Even I’m sort of in disbelief that this is happening a mere 2 years after I started writing about what a human piece of trash Aleister Crowley actually was. I think this happened because an OTO member publicly defended Crowley’s blatant racism/sexism (in a since deleted post), but I didn’t have enough energy to track down the entire story. Either way, here’s their statement (from the OTO’s official website):
“It is no secret that Aleister Crowley’s writings include a number of statements that are demeaning to women and to specific racial or ethnic groups. We make no attempt here to justify or explain away those statements. They are what they are, and they are now part of our history as an organization. However, at this time, we find that ideas of the inherent superiority of one sex over the other, or of the inherent superiority or inferiority of specific “races” or ethnicities of humanity, relative to each other, are not supported by the best science, and are contrary to our stated goals of promulgating the Law of Thelema and realizing the age-old vision of the Universal Brotherhood of Man, which includes all Humankind. Therefore, the U.S. Grand Lodge of Ordo Templi Orientis hereby formally and unequivocally rejects all such ideas. O.T.O. draws strength from diversity; we welcome the participation and friendship of Thelemites of all sexes, genders, “races,” and ethnic groups, and from all cultures; and we are committed to opposing their unfair treatment, within and without the Order. We further remain committed to opposing ideas and doctrines–whether religious, political, philosophical, or pseudo-scientific–that tend toward the enslavement of the human spirit, which indwells “every man, every woman, and every intermediately-sexed individual.”
Adopted unanimously, An. Viii Sol in Leo, Luna in Leo; 20 August, 2017 e.v.
Formally ratified and endorsed by the Executive and National Grand Master General, same date.”
I mainly post this for fans of Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary. If you’ll notice, the source on Crowley being a misogynist racist is HIS OWN GODDAMN WRITING (in addition to multiple people who knew him). Look, I dig Wilson and Leary too for the most part but it was pre-internet and they never bothered to sufficiently fact check this idea that Crowley was smart, or that his evil villain schtick was just a “practical joke” like Wilson loved to tell people.
Nope, guy was a full on negative creep who beat and tortured women, giving several of them PTSD. Also, he was quite spectacularly stupid both financially and emotionally. This idea that he was a misunderstood genius and like, the original hippie man, is so inaccurate it’s unreal, but Wilson fans like Douglas Rushkoff are still pushing it to this day. My guess is he’ll be portrayed as brilliant in this new Jack Parsons show, rather than the narcissistic personality disorder having compulsive lying alcoholic junkie sociopath he was. As it turns out, choosing your spiritual heroes based on how much tabloid press they got 100 years ago isn’t necessarily the smartest move. Crazy, I know.