‘Using previously unpublished letters and diaries, Churton explores how Crowley was initiated into the Golden Dawn’s Inner Order in Paris in 1900 and how, in 1902, he relocated to Montparnasse. Soon engaged to Anglo-Irish artist Eileen Gray, Crowley pontificates and parties with English, American, and French artists gathered around sculptor Auguste Rodin: all keen to exhibit at Paris’s famed Salon d’Automne. In 1904 — still dressed as “Prince Chioa Khan” and recently returned from his Book of the Law experience in Cairo — Crowley dines with novelist Arnold Bennett at Paillard’s. In 1908 Crowley is back in Paris to prove it’s possible to attain Samadhi (or “knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”) while living a modern life in a busy metropolis. In 1913 he organizes a demonstration for artistic and sexual freedom at Oscar Wilde’s tomb. Until war spoils all in 1914, Paris is Crowley’s playground.’
Drawing on previously unpublished diaries and letters, Tobias Churton provides the first detailed treatment of the final years of Crowley’s life, from 1932 to 1947. He opens with Crowley’s nick-of-time escape from the Nazi takeover in Germany and his return home to England, flat broke. Churton offers extensive confirmation of Crowley’s work as a secret operative for MI5 and explores how Crowley saw World War II as the turning point for the “New Aeon.”
Amazon have announced the planned publication in December 2019 of the latest in Tobias Churton’s series of biographies: Aleister Crowley in India: The Secret Influence of Eastern Mysticism on Magic and the Occult. Follow Aleister Crowley through his mystical travels in India, which profoundly influenced his magical system as well as the larger occult world.
Tobias Churton: Some people may come to Crowley through rock n roll. Led Zeppelin III (1971) had “Do what thou wilt” inscribed on its run-out groove, if memory serves, and I suppose this gave the music a kind of free-form, libertarian rationale. However “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do as thou wilt”, so people in search of mere kicks of self-indulgence might be disappointed when they discover Crowley was a stickler for discipline!
We are pleased to be welcoming back Tobias Churton to celebrate the launch of his latest publication, Aleister Crowley in America. Subtitled Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World, Tobias’ book promises to explore key aspects of Crowley’s American escapades, including details of his travels, passions, literary and artistic endeavours, sex magick, and psychedelic experimentation, as well as an investigation of Crowley’s undercover intelligence adventures that actively promoted U.S. involvement in WWI.
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LAShTAL.COM is grateful to Tobias Churton, author of Aleister Crowley: The Biography, for his participation in an interview for the site. Related Images: