An excerpt from

The Deaths and Afterlife of Aleister Crowley

Ian Thornton

Prologue

‘I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening;

I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.

- Aleister Crowley

They used to call me the most evil man in the world.

The fools said that I was more influential than Jesus. They reckoned I had seduced thousands of women, and even more young men. They claimed I was a friend of Hitler and a rabid lover of a burgeoning Prussia, and then a vile and eager Germany. Some snaggle-toothed and half-baked buffoons said I advocated rape, paedophilia and black magic. They hypothesised, with little regard for fact that I sacrificed children and dined with a vermillion Satan.

My name is Aleister Crowley, The Great Beast. 666. And I am here to tell you the truth.

You see, wouldn't you want to do just that, if instead of being blamed for trying to torch the twentieth century, you had really only ever been responsible, in large parts, for rescuing it.

And what is the point of busting an infernal gut to save a generation, if one then sits by, lights a girthy and corpulent cigar, scratches oneself around the well-cut trouser and watches meekly as quite preventable mischief and horror ensues. Yes, there was adultery, but adultery does not imply marriage, no more than whoredom implies commerce.

You see, the truth is that I was the greatest spy of the twentieth century. The lies were all necessary, as they had been for that other great Englishman, The Scarlet Pimpernel.

For the longest time I could not care less about the conjecture that surrounded my unrivallable degeneracies. So why pipe up now after all these years? I shall get to that almost immediately.

In 1947, I faked my own death in that Sussex seaside town, where the destiny of England was forged, and where I larked as a green-knee’d boy. Hastings.

My life up until ‘47 has its own documentation, partly laid out by me through fact, fiction and myth, and partly by others of varying states of bluster and of a precipitously sliding scale of talent. The factual regurgitation is of tiny consequence and is little more than shoddy typing and juvenile tittle-tattle. It is that lowest and most self-serving bar of memoir. One was even too long-in-the-tooth for it back then. How many times must I tell them that my admission to killing children only referred to the near constant masturbation of my youthhood, my uncoupled ejaculate, my lonesome and spilled seed?

Now, I sit here in a meadow in Shangri-La. My home has been the elevated bliss of this Himalayan mountain lair for almost all the last seven decades. I breathe the thin and life-preserving air that most consider to be mere myth. And yet I am into my fifteenth decade. I feel quite fine.

But I must return.

First however, I must enter into another personal brawl with Death, for He may take me in the mountain pass and turn me to dust as my true age is exposed; just as He has done to so many others. But I itch to fight that fucker one last time before I return to my boys and my girls in Cambridge to save the World for good.

It is 2024. There is a Final Conflict brewing across the world; one between Good and Evil. This is not the simplified fight of white and black that stained much of my life; one of God versus Satan. This is a fight between the Beauty and the Horror within man.

My own true Will has always been to champion the freedom of Man’s spirit, so that he or she can fulfil all dreams and ambitions. This is what I call the Will.

Most of us are built to love and create and soar. Yet there are evil leaders with false smiles, who aim to take the freedoms I have heralded for decades. Mean governments and willing police with billy clubs aim to orchestrate and synchronise a global coup détat across the once-free world. Between them, they know of it as The Crackdown.

But they – those leaders, even in former bastions of decency like London, Paris, Washington - have not reckoned for this Beast’s return. I shall have my Revolution where woman and man shall revel in love and an orgy of their own true destiny.

Only a god such as I can spark the people into an insurgency to keep them and their children free from a totalitarian world. And if I don't do it now, it will be too late. And I also have a promise to keep to my great friend, Mister Churchill.

I don’t know how it will happen. I just know I have to return.

Perhaps, they were never really waiting for Christ’s Second Coming. Perhaps, it was I, who shall lead them to The Promised Land.

And this is why I have written this opus. There may be nothing left of me seconds after I leave here, and the story of the fullest of lives known to this scabrous race called Mankind shall be left to the whispers of those mean and lying bastards. I shan’t let that happen either.

And so you hold my Last Testament. It is the tale of a life, whose status could only be maintained with a closed mouth. Given that any man of distinction really should have rumours about him, this Scarlet Pimpernel, this saviour of mankind, will now tell all.

*

The common defect of all mystical systems previous to that of the Aeon whose Law is Thelema is that there has been no place for Laughter.

– Aleister Crowley