The inter-connection of occultism and espionage goes back at least to the Elizabethan intrigues of Dr. John Dee, and certainly is much older than that. For Crowley, Dr. Dee was a role-model in more ways than one. Occult orders and spy agencies do share much in common. Both are focused on the acquisition and safeguarding of specialised knowledge and embrace secrecy as a cardinal virtue. They are selective in recruitment and members are bound by oaths of silence and loyalty. They operate, so much as possible, outside public view or even public awareness. The pursuit of occult knowledge provides an excellent training ground for espionage and kindred intrigue, and vice versa. As Crowley’s literary creation Sir Anthony Bowling put it, “investigation of spiritualism makes a capital training ground for secret service work, one soon gets up to all the tricks.”

Source: The Magus Was A Spy: Aleister Crowley and the Curious Connections Between Intelligence and the Occult | Alternative