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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Crowley, Aleister (1875-1947) Described in his time as “the most evil man alive” and “the wickedest man in the world,” Crowley was a British magician who was violently opposed to Christianity. He founded his own religion based on himself as a holy figure and loved every nasty thing the public said about him.
      He liked to be known as “The Beast 666,” from the biblical reference in Revelation to that magical number, and also liked to believe that he was a reincarnation of Edward Kelley, the rascally associate of Dr. John Dee.
      In common with other gurus, Crowley liked to create his own nomenclature, referring to magic as “magick” and defining it as  

      the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.

      The definition, though wishful, does not differ substantially from others.
      Crowley reportedly had a powerful effect on women and separated many widows, spinsters and bored dilettantes from their cash in order to support his chosen lifestyle. He fascinated his followers with lavish costumes, animal sacrifices, other weird rituals which were often sexually oriented, and the use of powerful hallucinogenic drugs. This supreme egotist, manipulator, ruthless swindler, and genius of showmanship died a pauper at the age of seventy-two.

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