdom of England and later in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1814.

"It was the first English machine-struck gold coin, originally worth one pound sterling, equal to twenty shillings; but rises in the price of gold relative to silver caused the value of the guinea to increase, at times to as high as thirty shillings; from 1717 until 1816, its value was officially fixed at twenty-one shillings. Following that, Great Britain adopted the gold standard and guinea became a colloquial or specialised term.

"Even after the coin ceased to circulate, the name guinea was long used to indicate the amount of 21 shillings (£1.05 in decimalised currency). The guinea had an aristocratic overtone; professional fees and payment for land, horses, art, bespoke tailoring, furniture and other luxury items were often quoted in guineas until a couple of years after decimalisation in 1971" - Wikipedia

So a guinea is just about a pound.

1. In Crowley's early years, he inherited $100.000 (dollars), which in 1967 I saw had been increased by 10x to equal $1M (in '67). And it seems like everything is 15x the '67 rate, so AC would have inherited the equivalent (today) of $15M. Is that more or less correct?

2. At the same rate, One Guinea (in, say, 1910) would be $150 today. That would be a lot to pay for Liber VII, and the same for a packet of rituals.

I don't know if I'm doing this (^) right, and I appeal to some of you Brits to confirm, deny or alter the amount. Today, what would a Probationer pay for Liber VII (by '10 standatds)? What is One Guinea (circa 1010) worth today, considering inflation?

The word of sin is inflation >:(


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OKontrair
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10/04/2015 9:56 pm  

I remember guineas used to express prices for books and clothing.

"So a guinea is just about a pound."  Not really. A guinea was always greater than a pound and always greater by exactly 5%.

Another complication is the exchange rate between the dollar and pound. Between 1900 and 1918 there were consistently $4.75-$4.85 to the pound.

http://www.measuringworth.com/exchangepound/

So if Crowley inherited £30,000 he could have exchanged that sum on that day for about $144,000.

Taking the pound to be $4.8 gives a guinea as $5.04 (105%) in 1913 (when inflation records begin)

This site:    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

calculates the result to be $119.49 which is a cumulative rate of 2270.9%

The book in question then would of course be in mint condition.  Book price inflation, even for a shabby copy, would require you to pay many hundreds of dollars for it now.

So the original Crowley price does not look too bad.

OK


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belmurru
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10/04/2015 10:08 pm  

Indeed. According to this calulator -

http://www.concertina.com/calculator/

£1 in 1910 was equivalent to to £296.92 in 2000.

There are other calculators, such as this one -
http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/

The range of values for £1 in 1910 compared to 2013 (the latest date they give) is:

"In 2013, the relative value of £1  0s  0d from 1910 ranges from £89.07 to £740.10."

This depends on whether it is judged by commodity, income, or "project" (I assume that means leverage per pound)

In any case, where the notional value of "one guinea" = "one pound one shilling", it is a lot of money. I think it shows that the A.'.A.'. wanted only a certain class of people.


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Shiva
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10/04/2015 11:01 pm  
"OKontrair" wrote:
"So a guinea is just about a pound."  Not really. A guinea was always greater than a pound and always greater by exactly 5%.

Yes. "Just about" in American English means "approximately."

$119.49

Okay. That's a lot for a book of ~20 pages.

Book price inflation, even for a shabby copy, would require you to pay many hundreds of dollars for it now. So the original Crowley price does not look too bad.

Actually, I'm not interested in the book price or it's value today. I'm trying to assess how much (today) a person would pay to enter Neophyte. So it's improper to charge an initiation fee, but the cost of the documents (by your figures) would be about $239.

Thanks.


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Shiva
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10/04/2015 11:06 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
£89.07 to £740.10." ... I think it shows that the A.'.A.'. wanted only a certain class of people.

That's quite a range. Yes, to wealthy folks, a guinea was probably a token fee. To a working class drudge, it probably was a month's wages ... or more.


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Shiva
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10/04/2015 11:22 pm  

According to The Blue Equinox, OTO Initiation fees were $5.00 each for Minerval through third degree. Using one of those calculators, the "real value" would be $125 today (for each degree).

The 1929 annual subscription (pay up or get out! ;)) in today's values would be:
first degree: $250/yr. second degree: $500/yr; third degree: $750/yr.

Hmm. I wonder what OTO charges today?


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Markus
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10/04/2015 11:23 pm  

While we're at it, tickets to the Rites of Eleusis cost 5 Guineas, i.e. 5 Pounds and 5 Shillings. In his biography on AC, Kaszinski calculates this as ca. 160 USD (IIRC!), whereas I had figured it out to be ca. 350 Euros. Which is correct? For seven shows lasting approximately 2 hours each, the former price is a bargain, and the latter is pretty much what you'd pay today. So, was AC after peoples' money, or not?

Markus


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OKontrair
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10/04/2015 11:47 pm  

The reason for the widely different results in different countries is that inflation differs between places. The Euro calculations must be very difficult because it has to include very varied economies some of which have had hyperinflation in the pre-Euro past.

The range of values in the British example (£89.07 to £740.10.) depends on what you want to compare - for priced things like a book it's the lower value of the two.

Although $119.49 looks a bit steep for a 20 page book it was printed on vellum with gold ink. The Rites of Eleusis deal looks pricey but not outrageous. I think AC was just attempting a normal commercial business venture.

OK


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belmurru
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11/04/2015 5:00 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"belmurru" wrote:
£89.07 to £740.10." ... I think it shows that the A.'.A.'. wanted only a certain class of people.

That's quite a range. Yes, to wealthy folks, a guinea was probably a token fee. To a working class drudge, it probably was a month's wages ... or more.

Yes, your estimate seems just about perfect. I checked for physicians' incomes, which range in our period from (starting out) £300, up to £1000 or more. Certainly this applied to London. I assume lawyers are comparable.

The following article led me to some sources for comparison.

From Greta Jones, ““Strike out Boldly for the Prizes that are Available to You”: Medical Emigration from Ireland 1860–1905” (Med Hist. 2010 Jan; 54(1): 55–74; my emphasis)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793142/

“One frequently quoted cause of emigration was the poverty of Irish doctors in comparison with their counterparts elsewhere in the United Kingdom. A picture of the poverty-stricken Irish Poor Law doctor has come to dominate the historiography of the Irish medical profession. However, comparisons between the financial situation of Irish and English practitioners show a more complex situation. Anne Digby's book on the medical profession in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century has examined the income of general practitioners in England in 1877, 1899 and 1909.(22) According to their gross annual income, Digby divides general practices into four categories. These are: “small”, those which provided an average income of between £300 and £399 per annum; “standard”, those yielding between £400–£599 and £600–£799 annually; “good”, those producing an annual income of £800 to £999; and “first class”, those yielding £1,000 to £1,499, together with a small number worth over £1,500. She suggests that, in 1877, three fifths of country practices in England were “standard practices” and a remaining fifth divided between small and first class. Urban practices, on the whole, provided greater opportunities for average higher incomes. Professional overcrowding in the 1890s led to an increase in the number of small practices but, by 1909, the figures had returned to the 1877 configuration. Digby attributes the recovery of income in that period to the decline in overcrowding in the profession produced by a drop in the number of recruits to medical schools in the 1890s.

Among the sources she used was the Report of the Committee to inquire into the causes which tend to prevent sufficient eligible candidates from coming forward to the Army Medical Department, 1878–1879. This examined the level of remuneration for medical officers in the armed services in comparison with the opportunities available to medical graduates outside. Digby quotes from this to the effect that a new graduate might expect to obtain an income of £300 per annum “within 5 years of commencing practice”, which would rise to £500 within 10 years and peak at around £800–£1,000—standard to good—towards the end of a career.

(22)Anne Digby, Making a medical living: doctors and patients in the English market for medicine, 1720–1911, Cambridge University Press, 1994, Table 5.2, p. 144. This is based on an analysis of practices for sale. See also eadem, The evolution of British general practice 1850–1948, Oxford University Press, 1999.

Digby 1994 (Google Books selections)
http://books.google.fr/books?hl=fr&id=n_uUJyNy9LcC&q=144#v=onepage&q=144&f=false


For the working class, a guinea was a considerably larger percentage of their earnings. Factory workers were paid better than trades.

In Robert C. Allen’s essay “Real Incomes in the Englsih-Speaking World” (1994), figure 6.5 shows that the average annual income in the UK for a manufacturing worker from 1907-1911 was about £35 (labourers and bricklayers made about £8-£12 per annum, extrapolating from the previous figures in the article, which measures in pence per day (240 pence=£1)).
http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/users/allen/realincomes.pdf

So for a factory worker to become a Probationer in A.’.A.’. would cost about a week and a half of work (assuming a six-day work week), while for a labourer it would be a month at least. Workers in North America were paid very much better.

So, judged by the salary (hardly the total income) of a professional, 1 guinea is about 1/10 of 1 percent to 2/10 of 1 percent; small change. That fee alone would keep out all but the most ambitious and determined of the working class, however. Compared to American incomes of today, 1/10-2/10 of 1 percent of an income of $50,000 to $100,000 makes the fee about $100, which would not deter anyone with a sincere interest in spiritual initiation.


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Shiva
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11/04/2015 6:38 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
... makes the fee about $100, which would not deter anyone with a sincere interest in spiritual initiation.

No. And, as estimated and posted, the OTO "early grades would pay the eqivalent of $125. So, I guess that's all fair enough by today's standards.

OTO, at http://oto-usa.org/oto/dues-fees/ tells us the Minerval and first degree are now $42 each and the annual dues are $42 (they go up fast from there, with a third degree paying $210 per annum), so, relatively speaking and paying, things have gotten cheaper.


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Los
 Los
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11/04/2015 6:47 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
OTO, at http://oto-usa.org/oto/dues-fees/ tells us the Minerval and first degree are now $42 each and the annual dues are $42 (they go up fast from there, with a third degree paying $210 per annum)

If I'm reading that chart correctly, third degree pays $126 in yearly dues. The extra $84 seems to be a one-time "initiation fee" charged to cover the cost of the ceremony. Of course, these are just the dues to the Grand Lodge -- I'm pretty sure there are also dues charged by local bodies, but these are substantially smaller.


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Shiva
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11/04/2015 6:59 pm  
"Los" wrote:
... third degree pays $126 in yearly dues. The extra $84 seems to be a one-time "initiation fee" ...

You are reading the chart correctly. I was focusing incorrectly. I will return the extra $84 you were overcharged this year 😀


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