Category Archive: C

Jan 13

Scott Douglas Cunningham

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

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Scott Douglas Cunningham (June 27, 1956 – March 28, 1993) was a U.S. writer. Cunningham is the author of several books on Wicca and various other alternative religious subjects.

His work Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, is one of the most successful books on Wicca ever published;[1] he was a friend of notable occultists and Wiccans such as Raymond Buckland, and was a member of the Serpent Stone Family, and received his Third Degree Initiation as a member of that coven.

Early life

Scott Cunningham was born at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, the second son of Chester Grant Cunningham and Rose Marie Wilhoit Cunningham. The family moved to San Diego, California in the fall of 1959 due to Rose Marie’s health problems. The doctors in Royal Oak declared the mild climate in San Diego ideal for her. Outside of many trips to Hawaii, Cunningham lived in San Diego all his life.
Cunningham had one older brother, Greg, and a younger sister, Christine.

When he was in high school he became associated with a girl whom he knew to deal in the occult and covens. This classmate introduced him to Wicca and trained him in Wiccan spirituality. He studied creative writing at San Diego State University, where he enrolled in 1978. After two years in the program, however, he had more published works than several of his professors, and dropped out of the university to write full-time. During this period he had as a roommate, magical author Donald Michael Kraig and often socialized with witchcraft author Raymond Buckland, who was also living in San Diego at the time.

Wicca

Cover of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Cunningham's most successful book

Cover of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Cunningham’s most successful book

In 1980 Cunningham began initiate training under Raven Grimassi and remained as a first-degree initiate until 1982 when he left the tradition to pursue a solo practice of witchcraft.

Cunningham practiced a fairly basic interpretation of Wicca, often worshipping alone, though his book series for solitaries describes several instances in which he worshipped with friends and teachers.

He also believed that Wicca, which had been a closed tradition since the 1950s, should become more open to newcomers.

Cunningham was also drawn to Huna and a range of new age movements and concepts that influenced and coloured his spirituality.

Death

In 1983, Scott Cunningham was diagnosed with lymphoma, which he successfully overcame. In 1990, while on a speaking tour in Massachusetts, he suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis. He suffered from several infections and died in March 1993. He was 36.

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Cunningham

Jan 13

Carlos Castaneda

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

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Carlos Castaneda (birthdate unclear – died April 27, 1998), was an American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology.

Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly a group that he called the Toltecs. The books, narrated in the first person, relate his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” named Don Juan Matus. His 12 books have sold more than 28 million copies in 17 languages. Critics have suggested that they are works of fiction; supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness.

Castaneda withdrew from public view in 1973 to work further on his inner development, living in a large house with three women who he called “Fellow Travellers of Awareness”, and who were ready to cut their ties to family and changed their names. He founded Cleargreen, an organization that promoted tensegrity, purportedly a traditional Toltec regimen of spiritually powerful exercises.

Early life

He moved to the United States in the early 1950s and became a naturalized citizen in 1957. Castaneda was educated at UCLA (B.A. 1962; Ph.D. 1973).Carlos married Margaret Runyan in 1960 and lived with her for half a year.On August 12 1961 CJ Castaneda, AKA Adrian Vashon, was born.[citation needed] Even though another man impregnated Margaret, Carlos insisted that CJ was his son. Carlos is listed on one of CJ’s birth Certificates as the Biological Father. It’s unclear whether Carlos and Margaret were divorced in 1960, 1973, or not at all.

Career

Castaneda’s first three books – The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge; A Separate Reality; and Journey to Ixtlan – were written while he was an anthropology student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He wrote these books as his research log describing his apprenticeship with a traditional “Man of Knowledge” identified as don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian from northern Mexico. Castaneda was awarded his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees based on the work described in these books.

In 1974 his fourth book, Tales of Power, was published and chronicled the end of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Matus. Castaneda continued to be popular with the reading public with subsequent publications.
In his books, Castaneda narrates in first person the events leading to and following after his meeting Matus, a half-Yaqui “Man of Knowledge”, in 1960. Castaneda’s experiences with Matus inspired the works for which he is known. He also says the sorcerer bequeathed him the position of nagual, or leader of a party of seers. He also used the term “nagual” to signify that part of perception which is in the realm of the unknown yet still reachable by man, implying that, for his party of seers, Don Juan was a connection in some way to that unknown. Castaneda often referred to this unknown realm as nonordinary reality.

The term “nagual” has been used by anthropologists to mean a shaman or sorcerer who claims to be able to change into an animal form, or to metaphorically “shift” into another form through magic rituals, shamanism and experiences with psychoactive drugs (e.g., peyote and jimson weed – Datura stramonium).
In all,12 books by Castaneda were published, two posthumously.

Castaneda was the subject of a cover article in the March 5, 1973 issue of Time.The article described him as “an enigma wrapped in a mystery”. When confronted by correspondent Sandra Burton about discrepancies in his personal history, Castaneda responded by saying:

“To ask me to verify my life by giving you my statistics… is like using science to validate sorcery. It robs the world of its magic and makes milestones out of us all.”

The interviewer wrote:

“Castaneda makes the reader experience the pressure of mysterious winds and the shiver of leaves at twilight, the hunter’s peculiar alertness to sound and smell, the rock-bottom scrubbiness of Indian life, the raw fragrance of tequila and the vile, fibrous taste of peyote, the dust in the car, and the loft of a crow’s flight. It is a superbly concrete setting, dense with animistic meaning. This is just as well, in view of the utter weirdness of the events that happen in it.”

Following that interview, Castaneda retired from public view.

In the 1990s, Castaneda once again began appearing in public to promote Tensegrity, a group of movements that he claimed had been passed down by 25 generations of Toltec shamans. On 16 June 1995, articles of incorporation executed by George Short were filed to create Cleargreen Incorporated. The Cleargreen statement of purpose says in part:

“Cleargreen is a corporation that has a twofold purpose. First, it sponsors and organizes seminars and workshops on Carlos Castaneda’s Tensegrity, and second, it is a publishing house.”

Cleargreen published three videos of Tensegrity movements while Castaneda was alive. Castaneda himself did not appear in these videos.

Death

Castaneda died on April 27, 1998 in Los Angeles due to complications from hepatocellular cancer. There was no public service; Castaneda was cremated and the ashes were sent to Mexico. His death was unknown to the outside world until nearly two months later, on 19 June 1998, when an obituary entitled “A Hushed Death for Mystic Author Carlos Castaneda” by staff writer J. R. Moehringer appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Four months after Castaneda’s death, C. J. Castaneda, also known as Adrian Vashon, whose birth certificate shows Carlos Castaneda as his father, challenged Castaneda’s will in probate court. Carlos’ death certificate states metabolic encephalopathy for 72 hours prior to his death, yet the will was supposedly signed 48 hours before Castaneda’s death.[not in citation given] CJ challenged its authenticity. The challenge was ultimately unsuccessful.

The New York Times, upon his death, said of “his dubious biography and shaman like tales” that “[f]ew academics regard them as serious scholarship.”

Castaneda’s companions

After Castaneda stepped away from public view in 1973, he bought a large house in Los Angeles which he shared with some of his female companions. The women broke off relationships with friends and family when they joined Castaneda’s group. They also refused to be photographed and took new names: Regina Thal became Florinda Donner-Grau, Maryann Simko became Taisha Abelar and Kathleen Pohlman became Carol Tiggs. Patricia Partin was another disciple. She was renamed Blue Scout by Castaneda.

Shortly after Castaneda died in April of 1998, his companions Donner-Grau, Abelar and Patricia Partin disappeared. Amalia Marquez (also known as Talia Bey) and Tensegrity instructor Kylie Lundahl had their phones disconnected and also disappeared. Weeks, later, Partin’s red Ford Escort was found abandoned in Death Valley. Her sun-bleached skeleton was discovered five years later by a pair of hikers in the Panamint Dunes area of the desert. On August 2, 1998, Carol Tiggs spoke at a workshop in Ontario, Canada. Since that time, she also has disappeared.

Because the women in question had cut all ties with family and friends, it was some time before people noticed they were missing. There has been no official investigation into the disappearances of Donner-Grau, Simko and Lundahl. Luis Marquez, the brother of Talia Bey, went to police in 1999 over his sister’s disappearance, but was unable to convince them that her disappearance merited investigation. In 2006, Partin’s remains discovered in the desert were identified by DNA. The investigating authorities have ruled her death as undetermined.

Reception

Despite the widespread popularity of his works, some critics questioned the validity of Castaneda’s books as early as 1969. In a series of articles, international banker and amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson, who had originally praised Castaneda’s work, questioned the accuracies of Castaneda’s botanical claims.
In 1976, author and Scientologist Richard de Mille published Castaneda’s Journey: The Power and the Allegory, in which he argued, “Logical or chronological errors in the narrative constitute the best evidence that Castaneda’s books are works of fiction. If no one has discovered these errors before, the reason must be that no one has listed the events of the first three books in sequence. Once that has been done, the errors are unmistakable.”On these showings de Mille asserts, The Teachings of Don Juan and Journey to Ixtlan (his third book) cannot both be factual reports.

For his part, Castaneda in the introduction to A Separate Reality, his second book, addressed the incomprehensible nature of his experiences as only being able to be understood in the context of the alien system of perception from which they arose, suggesting that his books are by their very nature contradictory and incomprehensible (as to time and place especially) to academic and critical inquiry.

In a 1968 radio interview with Theodore Roszak, Castaneda, while confirming that his mystical experiences were absolutely true to life, did explain that he took some chronological license in his writing about actual events: “The way the books present it seems to heighten some dramatic sequences, which is, I’m afraid, not true to real life. There are enormous gaps in between in which ordinary things took place, that are not included. I didn’t include in the book because they did not pertain to the system I wanted to portray, so I just simply took them away, you see. And that means that the gaps between those very heightened states, you know, whatever, says that I remove things that are continuous crescendos, in kind of sequence leading to a very dramatic solution. But in real life it was a very simple matter because it took years between, months pass in between them, and in the meantime we did all kinds of things. We even went hunting. He (Don Juan) told me how to trap things, set traps, very old, old ways of setting a trap, and how to catch rattlesnakes. He told me how to prepare rattlesnakes, in fact. And so that eases up, you see, the distrust or the fear.”

At first, and with the backing of academic qualifications and the UCLA anthropological department, Castaneda’s work was critically acclaimed. Notable anthropologists like Edward Spicer (1969) and Edmund Leach (1969) praised Castaneda, alongside more alternative and young anthropologists.

The authenticity of Don Juan was accepted for six years, until Richard de Mille and Daniel Noel both published their critiques of the Don Juan books in 1976. Later anthropologists specializing in Yaqui Indian culture (William Curry Holden, Jane Holden Kelley and Edward H. Spicer), who originally supported Castaneda’s account as true, questioned the accuracies of Castaneda’s work.

Others[who?] (including Dr. Clement Meighan) point out that the books largely, and for the most part, do not pretend to describe Yaqui culture at all with its emphasis on Catholic upbringing and conflict with the Federal State of Mexico, but rather focus on the international movements and life of Don Juan who was described in the books as traveling and having many connections, and abodes, in the Southwestern United States (Arizona), Northern Mexico, and Oaxaca. Don Juan was described in the books as a shaman steeped in a mostly lost Toltec philosophy and decidedly anti-Catholic. Dr. Clement Meighan, one of Castaneda’s professors at UCLA, and an acknowledged expert on Indian culture in the U.S., Mexico, and other areas in North America, up to his death, never doubted that Castaneda’s work was based upon authentic contact with and observations of Indians. Later, Miguel Ruiz also verified the existence of Indian “Brujos” in Mexico with native teachings much like Don Juan’s.

A March 5, 1973 Time article by Sandra Burton, looking at both sides of the controversy, stated:
…the more worldly claim to importance of Castaneda’s books: to wit, that they are anthropology, a specific and truthful account of an aspect of Mexican Indian culture as shown by the speech and actions of one person, a shaman named Juan Matus. That proof hinges on the credibility of Don Juan as a being and Carlos Castaneda as a witness. Yet there is no corroboration beyond Castaneda’s writings that Don Juan did what he is said to have done, and very little that he exists at all.

A strong case can be made that the Don Juan books are of a different order of truthfulness from Castaneda’s pre-Don Juan past. Where, for example, was the motive for an elaborate scholarly put-on? The Teachings were submitted to a university press, an unlikely prospect for best-sellerdom. Besides, getting an anthropology degree from U.C.L.A. is not so difficult that a candidate would employ so vast a confabulation just to avoid research. A little fudging perhaps, but not a whole system in the manner of The Teachings, written by an unknown student with, at the outset, no hope of commercial success.

David Silverman sees value in the work even while considering it fictional. In Reading Castaneda he describes the apparent deception as a critique of anthropology field work in general – a field that relies heavily on personal experience, and necessarily views other cultures through a lens. According to Silverman, not only the descriptions of peyote trips but also the fictional nature of the work are meant to place doubt on other works of anthropology.

Donald Wieve cites Castaneda to explain the insider/outsider problem as it relates to mystical experiences, while acknowledging the fictional nature of his work.

Related authors

Two other authors, Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau, wrote books in which they claimed to be from Matus’ party of Toltec warriors. Both Abelar and Donner-Grau were endorsed by Castaneda as being legitimate students of Matus, whereas he dismissed all other writers as pretenders. The two women were part of Castaneda’s inner circle, which he referred to as “The Brujas,” and both assumed different names as part of their dedication to their new beliefs. They were originally both graduate students in anthropology at UCLA.

Felix Wolf, one of Carlos Castaneda’s apprentices and translators, wrote The Art of Navigation: Travels with Carlos Castaneda and Beyond. In his book Wolf details how his life had been transformed by his association with Castaneda. While touching on all aspects of the teachings, Wolf highlights what he perceives to be the overriding and essential transmission that came through Castaneda’s work: The Art of Navigation.

Amy Wallace wrote Sorcerer’s Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda, an account of her personal experiences with Castaneda and his followers.

In Carlos Castaneda e a Fenda entre os Mundos – Vislumbres da Filosofia Ānahuacah no Século XXI Brazilian writer Luis Carlos de Morais analyzes the work of Carlos Castaneda, its cultural implications, and its continuation in other authors.

Sanchez’s first book, The Teachings of Don Carlos: Practical Applications of the Works of Carlos Castaneda (1995), provides in-depth techniques and commentary on a path of “self-growth” based on the wisdom of the Toltec descendants. His approach in this book is bringing the proposals of Castaneda down to the earth focusing on those parts of Castaneda’s book that can be applied in everyday life and used for personal development. Sanchez has published three further books: Toltecs of the New Millennium (1996), providing an overview of and background on the author’s experiences with the Wirrarika; The Toltec Path of Recapitulation: Healing Your Past to Free Your Soul (2001); and The Toltec Oracle (2004). Sanchez’s recapitulation technique bears some resemblance to Sandra Ingerman’s soul retrieval technique, but is probably the most comprehensive approach to the subject that has been published so far. Other shamanic teachers using similar techniques include Michael Harner, PhD founder of “core shamanism”, and Ken Page, founder of Heart and Soul Healing. Some have associated Sanchez’s work with Toltec author Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.

Taken from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Castaneda

Jan 13

Fidel Castro

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

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Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was born near Birán, Cuba, on August 13, 1926. In 1959, Castro used guerilla warfare to successfully overthrow Cuban leader Batista, and was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba. As Cuban prime minister, Castro’s government established covert military and economic relations with the Soviet Union, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. He served as prime minister until 1976, when he became president of Cuba.

Early Life

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926 (though some say he was born a year later), near Birán, in Cuba’s eastern Oriente Province. Fidel Castro was the third of six children, including his two brothers, Raul and Ramon; and three sisters, Angelita, Emma and Augustina. His father, Angel, was a wealthy sugar plantation owner originally from Spain. His mother, Lina Ruz Gonzalez, had been a maid to Angel’s first wife, Maria Luisa Argota, at the time of Fidel’s birth. By the time Fidel was 15, his father dissolved his first marriage and wed Fidel’s mother. At age 17, Fidel was formally recognized by his father and his name was changed from Ruz to Castro.

Educated in private Jesuit boarding schools, Castro grew up in wealthy circumstances amid the poverty of Cuba’s people. He was intellectually gifted, but more interested in sports than studies. He attended El Colegio de Belen and pitched for the school’s baseball team. After his graduation in late 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana and became immersed in the political climate of Cuban nationalism, anti-imperialism and socialism.

Early Political Insurrections and Arrests

In 1947, Castro became increasingly passionate about social justice. He traveled to the Dominican Republic to join an expedition attempting the overthrow of the dictator Rafael Trujillo. The coup failed before it got started, but the incident didn’t dampen Castro’s passion for reform.

Soon after his return to the university in Havana, Castro joined the Partido Ortodoxo, an anticommunist political party founded to reform government corruption in Cuba. Its goals were nationalism, economic independence, and social reforms. Its founder, Cuban presidential candidate Eduardo Chibas, lost the 1948 election. Despite the loss, Chibas inspired Castro to be an ardent disciple. Chibas considered another run for president again in 1951. He hoped to expose the government’s corruption and warn the people about General Fulgencio Batista, a former president who was planning a return to power. But the presidential hopeful’s effort was cut short after supposed allies refused to provide evidence of government wrongdoing. Chibas shot himself during a radio broadcast after his inability to keep his promise.

In 1948, Castro married Mirta Diaz Balart, who was from a wealthy family in Cuba. They had one child, Fidelito. The marriage exposed Castro to a wealthier lifestyle and political connections. Castro pursued his political ambitions as a candidate for a seat in the Cuban parliament, but a coup led by General Fulgencio Batista successfully overthrew the government and cancelled the election. Castro found himself without a legitimate political platform and little income with which to support the family. His marriage to Mirta eventually ended in 1955.

Batista set himself up as dictator, solidified his power with the military and Cuba’s economic elite, and got his government recognized by the United States. Castro, along with fellow members of the Ortodoxo party who expected to win in the 1952 election, organized an insurrection. On July 26, 1953, Castro and approximately 150 supporters attacked the Moncada military barracks in an attempt to overthrow Batista. The attack failed and Castro was captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, the incident fostered an ongoing opposition to the government and made Castro famous throughout Cuba.

Guerilla War Against Batista

Castro was released in 1955 under an amnesty deal with the Batista government. He went to Mexico, where he met Ernesto “Che” Guevara. There, he devised a new strategy to overthrow the Batista regime based on guerrilla warfare. Guevara believed that the plight of Latin America’s poor could be rectified only through violent revolution. He joined Castro’s group and became an important confidante, shaping Castro’s political beliefs.

On December 2, 1956, Castro returned to Cuba with a boatload of 81 insurgents near the eastern city of Manzanillo. In short order, Batista’s forces killed or captured most of the attackers. Castro, his brother Raul, and Guevara were able to escape into the Sierra Maestra mountain range along the island’s southeastern coast. Over the course of the next two years, Castro’s forces waged a guerrilla war against the Batista government, organizing resistance groups in cities and small towns across Cuba. He was also able to organize a parallel government, carry out some agrarian reform, and control provinces with agricultural and manufacturing production.

Beginning in 1958, Castro and his forces mounted a series of successful military campaigns throughout Cuba to capture and hold key areas of the country. Along with the loss of popular support and massive desertions in the military, Batista’s government collapsed due to Castro’s efforts. In January of 1959, Batista fled to the Dominican Republic. At the age of 32, Castro successfully concluded a classic guerrilla campaign to take control of Cuba.

A new government was created, with Jose Miro Cardona as prime minister, and it quickly gained the recognition of the United States. Castro arrived in Havana to cheering crowds and assumed the post of commander-in-chief of the military. In February 1959, Miro suddenly resigned, and Castro was sworn in as prime minister.

Turn to Communism

Castro implemented far-reaching reforms by nationalizing factories and plantations in an attempt to end U.S. economic dominance on the island. Major American companies felt the negative effects of the reforms, causing friction between Cuba and the United States. For example, the Castro government announced it was going to base compensation to foreign companies on the artificially low property values that the companies themselves had negotiated with past Cuban governments in order to keep their taxes low.

During this time, Castro repeatedly denied being a Communist, but to many Americans, his policies looked like Soviet-style control of the economy and government. In April 1959, Castro and a delegation visited the United States as guests of the National Press Club. Castro hired a renowned public relations firm to help promote his tour. President Dwight Eisenhower, however, refused a meeting with him.

That May, Castro signed the First Agrarian Reform Law, which limited the size of land holdings and forbade foreign property ownership. The intent was to develop a class of independent farmers. In reality, this program led to state land control with the farmers becoming mere government employees. By the end of 1959, Castro’s revolution had become radicalized, with purges of military leaders and the suppression of any media critical of Castro’s policies.

Castro’s government also began to establish relations with the Soviet Union. The USSR sent more than 100 Spanish-speaking advisers to help organize Cuba’s defense committee. In February 1960, Cuba signed a trade agreement to buy oil from the Soviet Union and established diplomatic relations. U.S.-owned refineries in Cuba refused to process the oil, so Castro expropriated the refineries. The United States retaliated by cutting Cuba’s import quota on sugar. This began a decades-long contentious relationship between the two countries.

Cuban Missile Crisis

The year 1961 proved to be pivotal in Castro’s relationship with the United States. On January 3, 1961, outgoing president Dwight Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with the Cuban government. On April 16, Castro formally declared Cuba a socialist state. The following day, 1,400 Cuban exiles invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow the Castro regime. The incursion ended in disaster; hundreds of the insurgents were killed and nearly 1,000 were captured. Though the United States denied any involvement, it was revealed that the Cuban exiles were trained by the Central Intelligence Agency and armed with U.S. weapons. Decades later, the National Security Archive revealed that the United States had begun planning an overthrow of the Castro government as early as October 1959. The invasion was conceived during the Eisenhower administration and inherited by President John F. Kennedy, who reluctantly approved its action but denied the invaders air support in hopes of hiding any U.S. participation.

Castro was able to capitalize on the incident to consolidate his power and further promote his agenda. On May 1, he announced an end to democratic elections in Cuba and denounced American imperialism. Then at year’s end, Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and announced the Cuban government was adopting communist economic and political policies. On February 7, 1962, the United States imposed a full economic embargo on Cuba, a policy that continues to this day.

Castro intensified his relations with the Soviet Union by accepting further economic and military aid. In October 1962, his increasing reliance on Soviet aid brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Wanting to deter another U.S. invasion of Cuba, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceived an idea of placing nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. He justified the move as a response to U.S. Jupiter missiles deployed in Turkey. An American U2 reconnaissance plane discovered the missile base construction before the missiles were installed. President Kennedy responded by demanding the removal of the missiles with orders for the U.S. Navy to search any vessels headed for the island.

Over the course of several anxious days of secret communications between Khrushchev, Kennedy and their agents, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for the United States’ public agreement not to invade Cuba. The Kennedy administration also agreed to secretly remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Both leaders saved face and gained some admiration for restraint. Castro, on the other hand, was humiliated: Both superpowers completely left him out of the negotiations. Furthermore, the United States was able to persuade the Organization of American States to end diplomatic relations with Cuba, in response to Castro’s “shameful” actions.

Cuba Under Castro

But Castro wasn’t shamed for long. In 1965, he merged Cuba’s Communist Party with his revolutionary organizations, placing himself as head of the party. Within a few years, he began a campaign of supporting armed struggle against imperialism in Latin American and African countries. In 1966, Castro founded the Asia-Africa-Latin America People’s Solidarity Organization to promote revolution on three continents. In 1967, he formed the Latin America Solidarity Organization to foster revolution in select Latin-American countries.

In the 1970s, Castro promoted himself as the leading spokesperson for Third World countries by providing military support to pro-Soviet forces in Angola, Ethiopia and Yemen. Though Cuba was heavily subsidized by the Soviet government, those expeditions ultimately proved unsuccessful and put a strain on the Cuban economy.

The U.S. agreement not to invade Cuba didn’t preclude toppling the Castro regime in other ways. Castro was the target of CIA assassination attempts (an estimated 638 in all, according to Cuban intelligence) over the years. These ranged from exploding cigars, to a fungus-infected scuba-diving suit, to a mafia-style shooting. He took great delight in the fact that none of the attempts ever succeeded. Castro was reported as saying that if avoiding assassination attempts was an Olympic sport, he would have won gold medals.

Castro’s regime has been credited with opening 10,000 new schools and increasing literacy to 98 percent. Cubans enjoy a universal health-care system, which has decreased infant mortality to 11 deaths in 1,000 (1.1 percent). But civil liberties have been whittled away, as labor unions lost the right to strike, independent newspapers were shut down and religious institutions were harassed. Castro removed opposition to his rule though executions and imprisonments, as well as through forced emigration.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled Castro’s rule, many settling just across the Florida Straits in Miami. The largest of these occurred in 1980, when Castro opened up the port of Mariel to allow exiled Cubans living in Miami to come claim their relatives. Castro also loaded the ships with Cuban prison inmates, mental patients and other social undesirables. In all, nearly 120,000 Cubans left their homeland in 1980 to find sanctuary in the United States.

Collapse of the Soviet Union

After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union sent Cuba’s economy into a tailspin, Castro’s revolution began to lose momentum. Without cheap oil imports and an eager Soviet market for Cuban sugar and a few other goods, Cuban unemployment and inflation grew. The contraction of the Cuban economy resulted in 85 percent of its markets disappearing.

Yet Castro has been very adept, in recent years, at keeping control of the government during dire economic times. He pressed the United States to lift the economic embargo, but it refused. Castro then adopted a quasi-free market economy and encouraged international investment. He legalized the U.S. dollar and encouraged tourism. He visited the United States in 1996, and invited Cuban exiles living in there to return to Cuba to start businesses.

In 2001, after massive damage was caused by Hurricane Michelle, Castro declined U.S. humanitarian aid, but proposed a one-time cash purchase of food from the United States. George W. Bush’s administration complied, authorizing the shipment of food. With the fuel supply running dangerously low, Castro ordered 118 factories to be closed, and sent thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil imports.

Decline in Health

In the late 1990s, speculation began to arise over Castro’s age and well-being. Numerous health problems have been reported over the years, the most significant occurring in July 2006, when Castro underwent surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding. In a dramatic announcement, Castro designated his brother Raul as the country’s temporary leader. Raul served as Castro’s second in command for decades, and was officially selected as his successor in 1997. Since his surgery, the public has only seen Castro in photographs and video meetings.

On February 19, 2008, 81-year-old Fidel Castro permanently gave up the Cuban presidency due to his deteriorating physical condition. He handed over power to his brother, Raul, who was 76 years old at the time. The Cuban National Assembly officially elected Raul Castro as president of Cuba the same month, although Fidel Castro reportedly remained First Secretary of the Communist Party.

In April 2011, news broke that Fidel Castro officially stepped down from his role within Cuba’s Communist Party. Raul Castro easily won election as the party’s new first secretary, taking over for his brother and picking famed revolutionary Jose Ramon Machado Venture to serve as the party’s second in command. Fidel Castro claimed that he had actually resigned the post five years earlier.

In his retirement, Castro has taken to writing a column about his experiences and opinions, called “Reflections of Fidel.” From mid-November to early January of 2012, however, Castro failed to publish any columns. This sudden silence sparked rumors that Castro had taken a turn for the worse. But these stories soon proved to be unfounded, as Castro put out a flurry of articles later that January.

While he may not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of running Cuba, Castro wields enormous political power at home and abroad. He continues to meet with foreign leaders, such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2012, during their visits to Cuba. Even Pope Benedict arranged a special audience with Castro at the end of his trip in March 2012, seeking to obtain greater religious freedom for Catholics living in the communist nation.

Taken from: http://www.biography.com/people/fidel-castro-9241487…

 

Feb 02

Benjamin Creme

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

BenjaminCremeNYClecture2008

Benjamin Creme (born 5 December 1922) is a Scottish artist, author, esotericist and editor of Share International magazine.

He asserts that the second coming prophesied by many religions will come in the form of Maitreya the World Teacher. Maitreya is the name Buddhists use for the future Buddha, but Creme claims that Maitreya is the teacher that all religions point towards and hope for. Other names for him, according to Creme, are the Christ, the Imam Mahdi, Krishna, and the Messiah. Creme says Maitreya is the “Avatar for the Aquarian Age” and has lived in London since 19 July 1977.

Early life

At the age of fourteen, Creme says he became interested in the occult, when he read With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel. From 1957 to 1959, Creme was the Vice-President of the Aetherius Society, a UFO religion based largely on Theosophy.In 1958 he personally met George Adamski and Creme says he can personally vouch for the authenticity of Adamski’s UFO contacts.

Assigned mission by his Master

Creme says he was first contacted telepathically by his Master in January 1959, who asked him to make tape recordings of his messages to Creme. He first began to speak publicly of his mission on 30 May 1975, at the Friends Meeting House on Euston Road in London, England. His central message announced the emergence of a group of enlightened spiritual teachers who could guide humanity forward into the new Aquarian Age of peace and brotherhood based on the principles of love and sharing. At the head of this group was would be a great Avatar, Maitreya, the World Teacher, expected by all the major religions at this time as their “Awaited One”—the Christ to the Christians, the Imam Mahdi to the Muslims, the Messiah for Jews, and the 5th Buddha (Maitreya) for Buddhists.

Claims regarding Maitreya

Creme is a follower of Alice A. Bailey. He claims that, beginning in 1959, he has been contacted telepathically by one of the Masters. He claims to have received messages from Maitreya from 1975 onwards.

1982 prediction

In the spring of 1982, Creme placed advertisements in newspapers around the world saying, “The Christ is now here”. According to Creme, the “Christ”, whom he also called “Maitreya”, would announce his existence on world wide television broadcasts. Creme stated in these newspaper advertisements that the Second Coming of Christ would occur on Monday, 21 June 1982 (the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere).[citation needed] On 14 May 1982, Creme held a press conference in Los Angeles, USA. Over 90 members of the media attended and heard Creme announce that Maitreya was living within the Asian community, in the Brick Lane area of East London. Creme stated in this press conference when asked “what if someone tried to kill him?” that Maitreya could not be killed because he is invulnerable. He presented the journalists with a challenge: if media made a serious attempt to seek Maitreya in London, he would reveal himself to them.

Creme has stated that when the “Day of Declaration” occurs, “The Christ will come on the world’s television channels, linked together by satellite. All those with access to television will see… [His face]. He will establish a telepathic rapport with all humanity simultaneously”. While the Christ is speaking… [everyone will feel far more love than they’ve ever felt before, that massive outpouring of love will cause] hundreds of thousands of ‘miracle’ cures [to] take place simultaneously.”

After 1982

Share International Cover, featuring one of Benjamin Creme's artworks

Share International Cover, featuring one of Benjamin Creme’s artworks

Since Maitreya’s plan to appear in 1982 was postponed to a more optimal time, Creme has made a number of additional predictions and announcement of the imminent appearance of Maitreya based on his claims of receiving telepathic messages from a Master of Wisdom.

In 1997 Creme made similar predictions that Maitreya would appear on television and be interviewed around the world. This time there was far less media interest.

On 14 January 2010 Benjamin Creme announced that Maitreya had given his first television interview on US television. Soon afterwards several people in the USA, working from Creme’s predictions, concluded that British-American journalist and author Raj Patel was Maitreya. After newspaper articles around the world wrote about this story, Benjamin Creme responded that Raj Patel was not the coming World Teacher in an article in The Guardian newspaper called “Raj Patel is not Maitreya, but the World Teacher is here—and needed.”

Creme, who claims that time is now very near for Maitreya’s emergence, does not receive any money for this work or royalties from his 14 books, and has for over 30 years given lectures around the world by invitation only. A worldwide network of volunteers works with Benjamin Creme to give his views out to the public.

Crop circles and UFOs

During an interview in 2006, Creme confirmed his views on the importance of crop circles: “The UFOs have an enormous part to play in the security of this planet at the ecological level. [The crop circles are part of] a new science that will give us energy directly from the sun. Oil will become a thing of the past. No one will be able to sell energy in the future.”

Creme has explained how crop circles are made by UFOs in his magazine: “The crop circles are there to draw attention to the fact that the Space Brothers are there. They are amazing constructions. They are made in seconds by the ‘ships’ of the Space Brothers. They are complex and beautiful constructions which cannot be made in any other way. They appear all over the world but the majority are in the south of England. Why? Because Maitreya is in London.”

Predictions

Creme made a case for the imminent appearance of Maitreya based on his claims of receiving telepathic messages from a Master of Wisdom. Skeptics have ridiculed the story presented by Benjamin Creme, or have taken issue with the possibility that his predictions might have come true. Others have treated Creme’s story with serious interest and are waiting to see what happens.

Between 1989–91, Share International magazine published a series of forecasts given to two journalists[who?] by an associate of Maitreya, which Share claims came about with uncanny accuracy. These forecasts were purported to included the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ending of Communist rule in the Soviet Union, the release of Nelson Mandela and the ending of Apartheid in South Africa, the release of kidnapped prisoner Terry Waite, the premature resignation of Margaret Thatcher, and many more. These predictions were distributed as press releases and were included in a book published by Share International Foundation called Maitreya’s Teachings—the Laws of Life.

Some fundamentalist Christian Evangelical sources and other detractors have accused Creme of being part of a satanic conspiracy and place him amongst a larger list of “antichrist potentials”.

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Creme

Feb 02

John Collins

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

John Wayne Todd (May 19, 1949[1][2] – November 10, 2007), also known as “John Todd Collins”, “Lance Collins”, and “Christopher Kollyns”, was an American speaker and conspiracy theorist. He claimed to be a former occultist who was born into a ‘witchcraft family’ before converting to Christianity. He was a primary source for many Chick Publications works against Dungeons & Dragons, Catholicism, Neopaganism, and Christian rock. Although most of his activity was during the 1970s, his claims continue to be spread in many fundamentalist Christian circles.

Biography
Beginnings

Todd was discovered in 1968 preaching and married to a woman named Linda. He claimed to have been a witch “in the Navy”, but converted to Christianity while visiting a southern Californian Pentecostal church. After disappearing from public sight for a few months, Todd returned without his wife, saying that God told them to seek other mates. In 1969, Todd joined the United States Army, later saying that he did so with the intention of establishing a coven of witches. He claimed to have served as a Green Beret in Vietnam before being transferred to Germany, where he killed a commanding officer. His explanation for not serving jail time for this was that the Illuminati freed him from jail and eliminated his military records.

These records were later recovered by investigative journalists working for Christianity Today, who found that he had never been to Vietnam, but was only stationed in Germany for a few months before being discharged for psychiatric reasons and drug abuse. One report concluded that Todd found it difficult to distinguish reality and fantasy. After being discharged, he disappeared from public sight again until 1973.

Career

During the early 1970s, Todd became one of a handful of speakers making the rounds in evangelical Christian circles warning young people against the occult. Like two other of those speakers, Hershel Smith and Mike Warnke (whose claims of being an ex-Satanist have likewise been disproved[6]), Todd claimed to have been a Satanic high priest before his conversion, which he dated as 1972. (In one meeting between Todd and Warnke, the two had a backstage confrontation and Todd accused Warnke of stealing his testimony regarding the Illuminati.) Todd also claimed that John F. Kennedy was still alive and that he had been Kennedy’s “personal warlock”. Christian publisher Jack T. Chick created a comic book, “The Broken Cross”, based on Todd’s allegations that Satanists were taking over America. In 1973 allegations surfaced that he had been making sexual advances toward young women and teenage girls at Christian meetings and a Jesus Movement coffeehouse, was incorporating witchcraft teachings into his Bible studies, was carrying a .38 handgun into church meetings, and was using drugs. In addition, he impregnated his wife’s teenage sister. After some Christian leaders who had promoted him took steps to distance themselves, including evangelist Doug Clark denouncing him on his television show, Todd dropped out of sight from fundamentalist Christianity. During this time, Todd spoke in charismatic churches, claiming to have evidence that fundamentalist churches were tools of the Illuminati.

In 1974 Todd moved to Dayton, Ohio where he opened an occult bookstore and began recruiting for a Wiccan coven. In 1976 Todd became the subject of a criminal investigation over reports that he was involving underage girls in sexual initiation rituals for his coven. Following an investigation of his activities by neopagan leaders Isaac Bonewits and Gavin Frost, which uncovered drug use and underage sex, Frost’s Church and School of Wicca revoked the charter it had granted to Todd’s coven. He was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and given a six-month sentence, but served only two months before being released due to epileptic fits.

Todd resurfaced in the evangelical Christian community in late 1977, this time claiming the existence of a vast Satanic conspiracy led by an order of witches called the Illuminati, supposedly including a number of Christian organizations and well-known Christian figures such as Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, Bob Jones, Sr., Oral Roberts, and Pat Robertson.He claimed to have given, as a member of the Illuminati, $8 million to Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel to launch the Christian rock industry, which Todd said was a Satanic invention to entrap Christian young people in rock music and its “demonic beat”. He claimed that Falwell had been “bought off” by the Illuminati with a $50 million donation. He also claimed that US President Jimmy Carter was the Antichrist and that the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged was the Illuminati’s blueprint for unleashing a planned Satanic takeover. He urged Christians to stockpile weapons and food in preparation for a Satanic takeover in 1980. He found a niche speaking in fundamentalist Independent Baptist churches.
Tapes from Todd around 1979 just prior to dropping out of the public eye indicate that he had returned to teaching Oneness Pentecostal (aka, “Jesus Only”) theology. Todd dropped out of sight again after 1979, reportedly moving to rural Montana after issuing warnings that the Satanic takeover had begun. He was later reported to have delivered a speech in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1983 at the invitation of Randy Weaver.

Later life

Todd was arrested in May 1987 for the rape of a University of South Carolina graduate student. After his arrest, he was additionally charged with sexually molesting two children who attended a karate school where he worked. He was convicted of the rape in January 1988 and sentenced to 30 years in state prison.[16] In 2004, Todd was released, but he was put in the care of the Behavioral Disorder Treatment Unit run by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. On November 10, 2007, Todd died in the institute.

Inconsistencies in Todd’s testimony

Todd claimed to have served as a Green Beret in the Vietnam War, but his discharge papers list him as a general clerk/typist and do not record him having been in Vietnam. Army medical reports referred to “emotional instability with pseudologica phantastica” (compulsive lying), difficulty in telling reality from fantasy, homicidal threats he had made on another, false suicide reports, and a severe personality disturbance. Todd also claimed in his testimony to have murdered an officer in Germany and to have escaped prison with the help of the Illuminati, but his records show no such things occurred.

Todd’s speaking engagements during 1978 and 1979 generated controversy and sometimes hysteria at the churches he spoke at. Frequently, there were claims by Todd of gunshots in the parking lot or attacks on his life after the services, but there were no witnesses to confirm his claims.

While Todd claimed to have left witchcraft in 1972 and converted to fundamentalist Christianity, accounts have him being baptized into a Oneness Pentecostal church in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968, and leading a Wiccan group in Ohio in 1976. When confronted with the latter by Christian evangelists, Todd said that he had gone through a period of “backsliding” during that time. However, when a number of other inconsistencies in Todd’s story were reported in the evangelical Christian media, and Todd began denouncing many Christian leaders as part of the Satanic conspiracy or the Illuminati, many evangelists denounced Todd and cut off any further association. Jack Chick was the only influential evangelist to continue to defend Todd.

Several evangelical Christian ministries investigated Todd’s claims and published articles disputing them. These included Cornerstone magazine, the Christian Research Institute, Christianity Today magazine, and the book The Todd Phenomenon by Darryl E. Hicks (with an introduction by Mike Warnke).

Publications based on Todd’s claims

Todd has appeared in several of Jack Chick’s publications. Chick first promoted Todd’s message in comic form in the comic book The Broken Cross, which portrays a northern California town controlled by organized Satanists. Another Chick comic book, Spellbound?, expresses “deepest appreciation to John Todd, ex-grand druid priest”. In it, a character called “Lance Collins” claims that Satanists control the rock music industry

The Todd phenomenon: Ex-grand Druid vs. the Illuminati - Fact or Phantasy?

The Todd phenomenon: Ex-grand Druid vs. the Illuminati – Fact or Phantasy?

and are infiltrating churches, and urges Christians to burn their rock music records, Ouija boards and Dungeons & Dragons game sets. A third Chick comic, Angel of Light, includes a chart purporting to depict Satan’s power structure, based on a similar chart authored by Todd and distributed at his speeches.
Todd’s stories about the Illuminati were published as the comic book The Illuminati and Witchcraft in 1980 by Jacob Sailor. His claims partially became the basis for a different book, Witchcraft and the Illuminati published in the early 1980s by The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, a Christian Identity group, and reprinted in 1999 by the Christian Patriot Association (ISBN 0-944379-18-4). This book repeated many of Todd’s claims, including the alleged power structure of the Illuminati and the idea that Atlas Shrugged was the Illuminati’s secret blueprint, but added Identity beliefs derogatory toward Jews and African-Americans.

After Todd’s veracity was questioned and investigated, Chick continued to defend him and publish tracts based on Todd’s life. Author Cynthia Burack wrote that Chick often made “excuses for behaviours that were inconsistent with Todd’s status as a high-profile Christian convert,” and that his “propensities to indulge in conspiracy theory and to lash out at putative allies who question his conclusions” in his defense of Todd and other controversial figures (namely Alberto Rivera and Rebecca Brown) resulted in a split between himself and the conservative Christian movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/…/John_Todd_%28conspiracy_theorist%…

Feb 02

Robert Cochrane

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

Roy_Bowers

Robert Cochrane (26 January 1931 – 3 July 1966), who was born as Roy Bowers, was an English occultist who founded the tradition of Pagan Witchcraft known as Cochrane’s Craft.

Born to a working-class family in West London, he became interested in occultism after attending a Society for Psychical Research lecture, taking a particular interest in witchcraft. He founded one coven, but it soon collapsed.

He began to claim to have been born to a hereditary family of witches whose practices stretched back to at least the 17th century; these statements have later been dismissed. He subsequently went on to found a coven known as the Clan of Tubal Cain, through which he propagated his Craft. In 1966, he committed suicide.

Cochrane continues to be seen as a key inspirational figure in the Traditional Witchcraft movement. Ever since his death, a number of Neopagan and magical groups have continued to adhere to his teachings.

Early Life
As noted by Michael Howard, “factual details about Cochrane’s early life are scant”. He was born in an area between Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush in West London into a family of eight children. He later described it as a “slum”, though this has been refuted by family members, who considered it a “respectable working class area”. There, he lived through the Blitz. Some of his family emigrated to Australia, while he went to art school, living a bohemian lifestyle. His aunt would later claim that he first took an interest in occultism after attending a talk of the Society for Psychical Research in Kensington.

During the early 1950s, he joined the army as a part of his national service, but went absent without leave; as punishment, he was sentenced to 90 days imprisonment in a military prison in Colchester. He admitted to having a violent temper in his youth, but calmed after meeting Jane, whom he would later marry. For a time he worked for London Transport as a blacksmith in a foundry; one potential reason why he adopted the mythical blacksmith Tubal Cain as a part of the mythos for his tradition. He and Jane later worked as bargees transporting coal around the English Midlands, taking an interest in the folklore of the Bargee community, later believing that it contained traces of the “Old Faith”. By the start of the 1960s, he was living with Jane and their son on a London County Council-run council estate near to Slough, Berkshire; he did not like the neighbours, considering them “the biggest load of monkeys there have been trained since the Ark.” He worked as a typographical draughtsman in an office, but disliked his job. He founded a witches’ coven, but it soon broke up as one member died and he fell out with another.

Later, in the 1960s, he claimed that members of his family had been practitioners of an ancient pagan Witch-cult since at least the 17th century, and that two of them had been executed for it. Claiming that his great-grandfather had been “the last Grand Master of the Staffordshire witches”, he said that his grandparents had abandoned the Craft and converted to Methodism, for which his great-grandfather had cursed them. He said that his father had practiced witchcraft, but that he kept it a secret, and made his wife promise to not tell his son, Robert. Despite her oath, according to Cochrane, after his father’s death, her mother did in fact tell him, at which he embraced his heritage. He asserted that his Aunt Lucy actually taught him all about the faith. However, these claims would later be denounced by members of his own family. His nephew, Martin Lloyd, has refuted that the family were ever Witches, insisting that they were Methodists,[7] while his wife Jane also later asserted that Cochrane’s claims to have come from a hereditary Witch-Cult were bogus.

Founding the Clan of Tubal Cain
Cochrane formed his second coven, which provided the basis for the Clan of Tubal Cain, in the early 1960s. Searching for members, he placed an advert in the Manchester Guardian requesting that anyone interested in Graves’ The White Goddess contact him; he received a response from the schoolteacher Ronald Milland White, known to his friends as “Chalky”.White then introduced him to George Arthur Stannard (also known as George Winter), who ran a betting shop near Kings Cross in Central London. White and Stannard joined this nascent coven, the latter taking up the position of Summoner. Describing his creation of his Witchcraft tradition, later Maid of the Clan Shani Oates remarked that “Like any true craftsman, he was able to mold raw material into a magical synthesis, creating a marvelous working system, at once instinctively true and intrinsically beautiful.”

The group performed their rituals either at Cochrane’s house, or, more often, at Burnham Beeches, though they also performed rituals at the South Downs, after which they would stay the night at Doreen Valiente’s flat in Brighton.

Cochrane’s Craft
The Clan of Tubal Cain revere a Horned God and Fate, expressed as the Pale Faced Goddess, named Hekate. The Goddess was viewed as “the White Goddess”, a term taken from Robert Graves’ book of the same name. The God was associated with fire, the underworld and time, and was described as “the goat-god of fire, craft, lower magics, fertility and death”. The God was known by several names, most notable Tubal Cain, Bran, Wayland and Herne. Cochrane’s tradition held that these two deities had a son, the Horn Child, who was a young sun god.
However, differences between the two also existed, for instance Gardnerians always worked skyclad, or naked, whereas Cochrane’s followers wore black hooded robes. Similarly, Cochrane’s coven did not practice scourging, as Gardner’s did. Cochrane himself disliked Gardner and the Gardnerians and often ridiculed them, even coining the term “Gardnerian” himself.

Whilst they used ritual tools, they differed somewhat from those used by Gardner’s coven. The main five tools in Cochrane’s Craft were a ritual knife, a staff known as a stang (according to Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon, Bowers is responsible for the introduction of this into Wicca), a cup, a stone (used as a whetstone to sharpen the knife), and a ritual cord worn by the coven members. Cochrane never made use of a Book of Shadows or similar such books, but worked from a “traditional way of doing things”, which was both “spontaneous and shamanistic”. Valiente notes that thios spontaneity was partly because the Cochrane coven did not use a Book of Shadows in which structured rituals were pre-recorded, leading to more creativity.

Cochrane’s later years
Cochrane arose to public prominence in November 1963, when he published an article titled “Genuine Witchcraft is Defended” in Psychic News, a weekly Spiritualist publication. In it, he outlined his beliefs regarding Witchcraft, and first publicly made the claim that he came from a hereditary line of Witches.

In 1964, further individuals joined the Clan. Among these was Evan John Jones, who would later become an author upon the subject of pagan witchcraft. Jones had met Cochrane through his wife Jane, as they both worked at the same company.

Witchcraft Research Association and Gardnerianism
His friend and correspondent, the Qabbalist and ceremonial magician William G. Gray introduced him to John Math, a practicing Witch and the son of the Earl of Gainsborough. Math joined the Clan, and invited Cochrane to publish some of his articles in Pentagram, the newsletter of the Witchcraft Research Association (WRA), which Math had recently co-founded along with Sybil Leek.

Cochrane took a particularly hostile attitude toward the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca, deeming its founder, Gerald Gardner, to be a con man and sexual deviant.[18] He referred to the tradition as “Gardnerism” and its adherents as “Gardnerians”, the latter of which would become the standard term for such practitioners. Upon examining Cochrane’s writings, Pagan studies scholar Ethan Doyle White has identified four possible reasons for this animosity. First, Cochrane disliked the publicity seeking that a variety of prominent Gardnerians (among them Gardner, Patricia Crowther, Eleanor Bone, and Monique Wilson), had embarked on; they appeared on television and in tabloid newspapers to present their tradition as the face of Wicca in Britain, which angered Cochrane, whose own tradition differed from Gardnerianism in focus. Second, Cochrane disliked Gardnerianism’s focus on ritual liturgy and magic, instead emphasising a mystical search for gnosis, while third, Cochrane appeared jealous of the success that Gardnerianism had achieved, which was far in advance of that achieved by his own tradition. The fourth point purported by Doyle White was that Cochrane might have been hostile to Gardnerianism as a result of a poor experience with it in the past.

Cochrane was nevertheless intrigued by Gardnerianism. He was a friend of Gardnerian High Priestess Cynthia Swettenham, who introduced him and his wife to the Gardnerian Bricket Wood coven on one occasion, probably in late 1965 or early 1966. It was here that he met the coven’s High Priest Jack Bracelin, who liked Jane Bowers but disliked Cochrane, later describing him as a “weirdie” and his subsequent letters as “a load of drivel”. It is known that Cochrane was also in contact with two other prominent Gardnerian initiates around this time; Eleanor Bone and Lois Bourne. There is also evidence to suggest that Cochrane was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition un until the second degree by Cynthia Swettenham and her partner Dick, who ran a coven in West London.

Doreen Valiente and the Clan’s breakup
In 1964 Cochrane met Doreen Valiente, who had formerly been a High Priestess of the Gardnerian Bricket Wood coven, through mutual friends which he had met at a gathering at Glastonbury Tor held by the Brotherhood of the Essenes.[ The two became friends, and Valiente joined the Clan of Tubal Cain. She later remarked that there were certain things in this coven that were better than those in Gardner’s, for instance she thought that “[Cochrane] believed in getting close to nature as few Gardnerian witches at that time seemed to do”.She also commented on how Cochrane did not seem to want lots of publicity, as Gardner had done, something which she admired. She began to become dissatisfied with Cochrane however, over some of his practices.

Cochrane often insulted and mocked Gardnerian witches, which annoyed Valiente. This reached such an extreme that at one point in 1966 he called for “a Night of the Long Knives of the Gardnerians”, at which point Doreen, in her own words, “rose up and challenged him in the presence of the rest of the coven. I told him that I was fed up with listening to all this senseless malice, and that, if a ‘Night of the Long Knives’ was what his sick little soul craved, he could get on with it, but he could get on with it alone, because I had better things to do”. She left the coven, and never came back.

After Doreen’s departure, Cochrane committed adultery with a new woman who had joined the coven, and, according to other coven members, did not care that his wife Jane knew. In May 1966, Jane left Cochrane, initiating divorce proceedings and considering performing a death rite against her husband involving the sacrifice of a black cockerel. Without her, the coven collapsed.

Cochrane was also aware of Charles Cardell, who ran his own coven in Suffolk, but disliked him.

Joe Wilson and the 1734 Tradition, ca. 1973
In December 1965 to April 1966, Cochrane corresponded with an American witch named Joe Wilson. Mr. Wilson formed a new tradition, known as the 1734 tradition based upon teachings of Ruth Wynn Owen, a tradition taught by a man he refers to as Sean, and Robert Cochrane’s teaching.

The numerological number ‘1724’ (a possible misprint in the book), was explained by Doreen Valiente in her 1989 book The Rebirth of Witchcraft. Valiente claimed that Cochrane had given the American witch Justine Glass a photograph of a copper platter with ‘1724’ printed on it for her 1965 book Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense – and Us. He had told Glass that it depicted a witch’s ritual bowl that had been in his family for many centuries. Valiente revealed that this was a lie by Cochrane – she had herself, in fact, bought that very item for him only the year before in a Brighton antiques shop to be used in a ritual.

Death, 1966
Cochrane ingested belladonna and Librium on Midsummer eve 1966, and died nine days later in hospital without recovering consciousness. He left a suicide note expressing his intent to kill himself “while of sound mind”.

Personal life
Valiente described Cochrane as “a remarkable man”, asserting that he “had something” which could be termed “magical power, charisma or what you will. He may have been devious; but he was no charlatan.”

Legacy
According to Jonathan Tapsell, Cochrane was “an unsung giant of modern Wicca” due to the fact that he “gave inspiration to those who came later to escape the narrow confines of Gardner’s philosophy”.Michael Howard considered him to be “one of the most fascinating, enigmatic and controversial figures of the modern Craft revival.” John of Monmouth claimed that Cochrane was “the man behind, what is now called, ‘Traditional Witchcraft’.” Historian Ethan Doyle White asserted that Cochrane left behind “an ever-expanding legacy”, noting that by the 21st century, he had become an “almost tutelary figure” within the Traditional Witchcraft movement, and warrants the title of “Father of Traditional Witchcraft” more than any other occultist. Elsewhere, Doyle White asserted that Cochrane had been “without doubt the most influential” of Gardner’s rivals in the mid-20th century Wiccan movement.

Following Cochrane’s death, the Mantle of Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain as given to Evan John Jones.Another of Cochrane’s initiates, Evan John Jones wrote a book, Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed (a collaboration with Doreen Valiente) outlining his version of the Cochrane tradition. Whilst there was no objective way to validate Cochrane’s claim to be a hereditary witch, the experience of being in his coven was that of being one of “Diana’s darling crew” (Jones, cited in Clifton, 2006). A group called The Regency was formed by Ronald “Chalky” White and his friend, George Winter, to preserve and continue Cochrane’s tradition; it eventually disbanded in 1978 but recently a website has been set up to preserve The Regency memory.

Following correspondence with Cochrane in the mid 1960s, an American named Joseph Wilson founded a tradition called the 1734 Tradition, based on his teachings circa 1974. A similarly Cochrane-inspired tradition was the Roebuck, whose lore is also used by the “Ancient Keltic Church”.

There are currently two groups operating under the title of “Clan of Tubal Cain”; each of them has their own interpretation and expression of the legacy of Robert Cochrane, although they may not necessarily completely agree with each other.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cochrane_%28witch%29

Jan 22

Pamela Colman Smith

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

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pamcPamela Colman Smith was born on February 16th 1878 in Pimlico, central London to Charles Edward Smith and Corinne Colman. In lieu of her father’s career, a merchant for the West India Improvement Company, the three of them would move frequently between Brooklyn, London, Manchester, and Jamaica. By the age of ten her mother had passed away leaving her in the care of the Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and Bram Stoker; three senior members of the Lyceum Theatre. It would seem that her father was far too preoccupied with his work to watch after her at that time. For the next five years she would travel extensively throughout much of England. This it appears would greatly affect her later art work so that instead of clearly having formal training in one movement or another she was exposed to a larger view of what art is.

In 1893 at the age of fifteen Smith would return to her father’s care in Brooklyn enrolling at the then new Pratt Institute studying Fine Arts under Arthur Wesley Dow, a prominent teacher in his own right. He would inspire her to work by means of synaesthesia. Synaesthesia is the crossing of sensory signals (e.g. hearing colors, tasting images, seeing sounds etc.) Oftentimes this considered a deficiency, not so in Smith’s case; she was noted as saying “Once I begin to focus on the drawing instead of the music, I loose the image.”

In most cases Smith was noted as part of the Symbolist movement which occurred towards the end of the 19th century.

Many of the tenets of the Symbolist movement include but are not limited to:
a) The reaction against the dominant materialist, naturalist, and determinist ethos of the epoch
b) A focus on the internal, symbolical world rather than the external, empirical one
c) introspection rather than observation; suggestive rather than nominative
d) A highly individualized execution
e) Personal and enigmatic visions and mystical themes expressed through private symbol rather than public, consensual allegory or metaphor, and
f) Ideographic content over purely formal statements reflecting the primacy of spirit, soul, or imagination.
These ideas are clearly expressed in her published work: The Golden Vanity, The Green Bed, Widdicombe Fair, and Annancy Stories. Of these Jamaican folk tales the first two were limited editions published with hand-colored prints.

In 1901 she was initiated into the Golden Dawn with the motto: Quod Tibi Id Allis or ‘Whatever You Would Have Done to Thee.’. Her largest contribution to the Golden Dawn came in 1909 when in April she was commissioned by A.E. Waite to design arguably the most recognizable tarot deck in history: The Rider-Waite-Smith Deck. At the time it consisted of 80 drawings and by 1911 black and white prints would appear with Waite’s book entitled The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. What was most remarkable about the deck is that it illustrated the minor cards or pips of the tarot. So, instead of seeing two cups for ‘The Two of Cups’ you would find a couple holding chalices separated by a Caduceus. While there is little in the way of documentation surrounding the first 80 prints that would later become The Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck we do know that A.E. Waite was working on a new tarot deck at the time that he intended for mass production. It may be speculated that Waite took notice of Colman Smith due to her illustrations in some of W.B. Yeats work. What becomes apparent when looking at any of her work is that it appears highly intuitive. Her speedy inked lines evoke a sense more akin to the ethereal than accurate. According to Stuart R. Kaplan one influence may have been the Sola Busca Tarot from the fifteenth century. It seems she redid at least ten images from that deck. Another suggestion is that Waite wanted a more codified version of Book T so that when such persons were ready to begin there tarot studies all he might have to do is give them Smith’s prints so they could be colored in. What is clear is that according to U.S. Games Inc. their deck, Waite and Smith’s, has nearly sold 500 to 1 in comparison to other decks.

She never married. After the end of the First World War, Smith received an inheritance, most likely from her father although unclear, that enabled her to move to Cornwall, an area popular with artists. She died in Bude, Cornwall on September 18th, 1951. After her death, all of her personal effects, including her paintings and drawings, were sold at auction to satisfy her debts.
http://www.goldendawnpedia.com/Histor…/…/PamColemanSmith.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Colman_Smith

Jan 17

Edgar Cayce

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

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cayceEdgar Cayce (pronounced Kay-Cee, 1877-1945) has been called the “sleeping prophet,” the “father of holistic medicine,” and the most documented psychic of the 20th century. For more than 40 years of his adult life, Cayce gave psychic “readings” to thousands of seekers while in an unconscious state, diagnosing illnesses and revealing lives lived in the past and prophecies yet to come. But who, exactly, was Edgar Cayce?

Cayce was born on a farm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1877, and his psychic abilities began to appear as early as his childhood. He was able to see and talk to his late grandfather’s spirit, and often played with “imaginary friends” whom he said were spirits on the other side. He also displayed an uncanny ability to memorize the pages of a book simply by sleeping on it. These gifts labeled the young Cayce as strange, but all Cayce really wanted was to help others, especially children.

Later in life, Cayce would find that he had the ability to put himself into a sleep-like state by lying down on a couch, closing his eyes, and folding his hands over his stomach. In this state of relaxation and meditation, he was able to place his mind in contact with all time and space — the universal consciousness, also known as the super-conscious mind. From there, he could respond to questions as broad as, “What are the secrets of the universe?” and “What is my purpose in life?” to as specific as, “What can I do to help my arthritis?” and “How were the pyramids of Egypt built? His responses to these questions came to be called “readings,” and their insights offer practical help and advice to individuals even today.

Many people are surprised to learn that Edgar Cayce was a devoted churchgoer and Sunday school teacher. At a young age, Cayce vowed to read the Bible for every year of his life, and at the time of his death in 1945, he had accomplished this task. Perhaps the readings said it best, when asked how to become psychic, Cayce’s advice was to become more spiritual.

Although Cayce died more than 60 years ago, the timeliness of the material in the readings — with subjects like discovering your mission in life, developing your intuition, exploring ancient mysteries, and taking responsibility for your health — is evidenced by the hundreds of books that have been written on the various aspects of this work as well as the dozen or so titles focusing on Cayce’s life itself. Together, these books contain information so valuable that even Edgar Cayce himself might have hesitated to predict their impact on the contemporary world. In 1945, the year of his passing, who could have known that terms such as “meditation,” “Akashic records,” “spiritual growth,” “auras,” “soul mates,” and “holistic health” would become household words to millions?

The majority of Edgar Cayce’s readings deal with holistic health and the treatment of illness. As it was at the time Cayce was giving readings, still today, individuals from all walks of life and belief receive physical relief from illnesses or ailments through information given in the readings — some readings were given as far back as 100 years ago! Yet, although best known for this material, the sleeping Cayce did not seem to be limited to concerns about the physical body. In fact, in their entirety, the readings discuss an astonishing 10,000 different topics. This vast array of subject matter can be narrowed down into a smaller group of topics that, when compiled together, deal with the following five categories: (1) Health-Related Information; (2) Philosophy and Reincarnation; (3) Dreams and Dream Interpretation; (4) ESP and Psychic Phenomena; and (5) Spiritual Growth, Meditation, and Prayer.

Further details of Cayce’s life and work are explored in the classic book, There Is a River (1942), by Thomas Sugrue, available in hardback, paperback, or audio book versions.
http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/edgarcayce.aspx

Jan 13

Aleister Crowley

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

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crowleyAleister Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/; born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He was responsible for founding the religion and philosophy of Thelema, in which role he identified himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.

Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected this fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism, poetry, and mountaineering. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where some biographers allege that he was recruited by a British intelligence agency, further claiming that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he travelled to Mexico and then India to study Hindu and Buddhist practices. He married Rose Edith Kelly and they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt in 1904. There, Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema.

After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain where he and George Cecil Jones co-founded the A∴A∴ as a Thelemic order in 1907. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the Ordo Templi Orientis, rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemic beliefs. After spending the First World War in the United States, where he later claimed to have worked for British intelligence services in infiltrating the pro-German lobby, in 1920 he moved to Cefalù in Sicily, to run a commune known as the Abbey of Thelema. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death.

Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. As a result, he was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world” and erroneously labelled a Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.

Early life
Youth: 1875–94
Crowley was born as Edward Alexander Crowley at 30 Clarendon Square in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on 12 October 1875. His father, Edward Crowley (1834–87), was trained as an engineer but never worked as one, instead owning shares in a lucrative family brewing business, Crowley’s Alton Ales, which allowed him to retire before his son was born. His mother, Emily Bertha Bishop (1848–1917), came from a Devonshire-Somerset family and had a strained relationship with her son; she described him as “the Beast”, a name that he revelled in. The couple had been married at London’s Kensington Registry Office in November 1874, and were evangelical Christians. Crowley’s father had been born a Quaker, but had converted to the Exclusive Brethren, an ultra-conservative faction of the Plymouth Brethren who emphasized the concept of election (Christianity), with Emily joining him upon marriage. Crowley’s father was particularly devout, spending his time as a travelling preacher for the sect and reading a chapter from the Bible to his wife and son after breakfast every day. Following the death of their baby daughter in 1880, in 1881 the family moved to Redhill, Surrey. At age 8, Crowley was sent to H.T. Habershon’s evangelical Christian boarding school in Hastings, and then to the preparatory Ebor school in Cambridge, run by the Reverend Henry d’Arcy Champney, whom Crowley considered a sadist.

In March 1887, when Crowley was 11, his father died of tongue cancer. Crowley described this as a turning point in his life, and he always maintained an admiration of his father, describing him as “his hero and his friend”. Inheriting a third of his father’s wealth, he began misbehaving at school and was harshly punished by Champney; Crowley’s family removed him from the school when he developed albuminuria. He then attended Malvern College and Tonbridge School, both of which he despised and left after a few terms. He became increasingly sceptical regarding Christianity, pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible to his religious teachers, and went against the Christian morality of his upbringing by smoking, masturbating, and having sex with prostitutes from whom he contracted gonorrhea.Sent to live with a Brethren tutor in Eastbourne, he undertook chemistry courses at Eastbourne College. Crowley developed his interests in chess, poetry, and mountain climbing, and in 1894 climbed Beachy Head before visiting the Alps and joining the Scottish Mountaineering Club. The following year he returned to the Bernese Alps, climbing the Eiger, Trift, Jungfrau, Mönch, and Wetterhorn.

Cambridge University: 1895–98
Having adopted the name of Aleister over Edward, in October 1895 Crowley began a three-year course at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was entered for the Moral Science Tripos studying philosophy. With approval from his personal tutor, he changed to English literature, which was not then part of the curriculum offered. Crowley spent much of his time at university engaged in his pastimes, becoming president of the chess club and practising the game for two hours a day; he briefly considered a professional career in the sport.Crowley also embraced his love of literature and poetry, becoming a particular fan of Richard Francis Burton and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many of his own poems appeared in student publications The Granta, Cambridge Magazine, and Cantab. He continued his mountaineering, going on holiday to the Alps to climb every year from 1894 to 1898, often with his friend Oscar Eckenstein, and in 1897 he made the first ascent of the Mönch without a guide. These feats led to his recognition in the Alpine mountaineering community.

Crowley later claimed to have had his first significant mystical experience while on holiday in Stockholm in December 1896. Several biographers, including Lawrence Sutin, Richard Kaczynski, and Tobias Churton, believed that this was the result of Crowley’s first homosexual encounter, enabling him to recognise his bisexuality. At Cambridge, Crowley maintained a vigorous sex life, largely with female prostitutes, from one of whom he caught syphilis, but eventually he took part in same-sex activities, despite their illegality. In October 1897, Crowley met Herbert Charles Pollitt, president of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, and the two entered into a relationship. They broke apart because Pollitt did not share Crowley’s increasing interest in Western esotericism, something Crowley regretted for years.

In 1897, Crowley travelled to St Petersburg in Russia, later claiming that he was trying to learn Russian as he considered a future diplomatic career there. Biographers Richard Spence and Tobias Churton suggested that Crowley had done so as an intelligence agent under the employ of the British secret service, speculating that he had been enlisted while at Cambridge.

In October 1897, a brief illness triggered considerations of mortality and “the futility of all human endeavour”, and Crowley abandoned all thoughts of a diplomatic career in favour of pursuing an interest in the occult. In March 1898, he obtained A.E. Waite’s The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts (1898), and then Karl von Eckartshausen’s The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary (1896), furthering his occult interests. In 1898 Crowley privately published 100 copies of his poem Aceldama: A Place to Bury Strangers In, but it was not a particular success. That same year he published a string of other poems, including the collection White Stains, a piece of decadent erotica that had to be printed abroad in case it caused trouble with the British authorities. In July 1898, he left Cambridge, not having taken any degree at all despite a “first class” showing in his 1897 exams and consistent “second class honours” results before that.

The Golden Dawn: 1898–99
In August 1898, Crowley was in Zermatt, Switzerland, where he met the chemist Julian L. Baker, and the two began discussing their common interest in alchemy. Back in London, Baker introduced Crowley to George Cecil Jones, a member of the occult society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which had been founded in 1888. Crowley was initiated into the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn on 18 November 1898 by the group’s leader, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. The ceremony took place at the Isis-Urania Temple in London’s Mark Masons Hall, where Crowley accepted his motto and magical name of “Frater Perdurabo”, a Latin term meaning “Brother I shall endure to the end”.Biographers Richard Spence and Tobias Churton have suggested that Crowley joined the Order under the command of the British secret services to monitor the activities of Mathers, who was known to be a Carlist.

Crowley moved from the Hotel Cecil to his own luxury flat at 67–69 Chancery Lane. He soon invited a senior Golden Dawn member, Allan Bennett, to live with him as his personal magical tutor. Bennett taught Crowley more about ceremonial magic and the ritual use of drugs, and together they performed the rituals of the Goetia, until Bennett left for South Asia to study Buddhism. In November 1899, Crowley purchased Boleskine House in Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland. He developed a love of Scottish culture, describing himself as the “Laird of Boleskine” and took to wearing traditional highland dress, even during visits to London. He continued writing poetry, publishing Jezebel and Other Tragic Poems, Tales of Archais, Songs of the Spirit, Appeal to the American Republic, and Jephthah in 1898–99; most gained mixed reviews, and the latter was a critical success.

Crowley soon progressed through the grades of the Golden Dawn, and was ready to enter the inner Second Order.He was unpopular in the group; his bisexuality and libertine lifestyle had gained him a bad reputation, and he developed feuds with members like W.B. Yeats. When the London Golden Dawn refused to initiate Crowley into the Second Order, he visited Mathers in Paris, who personally upgraded him. A schism had developed between Mathers and the London members of the Golden Dawn, who were unhappy with his autocratic rule. Acting under Mathers’ orders, Crowley – with the help of his mistress and fellow initiate Elaine Simpson – attempted to seize the Vault of Rosenkreutz, a temple space at 36 Blythe Road, from the London rebels. When the case was taken to court, the judge ruled in favour of the rebels, as they had paid for the space’s rent, leaving both Crowley and Mathers isolated from the group. Spence suggested that the entire scenario was part of an intelligence operation to undermine Mathers’ authority.

Mexico, India, Paris, and marriage: 1900–03
In 1900, Crowley travelled to Mexico via the United States, settling in Mexico City and taking a local woman as his mistress. Developing a love of the country, he continued experimenting with ceremonial magic, working with John Dee’s Enochian invocations. He later claimed to have been initiated into Freemasonry while in the city, and spending time writing, he wrote a play based on Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser as well as a series of poems, published as Oracles (1905). Eckenstein joined him later that year, and together they climbed several mountains, including Iztaccihuatl, Popocatepetl, and Colima, the latter of which they had to abandon owing to a volcanic eruption. Spence has suggested that the purpose of the trip might have been to explore Mexican oil prospects for British intelligence. Leaving Mexico, Crowley headed to San Francisco before sailing for Hawaii aboard the Nippon Maru. On the ship he had a brief affair with a married woman named Mary Alice Rogers; claiming to have fallen in love with her, he wrote a series of poems about the romance, published as Alice: An Adultery (1903).
Briefly stopping at Japan and Hong Kong, Crowley reached Ceylon, where he met with Allan Bennett, who was there studying Shaivism. The pair spent some time in Kandy before Bennett decided to become a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition, travelling to Burma to do so.Crowley decided to tour India, devoting himself to the Hindu practice of raja yoga, from which he claimed to have achieved the spiritual state of dhyana. He spent much of this time studying at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madura, and also wrote poetry which was published as The Sword of Song (1904). He contracted malaria, and had to recuperate from the disease in Calcutta and Rangoon. In 1902, he was joined in India by Eckenstein and several other mountaineers: Guy Knowles, H. Pfannl, V. Wesseley, and Jules Jacot-Guillarmod. Together the Eckenstein-Crowley expedition attempted K2, which had never been climbed. On the journey, Crowley was afflicted with influenza, malaria, and snow blindness, and other expedition members were also struck with illness. They reached an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,100 m) before turning back.

Arriving in Paris in November 1902, he associated largely with the painter Gerald Festus Kelly, and through him became a fixture of the Parisian arts scene, authoring a series of poems on the work of an acquaintance, the sculptor Auguste Rodin, published as Rodin in Rime (1907). One of those frequenting this milieu was W. Somerset Maugham, who after briefly meeting Crowley later used him as a model for the character of Oliver Haddo in his novel The Magician (1908).Returning to Boleskine in April 1903, in August Crowley wed Gerald’s sister Rose Edith Kelly in a “marriage of convenience” to prevent her entering an arranged marriage; the marriage appalled the Kelly family and damaged his friendship with Gerald. Heading on a honeymoon to Paris, Cairo, and then Ceylon, Crowley fell in love with her and set about to successfully prove his affections. He wrote her a series of love poems, published as Rosa Mundi and other Love Songs (1906), also authoring Why Jesus Wept.

Developing Thelema Egypt and The Book of the Law: 1904
In February 1904, Crowley and Rose arrived in Cairo. Claiming to be a prince and princess, they rented an apartment in which Crowley set up a temple room and began invoking ancient Egyptian deities, also studying Arabic and Islamic mysticism.According to Crowley’s later account, Rose regularly became delirious and informed him “they are waiting for you”. On 18 March, she explained that “they” were the god Horus, and on 20 March proclaimed that “the Equinox of the Gods has come.” She led him to a nearby museum, where she showed him a seventh-century BCE mortuary stele known as the Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu (Crowley later termed it the “Stele of Revealing”); Crowley was astounded, for the exhibit’s number was 666, the number of the beast in Christian belief.

According to later claims, on 8 April Crowley heard a disembodied voice claiming to be coming from Aiwass, an entity who was the messenger of Horus, or Hoor-Paar-Kraat. Crowley said that he wrote down everything the voice told him over the course of the next three days, and titled it Liber AL vel Legis or The Book of the Law. The book proclaimed that humanity was entering a new Aeon, and that Crowley would serve as its prophet. It stated that a supreme moral law was to be introduced in this Aeon, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”, and that people should learn to live in tune with their “True Will”. This book, and the philosophy that it espoused, became the cornerstone of Crowley’s religion, Thelema. Crowley was unsure what to do with The Book of the Law, and often came to resent it. He ignored the instructions that it commanded him to perform, which included taking the Stele of Revealing from the museum, fortifying his own island, and translating the book into all the world’s languages. Instead he sent typescripts of the work to several occultists he knew, and then “put aside the book with relief”.

Kangchenjunga and China: 1905–06
Returning to Boleskine, Crowley came to believe that Mathers had begun using magic against him, and the relationship between the two broke down. On 28 July 1905, Rose gave birth to Crowley’s first child, a daughter named Lilith, with Crowley authoring the pornographic Snowdrops From a Curate’s Garden to entertain his recuperating wife. He also founded a publishing company through which to publish his poetry, naming it the Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth in parody of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Among its first publications were Crowley’s Collected Works, edited by Ivor Back. His poetry often received strong reviews (either positive or negative), but never sold well. In an attempt to gain more publicity, he issued a reward of £100 for the best essay on his work. The winner of this was J.F.C. Fuller, a British Army officer and military historian, whose essay, The Star in the West (1907), heralded Crowley’s poetry as some of the greatest ever written.
Crowley decided to climb Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas of Nepal, widely recognised as the world’s most treacherous mountain. Assembling a team consisting of Jacot-Guillarmod, Charles Adolphe Reymond, Alexis Pache, and Alcesti C. Rigo de Righi, the expedition was marred by much argument between Crowley and the others, who felt that he was reckless. They eventually mutinied against Crowley’s control, with the other climbers heading back down the mountain as nightfall approached despite Crowley’s warnings that it was too dangerous. Crowley was proved right as Pache and several porters were killed in an accident, something for which Crowley was widely blamed by the mountaineering community.

Spending time in Moharbhanj, where he took part in big game hunting and wrote the homoerotic work The Scented Garden, Crowley met up with Rose and Lilith in Calcutta before being forced to leave India after shooting dead a native who tried to mug him.Briefly visiting Bennett in Burma, Crowley and his family decided to tour Southern China, hiring porters and a nanny for the purpose. Spence has suggested that this was part of Crowley’s job as an intelligence agent, in order to report on the region’s opium trade.Crowley smoked opium throughout the journey, which took the family from Tengyueh through to Yungchang, Tali, Yunnanfu, and then Hanoi, before sailing to Hong Kong. On the way he spent much time on spiritual and magical work, reciting invocations from the Goetia on a daily basis.

While Rose and Lilith returned to Europe, Crowley headed to Shanghai to meet old friend Elaine Simpson, who was fascinated by The Book of the Law; together they performed rituals to contact Aiwass. Crowley then sailed to Japan and Canada, before continuing to New York City, where he unsuccessfully attempted to gain support for a second expedition up Kangchenjunga. Upon arrival in Britain, Crowley learned that his daughter Lilith had died of typhoid in Rangoon, something he later blamed on Rose’s increasing alcoholism. Heartbroken, his health began to suffer, and he underwent a series of surgical operations. He began short-lived romances with actress Vera “Lola” Stepp and author Ada Leverson, and Rose gave birth to Crowley’s second daughter, Lola Zaza, in February 1907.

The A∴A∴ and the Holy Books of Thelema: 1907–09
With his old mentor George Cecil Jones, Crowley continued performing the Abramelin rituals at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Coulsdon, Surrey. Crowley claimed that in doing so he attained samadhi, or union with Godhead, thereby marking a turning point in his life. Making heavy use of hashish during these rituals, he wrote an influential essay on “The Psychology of Hashish” (1909). He also claimed to have been contacted once again by Aiwass in late October and November 1907, resulting in two further texts, “Liber VII” and “Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente”, which was later classified in the corpus of Holy Books of Thelema. Crowley wrote down more received Thelemic Holy Books during the last two months of the year, including “Liber LXVI”, “Liber Arcanorum”, “Liber Porta Lucis, Sub Figura X”, “Liber Tau”, “Liber Trigrammaton” and “Liber DCCCXIII vel Ararita”. In June 1909, when the manuscript of The Book of the Law was rediscovered at Boleskine, Crowley finally came to fully accept Thelema as objective truth.

Crowley’s inheritance was running out. Trying to earn money, he was hired by George Montagu Bennett, the Earl of Tankerville, to help protect him from witchcraft; recognising Bennett’s paranoia as being based in his cocaine addiction, Crowley took him on holiday to France and Morocco to recuperate. In 1907, he also began taking in paying students, whom he instructed in occult and magical practice. Victor Neuburg, whom Crowley met in February 1907, became his closest disciple and sexual partner; in 1908 the pair toured northern Spain before heading to Tangier, Morocco. The following year Neuburg stayed at Boleskine, where he and Crowley engaged in sadomasochism. Crowley continued to write prolifically, producing such works of poetry as Ambergris, Clouds Without Water, and Konx Om Pax, as well as his first attempt at an autobiography, The World’s Tragedy.Recognising the popularity of short horror stories, Crowley wrote his own, some of which were published, and he also published several articles in Vanity Fair, a magazine edited by his friend Frank Harris. He also wrote Liber 777, a book of magical and Qabalistic correspondences that borrowed from Mathers and Bennett.
In November 1907, Crowley and Jones decided to found an occult order to act as a successor to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, being aided in doing so by Fuller. The result was the A∴A∴. The group’s headquarters and temple were situated at 124 Victoria Street in central London, and their rites borrowed much from those of the Golden Dawn, but with an added Thelemic basis. Its earliest members included solicitor Richard Noel Warren, artist Austin Osman Spare, Horace Sheridan-Bickers, author George Raffalovich, Francis Henry Everard Joseph Feilding, engineer Herbert Edward Inman, Kenneth Ward, and Charles Stansfeld Jones. In March 1909, Crowley began production of a biannual periodical that acted as the “Official Organ” of the A∴A∴, titled The Equinox, which was billed as “The Review of Scientific Illuminism”. The philosophy it espoused was described as “The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion”, and it contained both articles on occultism, non-fiction pieces, and artworks.

Meanwhile, unable to stand her alcoholism, Crowley divorced Rose in November 1909, on the grounds of his own adultery. Lola was entrusted to Rose’s care; the couple remained friends and she continued to live at Boleskine. Her alcoholism worsened, and as a result she was institutionalised in September 1911.

Algeria and the Rites of Eleusis: 1909–11
In November 1909, Crowley and Neuburg travelled to Algeria, touring the desert from El Arba to Aumale, Bou Saâda, and then Dā’leh Addin, with Crowley reciting the Quran on a daily basis. During the trip he performed the 19 Calls of Enochian magic, with Neuburg recording the results, later published in The Equinox as The Vision and the Voice. Following a mountaintop sex magic ritual, Crowley also performed an invocation to the demon Choronzon involving blood sacrifice, considering the results to be a watershed in his magical career. Returning to London in January 1910, Crowley found that Mathers was suing him for publishing Golden Dawn secrets in The Equinox; the court found in favour of Crowley. The case was widely reported on in the press, with Crowley gaining wider fame.Crowley enjoyed this, and played up to the sensationalist stereotype of being a Satanist and advocate of human sacrifice, despite being neither.

The publicity attracted new members to the A∴A∴, among them Frank Bennett, James Bayley, Herbert Close, and James Windram. The Australian violinist Leila Waddell soon became Crowley’s lover. Deciding to expand his teachings to a wider audience, Crowley developed the Rites of Artemis, a public performance of magic and symbolism featuring A∴A∴ members personifying various deities. It was first performed at the A∴A∴ headquarters, with attendees given a fruit punch containing peyote to enhance their experience. Various members of the press attended, and reported largely positively on it. In October and November 1910, Crowley decided to stage something similar, the Rites of Eleusis, at Caxton Hall, Westminster; this time press reviews were mixed. Crowley came under particular criticism from West de Wend Fenton, editor of The Looking Glass newspaper, who called him “one of the most blasphemous and cold-blooded villains of modern times.” Fenton’s articles suggested that Crowley and Jones were involved in homosexual activity; Crowley did not mind, but Jones was incensed and unsuccessfully sued for libel. Fuller broke off his friendship and involvement with Crowley over the scandal, and Crowley and Neuburg returned to Algeria for further magical workings.

The Equinox continued publishing, and various books of literature and poetry were also published under its imprint, like Crowley’s Ambergris, The Winged Beetle, and The Scented Garden, as well as Neuburg’s The Triumph of Pan and Ethel Archer’s The Whirlpool. In 1911, Crowley and Waddell holidayed in Montigny-sur-Loing, where he wrote prolifically, producing poems, short stories, plays, and 19 works on magic and mysticism, including the two final Holy Books of Thelema. In Paris, he met Mary Desti, who became his next “Scarlet Woman”, with the two undertaking magical workings in St. Moritz; Crowley believed that one of the Secret Chiefs, Ab-ul-Diz, was speaking through her. Based on Desti’s statements when in trance, Crowley wrote the two-volume Book 4 (1912–13) and developed the spelling “magick” to differentiate what he practised from the tricks of illusionists.

Ordo Templi Orientis and the Paris Working: 1912–14
In early 1912, Crowley published The Book of Lies, a work of mysticism that biographer Lawrence Sutin described as “his greatest success in merging his talents as poet, scholar, and magus”. The German occultist Theodor Reuss later accused him of publishing some of the secrets of his own occult order, the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), within The Book. Crowley convinced Reuss that the similarities were coincidental, and the two became friends. Reuss appointed Crowley as head of the O.T.O’s British branch, the Mysteria Mystica Maxima (MMM), and at a ceremony in Berlin Crowley adopted the magical name of Baphomet and was proclaimed “X° Supreme Rex and Sovereign Grand Master General of Ireland, Iona, and all the Britons”. With Reuss’ permission, Crowley set about advertising the MMM and re-writing many O.T.O. rituals, which were then based largely on Freemasonry; his incorporation of Thelemite elements proved controversial in the group. Fascinated by the O.T.O’s emphasis on sex magic, Crowley devised a magical working based on anal sex and incorporated it into the syllabus for XI° level initiates.

In March 1913 Crowley acted as producer for The Ragged Ragtime Girls, a group of female violinists led by Waddell, as they performed at London’s Old Tivoli theatre. They subsequently performed in Moscow for six weeks, where Crowley had a sadomasochistic relationship with the Hungarian Anny Ringler. In Moscow, Crowley continued to write plays and poetry, including “Hymn to Pan”, and the Gnostic Mass, a Thelemic ritual that became a key part of O.T.O. liturgy. Churton suggested that Crowley had travelled to Moscow on the orders of British intelligence to spy on revolutionary elements in the city. In January 1914 Crowley and Neuburg settled in to an apartment in Paris, where he was involved in the controversy surrounding Jacob Epstein’s new monument to Oscar Wilde, and they performed the six-week “Paris Working”, in which they invoked the gods Mercury and Jupiter. Involving strong drug use, they performed sex magic themselves and with journalist Walter Duranty. Crowley wrote down the results of the working, among them Liber Agapé, a treatise on sex magic. Following the Working, Neuburg began to distance himself from Crowley, resulting in an argument in which Crowley cursed him.

United States: 1914–19
By 1914 Crowley was living a hand-to-mouth existence, relying largely on donations and the membership fees from the O.T.O. and A∴A∴. In May he transferred ownership of Boleskine House to the MMM for financial reasons, and in July he went mountaineering in the Swiss Alps. During this time the First World War broke out. After recuperating from a bout of phlebitis, Crowley set sail for the United States aboard the RMS Lusitania in October 1914. Arriving in New York City, he moved into a hotel and began earning money writing for the American edition of Vanity Fair and undertaking freelance work for the famed astrologer Evangeline Adams. In the city, he continued experimenting with sex magic, through the use of masturbation, female prostitutes, and male clients of a Turkish bathhouse; all of these encounters were documented in his diaries.

Professing to be of Irish ancestry and a supporter of Irish independence from Great Britain, Crowley began to espouse views supporting Germany in their war against Britain. He became involved in New York’s pro-German movement, and in January 1915 German spy George Sylvester Viereck employed him as a writer for his propagandist paper, The Fatherland, which was dedicated to keeping the US neutral in the conflict. In later years, detractors denounced Crowley as a traitor to Britain for this action. In reality, Crowley was a double agent, working for the British intelligence services to infiltrate and undermine Germany’s operation in New York. Many of his articles in The Fatherland were hyperbolic, for instance comparing Kaiser Wilhelm II to Jesus Christ; in July 1915 he orchestrated a publicity stunt – reported on by The New York Times – in which he declared independence for Ireland in front of the Statue of Liberty; the real intention was to make the German lobby appear ridiculous in the eyes of the American public. It has been argued that he encouraged the German Navy to destroy the Lusitania, informing them that it would ensure the US stayed out of the war, while in reality hoping that it would bring the US into the war on Britain’s side.

Crowley entered into a relationship with Jeanne Robert Foster, with whom he toured the West Coast. In Vancouver, headquarters of the North American O.T.O., he met with Charles Stansfeld Jones and Wilfred Talbot Smith to discuss the propagation of Thelema on the continent. In Detroit he experimented with anhalonium at Parke-Davis, then visited Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana, and the Grand Canyon, before returning to New York. There he befriended Ananda Coomaraswamy and his wife Alice Richardson; Crowley and Richardson performed sex magic in April 1916, following which she became pregnant and then miscarried. Later that year he took a “magical retirement” to a cabin by Lake Pasquaney owned by Evangeline Adams. There, he made heavy use of drugs and undertook a ritual after which he proclaimed himself “Master Therion”. He also wrote several short stories based on J.G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough and a work of literary criticism, The Gospel According to Bernard Shaw.

In December he moved to New Orleans, his favourite US city, before spending February 1917 with evangelical Christian relatives in Titusville, Florida. Returning to New York, he moved in with artist and A∴A∴ member Leon Engars Kennedy, in May learning of his mother’s death. After the collapse of The Fatherland, Crowley continued his association with Viereck, who appointed him contributing editor of arts journal The International. Crowley used it to promote Thelema, but it soon ceased publication. He then moved to the studio apartment of Roddie Minor, who became his partner and Scarlet Woman. Through their rituals, Crowley believed that they were contacted by a preternatural entity named Alamantrah. The relationship soon ended.

In 1918, Crowley went on a magical retreat in the wilderness of Esopus Island on the Hudson River. Here, he began a translation of the Tao Te Ching and experienced past life memories of being Ge Xuan, Pope Alexander VI, Alessandro Cagliostro, and Eliphas Levi, also painting Thelemic slogans on the riverside cliffs. Back in New York, he moved to Greenwich Village, where he took Leah Hirsig as his lover and next Scarlet Woman. He took up painting as a hobby, exhibiting his work at the Greenwich Village Liberal Club and attracting the attention of the New York Evening World. With the financial assistance of sympathetic Freemasons, Crowley revived The Equinox with the first issue of volume III, known as “The Blue Equinox.” He spent mid-1919 on a climbing holiday in Montauk before returning to London in December.

Abbey of Thelema: 1920–23
Now destitute and back in London, Crowley came under attack from the tabloid John Bull, which labelled him traitorous “scum”; several friends aware of his intelligence work urged him to sue, but he decided not to. When he was suffering from asthma, a doctor prescribed him heroin, to which he soon became addicted. In January 1920, he moved to Paris, renting a house in Fontainebleau with Leah Hirsig; they were soon joined in a ménage à trois by Ninette Shumway, and also by Leah’s newborn daughter Anne “Poupée” Leah. Crowley had ideas of forming a community of Thelemites, which he called the Abbey of Thelema after the Abbaye de Thélème in François Rabelais’s satire Gargantua and Pantagruel. After consulting the I Ching, he chose Cefalù (on Sicily, Italy) as a location, and after arriving there, began renting the old Villa Santa Barbara as his Abbey on 2 April.

Moving to the commune with Hirsig, Shumway, and their children Hansi, Howard, and Poupée, Crowley described the scenario as “perfectly happy … my idea of heaven.”They wore robes, and performed rituals to the sun god Ra at set times during the day, also occasionally performing the Gnostic Mass; the rest of the day they were left to follow their own interests. Undertaking widespread correspondences, Crowley continued to paint, wrote a commentary on The Book of the Law, and revised the third part of Book 4. He offered a libertine education for the children, allowing them to play all day and witness acts of sex magic. He occasionally travelled to Palermo to visit rent boys and buy supplies, including drugs; his heroin addiction came to dominate his life, and cocaine began to erode his nasal cavity. There was no cleaning rota, and wild dogs and cats wandered throughout the building, which soon became unsanitary. Poupée died in October 1920, and Ninette gave birth to a daughter, Astarte Lulu Panthea, soon afterwards.

New followers continued to arrive at the Abbey to be taught by Crowley. Among them was film star Jane Wolfe, who arrived in July 1920, where she was initiated into the A∴A∴ and became Crowley’s secretary. Another was Cecil Frederick Russell, who often argued with Crowley, disliking the same-sex sexual magic that he was required to perform, and left after a year. More conducive was the Australian Thelemite Frank Bennett, who also spent several months at the Abbey. In February 1922, Crowley returned to Paris for a retreat in an unsuccessful attempt to kick his heroin addiction. He then went to London in search of money, where he published articles in The English Review criticising the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920 and wrote a novel, Diary of a Drug Fiend, completed in July. On publication, it received mixed reviews; he was lambasted by the Sunday Express, which called for its burning and used its influence to prevent further reprints.

Subsequently, a young Thelemite named Raoul Loveday moved to the Abbey with his wife Betty May; while Loveday was devoted to Crowley, May detested him and life at the commune. She later claimed that Loveday was made to drink the blood of a sacrificed cat, and that they were required to cut themselves with razors every time they used the pronoun “I”. Raoul drank from a local polluted stream, soon developing a liver infection resulting in his death in February 1923. Returning to London, May told her story to the press. John Bull proclaimed Crowley “the wickedest man in the world” and “a man we’d like to hang”, making various slanderous accusations against him, but he was unable to afford the legal fees to sue them. As a result, John Bull continued its attack, with the stories also being picked up by newspapers in North America and throughout Europe. The Fascist government of Benito Mussolini learned of Crowley’s activities and in April 1923 he was given a deportation notice forcing him to leave Italy; without him, the Abbey closed.

Later Life
Tunisia, Paris, and London: 1923–29
Crowley and Hirsig went to Tunis, where, dogged by continuing poor health, he unsuccessfully tried again to give up heroin, and began writing what he termed his “autohagiography”, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. They were joined in Tunis by the Thelemite Norman Mudd, who became Crowley’s public relations consultant.Employing a local boy, Mohammad ben Brahim, as his servant, Crowley went with him on a retreat to Nefta, where they performed sex magic together. In January 1924, Crowley travelled to Nice, France, where he met with Frank Harris, underwent a series of nasal operations, and visited the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, thinking positively of its founder, George Gurdjieff. Destitute, he took on a wealthy student, Alexander Zu Zolar,before taking on another American follower, Dorothy Olsen. Crowley took Olsen back to Tunisia for a magical retreat in Nefta, where he also wrote To Man. After spending the winter in Paris, in early 1925 Crowley and Olsen returned to Tunis, where he wrote The Heart of the Master. In March Olsen became pregnant, and Hirsig was called to take care of her; she miscarried, following which Crowley took Olsen back to France. Hirsig later distanced herself from Crowley, who then denounced her.

According to Crowley, Reuss had named him head of the O.T.O. upon his death, but this was challenged by leader of the German O.T.O., Heinrich Tränker. Tränker called the Hohenleuben Conference in Thuringia, Germany, at which Crowley attended. There, prominent members like Karl Germer and Martha Küntzel championed Crowley’s leadership, but others opposed it, resulting in a split in the O.T.O. Moving to Paris, where he broke with Olsen in 1926, Crowley went through a large number of Scarlet Women over the following years, with whom he experimented in sex magic. Throughout, he was dogged by poor health, largely caused by his heroin and cocaine addictions. In 1928, Crowley was introduced to young Englishman Israel Regardie, who embraced Thelema and became Crowley’s secretary for the next three years. That year, Crowley also met Gerald Yorke, who began organising Crowley’s finances; he never became a Thelemite. He also befriended Thomas Driberg; Driberg did not accept Thelema either. It was here that Crowley also published one of his most significant works, Magick in Theory and Practice, which received little attention at the time.

In December 1929 Crowley met the Nicaraguan Maria Teresa Sanchez, who became his most significant Scarlet Woman of the period. Crowley was deported from France by the authorities, who disliked his reputation and feared that he was a German agent. So that she could join him in Britain, Crowley married Sanchez in August 1929. Now based in London, Mandrake Press agreed to publish his autobiography in a limited edition six-volume set, also publishing his novel Moonchild and book of short stories The Stratagem. Mandrake went into liquidation in November 1930, before the entirety of Crowley’s Confessions could be published.Mandrake’s owner P.R. Stephenson meanwhile wrote The Legend of Aleister Crowley, an analysis of the media coverage surrounding him.

Berlin and London: 1930–38
In April 1930, Crowley moved to Berlin, where he took Hanni Jaegar as his new Scarlet Woman; the relationship was troubled. In September he went to Lisbon in Portugal to meet the poet Fernando Pessoa. There, he decided to fake his own death, doing so with Pessoa’s help at the Boca do Inferno rock formation. He then returned to Berlin, where he reappeared three weeks later at the opening of his art exhibition at the Gallery Neumann-Nierendorf. Crowley’s paintings fitted with the fashion for German Expressionism; few of them sold, but the press reports were largely favourable. In August 1931, he took Bertha Busch as his new lover; they had a violent relationship, and often physically assaulted one another. He continued to have affairs with both men and women while in the city, and met with famous people like Aldous Huxley and Alfred Adler. After befriending him, in January 1932 he took the communist Gerald Hamilton as a lodger, through whom he was introduced to many figures within the Berlin far left; it is possible that he was operating as a spy for British intelligence at this time, monitoring the communist movement.

Crowley left Busch and returned to London, where he took Pearl Brooksmith as his new Scarlet Woman. Undergoing further nasal surgery, it was here in 1932 that he was invited to be guest of honour at Foyles’ Literary Luncheon, also being invited by Harry Price to speak at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research. In need of money, he launched a series of court cases against people whom he believed had libelled him, some of which proved successful. He gained much publicity for his lawsuit against Constable and Co for publishing Nina Hamnett’s Laughing Torso (1932) – a book he thought libelled him – but lost the case. The court case added to Crowley’s financial problems, and in February 1935 he was declared bankrupt. During the hearing, it was revealed that Crowley had been spending three times his income for several years.

Crowley developed a platonic friendship with Deidre Patricia O’Doherty; she agreed to bear his child, who was born in May 1937. Named Randall Gair, Crowley nicknamed him Aleister Atatürk. Crowley continued to socialise with friends, holding curry parties in which he cooked particularly spicy food for them. In 1936, he published his first book in six years, The Equinox of the Gods, which contained a facsimile of The Book of the Law and was considered to be volume III, number 3, of The Equinox periodical. The work sold well, resulting in a second print run. In 1937 he gave a series of public lectures on yoga in Soho. With the A∴A∴ effectively defunct, Crowley was now living largely off contributions supplied by the O.T.O.’s Agape Lodge in California, led by rocket scientist John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons. Crowley was intrigued by the rise of Nazism in Germany, and influenced by his friend Knüsel believed that Adolf Hitler might convert to Thelema; when the Nazis abolished the German O.T.O. and imprisoned Germer, who fled to the US, Crowley then lambasted Hitler as a black magician.

Second World War and death: 1939–47
When the Second World War broke out, Crowley wrote to the Naval Intelligence Division offering his services, but they declined. He associated with a variety of figures in Britain’s intelligence community at the time, including Dennis Wheatley, Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, and Maxwell Knight, and claimed to have been behind the “V for Victory” sign first used by the BBC; this has never been proven. In 1940, his asthma worsened, and with his German-produced medication unavailable, he returned to using heroin, once again becoming addicted. As the Blitz hit London, Crowley relocated to Torquay, where he was briefly hospitalised with asthma, and entertained himself with visits to the local chess club.Tiring of Torquay, he returned to London, where he was visited by American Thelemite Grady McMurty, to whom Crowley awarded the title of “Hymenaeus Alpha.” He stipulated that though Germer would be his immediate successor, McMurty should succeed Germer as head of the O.T.O. on the latter’s death. With O.T.O. initiate Lady Frieda Harris, Crowley developed plans to produce a tarot card set, designed by him and painted by Harris. Accompanying this was a book, published in a limited edition as The Book of Thoth by Chiswick Press in 1944. To aid the war effort, he wrote a proclamation on the rights of humanity, Liber Oz, and a poem for the liberation of France, Le Gauloise. Crowley’s final publication during his lifetime was a book of poetry, Olla: An Anthology of Sixty Years of Song.Another of his projects, Aleister Explains Everything, was posthumously published as Magick Without Tears.

In April 1944 Crowley briefly moved to Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire,where he was visited by the poet Nancy Cunard,before relocating to Hastings in Sussex, where he took up residence at the Netherwood boarding house. He took a young man named Kenneth Grant as his secretary, paying him in magical teaching rather than wages.He was also introduced to John Symonds, whom he appointed to be his literary executor; Symonds thought little of Crowley, later publishing negative biographies of him. Corresponding with the illusionist Arnold Crowther, it was through him that Crowley was introduced to Gerald Gardner, the future founder of Gardnerian Wicca. They became friends, with Crowley authorising Gardner to revive Britain’s ailing O.T.O. Another visitor was Eliza Marian Butler, who interviewed Crowley for her book The Myth of the Magus. Other friends and family also spent time with him, among them Doherty and Crowley’s son Aleister Atatürk. On 1 December 1947, Crowley died at Netherwood of chronic bronchitis aggravated by pleurisy and myocardial degeneration, aged 72. His funeral was held at a Brighton crematorium on 5 December; about a dozen people attended, and Louis Wilkinson read excerpts from the Gnostic Mass, The Book of the Law, and “Hymn to Pan”. The funeral generated press controversy, and was labelled a Black Mass by the tabloids. Crowley’s ashes were sent to Germer in the US, who buried them in his garden in Hampton, New Jersey.

Beliefs and thoughts
Crowley’s thought was not always cohesive, and was influenced by a variety of sources, ranging from eastern religious movements and practices like Hindu yoga and Buddhism, scientific naturalism, and various currents within Western esotericism, among them ceremonial magic, alchemy, astrology, Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, and the Tarot.Philosopher John Moore opined that Crowley’s thought was rooted in Romanticism and the Decadent movement, an assessment shared by historian Alex Owen, who noted that Crowley adhered to the “modus operandi” of the decadent movement throughout his life.

Crowley believed that the twentieth century marked humanity’s entry to the Aeon of Horus, a new era in which humans would take increasing control of their destiny. He believed that this Aeon follows on from the Aeon of Osiris, in which paternalistic religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism dominated the world, and that this in turn had followed the Aeon of Isis, which had been maternalistic and dominated by goddess worship.Thelema revolves around the idea that human beings each have their own True Will that they should discover and pursue, and that this would exist in harmony with the Cosmic Will that pervades the universe. The moral code of “Do What Thou Wilt” is believed by Thelemites to be the faith’s ethical law, although academic Marco Pasi noted that this was not anarchistic or libertarian in structure, as Crowley saw individuals as part of a wider societal organism.

Crowley believed in the objective existence of magic, which he chose to spell “Magick”. In his book Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley defined Magick as “the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.” He also told his disciple Karl Germer that “Magick is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a higher plane than ours. Mysticism is the raising of oneself to their level.”Crowley saw Magick as a third way between religion and science, giving The Equinox the subtitle of “The Method of Science; the Aim of Religion”.

Both during his life and after it, Crowley has been widely described as a Satanist, usually by detractors. Crowley stated he did not consider himself a Satanist, nor did he worship Satan, as he did not accept the Christian world view in which Satan was believed to exist. He did use Satanic imagery, such as referring to himself as the ‘Great Beast’, and picturing the Beast trampling on images of saints in the ‘Lust’ card of his Thoth tarot deck, his motives for doing so are debated. He was also accused of advocating human sacrifice, largely because of a passage in Book 4 in which he stated that “A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory victim”. This was intended as a veiled reference to male masturbation.

Personal life
Crowley biographer Martin Booth asserted that Crowley was “self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel.” Similarly, Richard Spence noted that Crowley was “capable of immense physical and emotional cruelty”. Biographer Lawrence Sutin noted that Crowley exhibited “courage, skill, dauntless energy, and remarkable focus of will” while at the same time showing a “blind arrogance, petty fits of bile, [and] contempt for the abilities of his fellow men”. The Thelemite Lon Milo DuQuette noted that Crowley “was by no means perfect” and “often alienated those who loved him dearest.”

Crowley enjoyed being outrageous and flouting conventional morality,with John Symonds noting that he “was in revolt against the moral and religious values of his time”. Crowley’s political thought was subjected to an in-depth study by academic Marco Pasi, who noted that for Crowley, socio-political concerns were subordinate to metaphysical and spiritual ones. Pasi argued that it was difficult to classify Crowley as being either on the political left or right, but he was perhaps best categorised as a “conservative revolutionary” despite not being affiliated with the German-based conservative revolutionary movement. Pasi noted that Crowley sympathised with extreme ideologies like Nazism and Marxism-Leninism, in that they wished to violently overturn society, and hoped that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union might adopt Thelema. Crowley described democracy as an “imbecile and nauseating cult of weakness”, and commented that The Book of the Law proclaimed that “there is the master and there is the slave; the noble and the serf; the ‘lone wolf’ and the herd”. In this attitude he was influenced by the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and by Social Darwinism. Crowley also saw himself as an aristocrat, describing himself as Lord Boleskine; he had contempt for most of the British aristocracy, and once described his socio-political views as “aristocratic communism”.

Crowley was bisexual, and exhibited a sexual preference for women. In particular he had an attraction toward “exotic women”, and claimed to have fallen in love on multiple occasions; Kaczynski stated that “when he loved, he did so with his whole being, but the passion was typically short-lived.” Even in later life, he was able to attract young bohemian women to be his lovers, largely due to his charisma. During same-sex anal intercourse, he usually played the passive role, which Booth believed “appealed to his masochistic side.” Crowley argued that gay and bisexual people should not suppress their sexual orientation, commenting that people “must not be ashamed or afraid of being homosexual if he happens to be so at heart; he must not attempt to violate his own true nature because of public opinion, or medieval morality, or religious prejudice which would wish he were otherwise.” On other issues he adopted a more conservative attitude; he opposed abortion on moral grounds, believing that no woman following her True Will would ever desire one.

Views on race and gender
Biographer Lawrence Sutin stated that “blatant bigotry is a persistent minor element in Crowley’s writings”. Sutin thought Crowley “a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family who embodied many of the worst John Bull racial and social prejudices of his upper-class contemporaries”, noting that he “embodied the contradiction that writhed within many Western intellectuals of the time: deeply held racist viewpoints courtesy of their culture, coupled with a fascination with people of colour”. He insulted his close Jewish friend Victor Neuburg using anti-Semitic slurs, and he had mixed feelings for Jews as a group. Although he praised their “sublime” poetry and claimed that the “Jewish race” contained “imagination, romance, loyalty, probity and humanity in an exceptional degree”, he also thought that centuries of persecution had led some Jews to exhibit “avarice, servility, falseness, cunning and the rest”. He was also known to praise various ethnic and cultural groups, for instance he claimed that the Chinese people exhibited a “spiritual superiority” to the English, and praised Muslims for exhibiting “manliness, straightforwardness, subtlety, and self-respect.”

Crowley also exhibited a “general misogyny” that Booth believed arose from his bad relationship with his mother. Sutin noted that Crowley “largely accepted the notion, implicitly embodied in Victorian sexology, of women as secondary social beings in terms of intellect and sensibility”. Crowley described women as “moral inferiors” who had to be treated with “firmness, kindness and justice.” Conversely, Crowley also wrote that “We of Thelema say that ‘Every man and every woman is a star.’ We do not fool and flatter women, we do not despise and abuse them. To us, a woman is herself, absolute, original, independent, free, self-justified, exactly as a man is.”

Legacy and influence
Crowley has remained an influential figure, both amongst occultists and in popular culture, particularly that of Britain, but also of other parts of the world. In 2002, a BBC poll placed Crowley seventy-third in a list of the 100 Greatest Britons. Richard Cavendish has written of him that “In native talent, penetrating intelligence and determination, Aleister Crowley was the best-equipped magician to emerge since the seventeenth century.” Wouter Hanegraaff asserted that Crowley was an extreme representation of “the dark side of the occult”, while philosopher John Moore opined that Crowley stood out as a “Modern Master” when compared with other prominent occult figures like George Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, or Madame Blavatsky, also describing him as a “living embodiment” of Oswald Spengler’s “Faustian Man”. Biographer Tobias Churton considered Crowley “a pioneer of consciousness research”, and Sutin thought that he had made “distinctly original contributions” to the study of yoga in the West.

Thelema continued to develop and spread following Crowley’s death. In 1969, the O.T.O. was reactivated in California under the leadership of Grady Louis McMurty; in 1985 its right to the title was unsuccessfully challenged in court by a rival group, the Society Ordo Templi Orientis, led by Brazilian Thelemite Marcelo Ramos Motta. Another American Thelemite was the filmmaker Kenneth Anger, who had been influenced by Crowley’s writings from a young age. In the United Kingdom, Kenneth Grant propagated a tradition known as Typhonian Thelema through his organisation, the Typhonian OTO, later renamed the Typhonian Order. Also in Britain, an occultist known as Amado Crowley claimed to be Crowley’s son; these claims have been refuted by academic investigation. Amado argued that Thelema was a false religion created by Crowley to hide his true esoteric teachings, which Amado claimed to be propagating.

Several Western esoteric traditions other than Thelema were also influenced by Crowley. Gerald Gardner, founder of Gardnerian Wicca, made use of much of Crowley’s published material when composing the Gardnerian ritual liturgy, and the Australian witch Rosaleen Norton was also heavily influenced by Crowley’s ideas. L. Ron Hubbard, the American founder of Scientology, was involved in Thelema in the early 1940s (with Jack Parsons), and it has been argued that Crowley’s ideas influenced some of his early work. Two prominent figures in religious Satanism, Anton LaVey and Michael Aquino, were also influenced by Crowley’s work.

Crowley also had a wider influence in British popular culture. He was included as one of the figures on the cover art of The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and his motto of “Do What Thou Wilt” was inscribed on the vinyl of Led Zeppelin’s album Led Zeppelin III (1970) David Bowie made reference to Crowley in the lyrics of his song “Quicksand” (1971), while Ozzy Osbourne and his lyricist Bob Daisley wrote a song titled “Mr Crowley” (1980).Jimmy Page, the guitarist and co-founder of 1970s rock band Led Zeppelin, was rumoured to be fascinated by Crowley. In 1971 he bought Boleskine House, in the grounds of which part of the band’s movie The Song Remains the Same was filmed. He sold the house in 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

Dec 06

Count of St. Germain

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

220px-Count_of_St_GermainThe Comte de Saint Germain (born 1712(1710; died 27 February 1784)was a European courtier, with an interest in science and the arts. He achieved prominence in European high society of the mid-1700s. Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel considered him to be “one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived”. St. Germain used a variety of names and titles, an accepted practice amongst royals and nobles at the time. These include the Marquis de Montferrat, Comte Bellamarre, Chevalier Schoening, Count Weldon, Comte Soltikoff, Graf Tzarogy and Prinz Ragoczy. In order to deflect inquiries as to his origins, he would invent fantasies, such as that he was 500 years old leading Voltaire to sarcastically dub him “The Wonderman”.

His birth and background are obscure, but towards the end of his life he claimed that he was a son of Prince Francis II Rákóczi of Transylvania. His name has occasionally caused him to be confused with Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain, a noted French general, and Robert-François Quesnay de Saint Germain, an active occultist.

Background
The Count claimed to be a son of Francis II Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania, possibly legitimate, possibly by Duchess Violante Beatrice of Bavaria. This would account for his wealth and fine education. It also explains why kings would accept him as one of their own. The will of Francis II Rákóczi mentions his eldest son, Leopold George, who was believed to have died at the age of four. The speculation is that his identity was safeguarded as a protective measure from the persecutions against the Habsburg dynasty. At the time of his arrival in Schleswig in 1779, St. Germain told Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel that he was 88 years old. This would place his birth in 1691, when Francis II Rákóczi was 15 years old.

St. Germain was educated in Italy by the last of Medicis, Gian Gastone, his mother’s brother-in-law.

It is believed that he was a student at the University of Siena.

Historical figure
He appears to have begun to be known under the title of the Count of St Germain during the early 1740s.

England
According to David Hunter, the Count contributed some of the songs to L’incostanza delusa, an opera performed at the Haymarket Theatre in London on all but one of the Saturdays from 9 February to 20 April 1745. Later, in a letter of December of that same year, Horace Walpole mentions the Count St. Germain as being arrested in London on suspicion of espionage (this was during the Jacobite rebellion) but released without charge:

The other day they seized an odd man, who goes by the name of Count St. Germain. He has been here these two years, and will not tell who he is, or whence, but professes [two wonderful things, the first] that he does not go by his right name; [and the second that he never had any dealings with any woman – nay, nor with any succedaneum (this was censored by Walpole’s editors until 1954)] He sings, plays on the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad, and not very sensible. He is called an Italian, a Spaniard, a Pole; a somebody that married a great fortune in Mexico, and ran away with her jewels to Constantinople; a priest, a fiddler, a vast nobleman. The Prince of Wales has had unsatiated curiosity about him, but in vain. However, nothing has been made out against him; he is released; and, what convinces me that he is not a gentleman, stays here, and talks of his being taken up for a spy.

The Count gave two private musical performances in London in April and May 1749. On one such occasion, Lady Jemima Yorke described how she was ‘very much entertain’d by him or at him the whole Time- I mean the Oddness of his Manner which it is impossible not to laugh at, otherwise you know he is very sensible & well-bred in conversation’.She continued:

‘He is an Odd Creature, and the more I see him the more curious I am to know something about him. He is everything with everybody: he talks Ingeniously with Mr Wray, Philosophy with Lord Willoughby, and is gallant with Miss Yorke, Miss Carpenter, and all the Young Ladies. But the Character and Philosopher is what he seems to pretend to, and to be a good deal conceited of: the Others are put on to comply with Les Manieres du Monde, but that you are to suppose his real characteristic; and I can’t but fancy he is a great Pretender in All kinds of Science, as well as that he really has acquired an uncommon Share in some’.

Walpole reports that St Germain:
‘spoke Italian and French with the greatest facility, though it was evident that neither was his language; he understood Polish, and soon learnt to understand English and talk it a little […] But Spanish or Portuguese seemed his natural language.

Walpole concludes that the Count was ‘a man of Quality who had been in or designed for the Church. He was too great a musician not to have been famous if he had not been a gentleman’.Walpole describes the Count as pale, with ‘extremely black’ hair and a beard. ‘He dressed magnificently, [and] had several jewels’ and was clearly receiving ‘large remittances, but made no other figure’.

France
St Germain appeared in the French court in around 1748. In 1749 he was employed by Louis XV for diplomatic missions.

A mime and English comedian known as Mi’Lord Gower impersonated St-Germain in Paris salons. His stories were wilder than the real Count’s — he had advised Jesus, for example. Inevitably, hearsay of his routine got confused with the original.

Giacomo Casanova describes in his memoirs several meetings with the “celebrated and learned impostor”. Of his first meeting, in Paris in 1757, he writes:

The most enjoyable dinner I had was with Madame de Robert Gergi, who came with the famous adventurer, known by the name of the Count de St. Germain. This individual, instead of eating, talked from the beginning of the meal to the end, and I followed his example in one respect as I did not eat, but listened to him with the greatest attention. It may safely be said that as a conversationalist he was unequalled.

St. Germain gave himself out for a marvel and always aimed at exciting amazement, which he often succeeded in doing. He was scholar, linguist, musician, and chemist, good-looking, and a perfect ladies’ man. For awhile he gave them paints and cosmetics; he flattered them, not that he would make them young again (which he modestly confessed was beyond him) but that their beauty would be preserved by means of a wash which, he said, cost him a lot of money, but which he gave away freely.

He had contrived to gain the favour of Madame de Pompadour, who had spoken about him to the king, for whom he had made a laboratory, in which the monarch — a martyr to boredom — tried to find a little pleasure or distraction, at all events, by making dyes. The king had given him a suite of rooms at Chambord, and a hundred thousand francs for the construction of a laboratory, and according to St. Germain the dyes discovered by the king would have a materially beneficial influence on the quality of French fabrics.

This extraordinary man, intended by nature to be the king of impostors and quacks, would say in an easy, assured manner that he was three hundred years old, that he knew the secret of the Universal Medicine, that he possessed a mastery over nature, that he could melt diamonds, professing himself capable of forming, out of ten or twelve small diamonds, one large one of the finest water without any loss of weight. All this, he said, was a mere trifle to him. Notwithstanding his boastings, his bare-faced lies, and his manifold eccentricities, I cannot say I thought him offensive. In spite of my knowledge of what he was and in spite of my own feelings, I thought him an astonishing man as he was always astonishing me.

In 1760, at the height of the Seven Years’ War, St. Germain travelled to Holland where he tried to open peace negotiations between Britain and France. British diplomats concluded that St. Germain had the backing of the Duc de Belle-isle and possibly of Madame de Pompadour, who were trying to outmanoeuvre the French Foreign Minister, the pro-Austrian Duc de Choiseul. However Britain would not treat with St. Germain unless his credentials came directly from the French king. The Duc de Choiseul convinced Louis XV to disavow St. Germain and demand his arrest. Count Bentinck de Rhoon, a Dutch diplomat, regarded the arrest warrant as internal French politicking which Holland should not involve itself in. However, a direct refusal to extradite St. Germain was also considered impolitic. De Rhoon therefore facilitated the departure of St. Germain to England with a passport issued by the British Ambassador, General Joseph Yorke. This passport was made out “in blank”, allowing St. Germain to travel under an assumed name, showing that this practice was officially accepted at the time. Peace between Britain and France was later concluded at the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

Death
In 1779 St. Germain arrived in Altona in Schleswig. Here he made an acquaintance with Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel, who also had an interest in mysticism and was a member of several secret societies. The Count showed the Prince several of his gems and he convinced the latter that he had invented a new method of colouring cloth. The Prince was impressed and installed the Count in an abandoned factory at Eckernförde he had acquired especially for the Count, and supplied him with the materials and cloths that St. Germain needed to proceed with the project. The two met frequently in the following years, and the Prince outfitted a laboratory for alchemical experiments in his nearby summer residence Louisenlund, where they, among other things, cooperated in creating gemstones and jewelry. The Prince later recounts in a letter that he was the only person in whom the Count truly confided. He told the Prince that he was the son of the Transylvanian Prince Francis II Rákóczi, and that he had been 88 years of age when he arrived in Schleswig.

The Count died in his residence in the factory on 27 February 1784, while the Prince was staying in Kassel, and the death was recorded in the register of the St. Nicolai Church in Eckernförde. He was buried 2 March and the cost of the burial was listed in the accounting books of the church the following day. The official burial site for the Count is at Nicolai Church (German St. Nicolaikirche) in Eckernförde. He was buried in a private grave. On April 3 the same year, the mayor and the city council of Eckernförde issued an official proclamation about the auctioning off of the Count’s remaining effects in case no living relative would appear within a designated time period to lay claim on them. Prince Charles donated the factory to the crown and it was afterward converted into a hospital.

Jean Fuller-Overton found, during her research, that the Count’s estate upon his death was: a packet of paid and receipted bills and quittances, 82 Rthler and 13 shillings (cash), 29 various groups of items of clothing (this includes gloves, stockings, trousers, shirts, etc.), 14 linen shirts, 8 other groups of linen items, and various sundries (razors, buckles, toothbrushes, sunglasses, combs, etc.). There were no diamonds, jewels, gold, or any other riches. There were no kept cultural items from travels, personal items (like his violin), or any notes of correspondence.

Music by The Count
The following list of music comes from Appendix II from Jean Overton-Fuller’s book “The Comte de Saint Germain”.(please visit website to have a look at his works)

In Theosophy
Myths, legends and speculations about St. Germain began to be widespread in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and continue today. They include beliefs that he is immortal, the Wandering Jew, an alchemist with the “Elixir of Life”, a Rosicrucian, and that he prophesied the French Revolution. He is said to have met the forger Giuseppe Balsamo (alias Cagliostro) in London and the composer Rameau in Venice. Some groups honor Saint Germain as a supernatural being called an Ascended Master. Madame Blavatsky and her pupil, Annie Besant, both claimed to have met the Count who was traveling under a different name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_of_St._Germain

Dec 05

Nicholas Culpepper

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

nicholas-culpeperNicholas Culpepper or Culpeper (1616-1654), was the son of a clergyman, the Reverend Nicholas Culpeper, Sr. His father died 13 days before his birth. His childhood was spent in Isfield, Sussex, where he was brought up by his mother at her family home. His maternal grandfather, the Reverend William Attersole, then minister of St Margaret’s Church, Isfield, and author of many theological treatises, had a powerful influence on Culpeper’s early development. He taught Nicholas Latin and Greek, whilst instilling a strong puritanical influence and a healthy disrespect for the Crown. Attersole’s writings show that he had a great respect for astrology and was conversant with Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos. By contrast, his maternal grandmother first exposed Nicholas to the use of medicinal plants. These influenced his lifetime interests in astrology and medicinal plants.

At the age of 10, Culpepper started reading astrological and medical texts from his grandfather’s library. In particular Sir Christopher Heydon’s Defence of Judicial Astrology (1603) greatly impressed him. He was fond of the illustrations in William Turner’s New Herball (1568). From his early teens he was already familiar with all the local species of herbs that grew in his hometown. On one occasion he found a copy of Anatomy of Man’s Body by Thomas Vicary, a barber-surgeon to Henry VIII. He secretly read it in the hayloft above a nearby barn. He was fascinated by its descriptions of the sexual organs and the mysteries of reproduction. This book influenced his own Directory for Midwives (1651), and deeply inspired his own calling to be a physician.

In 1632, aged 16, Culpeper was sent to Cambridge University. His grandfather and mother had decided that he should follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Minister. He thought otherwise, increasing his study of the classics with lectures on anatomy and the materia medica of Galen and Hippocrates. Instead of taking his theology subjects seriously, he spent most his time socialising in taverns and playing sports such as tennis, bowls and swimming. He also picked up at Cambridge the newly fashionable habit of smoking.

His time at Cambridge was rapidly ended by emotional events.

He planned to marry his childhood sweetheart, the heiress Judith Rivers. Their relationship was unnoticed by their families. When Nicholas was sent to Cambridge they endured a painful separation, but remained in touch by letter. They planned to get married, and knowing that her family would not give them their consent, they decided to elope. Their plan to meet near Lewes to secretly marry ended tragically when Judith’s coach was struck by lightning and she was killed. It was a devastating event that somehow became a turning point in Culpeper’s life.

He never graduated, for although he was a bright scholar, he eventually left school and commenced on what turned out to be a long apprenticeship with a London Apothecary. After seven years his master absconded with the money paid for the indenture, and soon, his mother died of breast cancer. His apprenticeship completed in 1640 and he started his practice as a physician in Spitalfields.

Culpepper found love again in 1640, at the age of 24. He married Alice Field, 15 years old, who had just inherited a considerable fortune. As a daughter of a wealthy merchant, the marriage allowed him to set up a pharmacy in Spitalfields, London, outside the authority of London’s city at a time when medical facilities were at breaking point. Culpeper was able to provide his services for free. He was also willing to examine patients in person rather than simply examining their urine. Using a combination of experience and astrology, he devoted himself to using herbals to treat the illnesses of his patients.

Major Accomplishments

Nicholas Culpepper, English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer, is one of the best-known 17th century herbalists in the world, mainly for his writings, and in particular his book, Complete Herbal and English Physician, which gives an unparalleled view into the holistic principles of the Graeco-Arabic medicine. His writings also provide an integration of astrological principles. For many centuries and in his time, astrology was used as a standard for the prognosis of disease. Although the Hippocratic writings mention the physician’s need for skill in astrological prognosis, Culpepper showed a much more integrated system in which not just diseases, but plants are given astrological attributes, making the application of medicinal plants in disease a simple and logical process that any person of his time would have been able to follow.

Culpepper’s published books include The English Physician (1652) and the Complete Herbal (1653), which contain valuable store of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge, and Astrological Judgement of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick (1655), which is one of the most detailed documents on the practice of medical astrology in Early Modern Europe. As a powerful testament to his scholarly writings, his widow Alice Culpepper wrote: “My husband left 79 books of his own making or translating in my hands.” One of these works, The Treatise of the Aurum Potabile was published in 1656. This in many ways is the most remarkable of all his works. The treatise is essentially a very important alchemical work that explains the philosophy behind his whole life and written works, “Being a description of the Threefold World; elementary, celestial, intellectual, containing the knowledge necessary to the study of Hermetic Philosophy.”

Culpepper’s books sold by the thousands and are still popular today.

Timeline

  • 18 October, 1616 – Nicholas Culpepper (Culpeper) was born in London.
  • 1632 (or 1634) – He started studies at Cambridge, but gave up his studies in favour of apprenticeship with a London Apothecary.
  • 1640 – Completed his apprenticeship and commenced practice as a physician in Spitalfields.
  • 1640 – He married Alice Field, 15 years old.
  • August 1643 – During the early months of the English Civil War, he was accused of witchcraft. Frustrated, he joined a trainband and fought at the First Battle of Newbury, carrying out battlefield surgery. He was taken back to London after sustaining a serious chest injury.
  • 1649 – He published in English a translation of the Pharmacopoeia Londonesis of the Royal College of Physicians, calling it A Physical Directory, or a Translation of the London Dispensary. His one desire was to make herbal medicine available to everyone, especially the poor who could ill afford to visit a physician.
    1651 – Published Semeiotica Uranica, or an Astrological Judgement of Diseases. This work explains decumbiture, the particular use of astrology to diagnose disease from the time a patient falls ill. This work is significant as it explains the principles of disease and how it should be treated, providing a key to his herbal, The English Physician.
  • 1651 – He completed a work on midwifery entitled A Directory for Midwives; or a Guide for women in their conception, bearing and suckling of their children, etc.
  • 1652 – He wrote A Prophecy of the White King, or Catastrophe Magnatum (Fall of Monarchie).
  • 5 September, 1653 – Published his herbal The English Physician, or an Astrologo-Physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of this Nation, considered his masterpiece, with an enduring impact through the centuries.
  • 1653 – He published Complete Herbal, containing pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge.
  • 1654 – By his 14th year of marriage to Alice, they had 7 children but only his daughter Mary outlived him.
  • 10 January, 1654 – He died in London.

Death

In later years, Culpepper’s health deteriorated. It is thought that he contracted tuberculosis from the bullet wound to the shoulder during the siege of Reading. The pressure of his studies and writing, coupled with the ravaging effects of consumption proved too much. He finally died on January 10, 1654 at the age of 38, shortly after completing The English Physician. Many of his unpublished manuscripts were published after his death, and others were lost in London’s Great Fire in 1666.
http://www.ediblewildfood.com/bios/nicholas-culpeper.aspx

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