29 Nov 1944 – Aleister Crowley to Karl Germer

The Bell Inn,
Aston Clinton, Bucks.
November 29th, 1944

Dear Karl,
I have your letters of October 22nd, October 31st and November 7th. I am glad to hear that you are on something new and I hope that this time it will turn up trumps. I have told Miss Taylor what you say about your address.
I will look at Mrs Lowthorpt’s figure, and when this letter comes back from being typed may be able to make a few comments. I note what you say about McMurtry.
I am asking the binder to send you invoices for the copies that he is sending out to you. In the meanwhile the quarto bound cost 17/6d. per copy, and the half-bound, 27/6d. I have already written you about the blocks, but you could perfectly well get out an edition without them — in fact you had much better do so if your are hoping to sell the book at any reasonable sort of price. Roughly speaking, the cost of a set of blocks for one card is from £10 to £15.
I am very glad that you are having copies made of “Liber Aleph”. I certainly hope you can get it printed, and I am sure that I can trust you to see that the style is as good as that of the Tarot. It was my intention to have one chapter on one page. I also regard it as number One of what I may call classic publications, although the book I am now working on, “Aleister Explains Everything” is likely to come first, because that can be got out in a large edition cheaply, and I think will do a great deal to sell the other books.
I am not sure whether I sent a copy to Frederick. I certainly did to Jack and Georgia. I did not send one to Jane’s sister. I thought she was dead.
I feel that I am treating you very badly, but you must realise that I am working in the most impossible conditions. I can only afford one day a week for dictation. My secretary comes out here and takes back the shorthand, sends me the typescript for revision and signature. She has filed everything very neatly and nicely, but as you know from experience it is from my point of view almost like throwing them into the ashcan. I tremble when I think of trying to find everything. Nor can I grasp any business matters at all with my mind. I do my best to answer your letters, but I never feel sure that I have done so satisfactorily. The result is that you ask me to do some perfectly simple thing which any idiot could do in five minutes, and it is completely beyond my understanding, far more-so beyond my ability to execute. Things will never go right until I have a full-time secretary who will have all the business details in her head, and that means doubling the monthly transfer at the least.
I am sending you six prospectuses. But you must send by return of post 60 cents in payment for them. This is to keep on the right side of the ‘paper control’ people, who have been making trouble for me. They have no standing in the matter because the Equinox Vol. 3, no.5, of which “The Book of Thoth” is a part, is a periodical and not subject to their jurisdiction.
Wonders will never cease about that material. I went to a local woman in Aston Clinton, and she made me perfectly good shirts. I suspect that the London man was simply making an excuse for not doing the work. You have no idea how strangely people act these days.
What you say about Jack appears very complicated. I had an extremely nice letter from him, and then I had a letter from Helen to say that Smith had started his retirement on satisfactory lines, but of course for all I know this may be a pack of lies. Honestly, I don’t know where I am.
You suddenly shoot off from the question of Jack to your health. Of course what you say is very obscure to me. I can only hope that everything will go well.
I have not a Book 4 Part II. I managed to borrow a copy for a month about three weeks ago, but have to return it. I have a copy of Part I. If this is any good to you I will send it along.
I am very glad to hear that Sascha is better, and that her proposed visit to California will be an outstanding success.
It would be perfectly senseless for me to go back to London. I am thinking of winter quarters somewhere on the borders of Kent and Sussex, but the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, and there are so many advantages in remaining here that I shall take quite a lot of shifting.
Georgia’s letter is very interesting, but I must say that I don’t get very much out of it. All this business about auras gets on my nerves. I don’t know what she means by this taint which she mentions in her penultimate paragraph.
I am probably rather peevish this afternoon. I appreciate Georgia immensely in every way, and realise how wonderful her support has been; but I do not want to know about various misadventures and calamities unless there is something I can do about them. I don’t know why she has to write a letter like that.
Now for yours of October 31st. I don’t remember receiving any letter from Jack to you. He cabled me 80 dollars about the same time as your 300 dollar transfer. This has put me all right with the binders. I have not had anything else from Jack since the contribution in the early summer when the Tarot was in question. I think that he owes me a letter; but I don’t like to swear to that till I am almost sure. I certainly think that he ought to contribute much more largely than he does. Your original idea of a quarter of a century ago that we should never do any good until we had a proper headquarters and a proper staff, is still the right idea. I don’t think that you should spend large sums of money on getting out reprints while this business of headquarters awaits attention, and also these books which exist only in manuscript, and some of which are in duplicate. I am living in a state of constant terror lest some more of my most important work should be destroyed without remedy.
You returned in this last letter to the question of Jack, in alternate paragraphs. It is very confusing — still more so since every paragraph seems to contradict the one which has gone before! I rather doubt Frederick’s judgement.1 If I remember correctly in my last letter to Jack I was able to congratulate him on a very fine piece of poetry, and certainly his last letter appeared to show the right spirit. But as you imply there may be some kind of plot with Smith in the foreground. The idea is2 so senseless that I can hardly imagine any human being holding out. But you know people are like that.
I will send a Tarot to Lt. Crombie through Georgia.
Max’s letter to you: there may be a spare copy of the Equinox of the Gods in storage. Until there is a proper headquarters it is no use trying to look for one.
Yours of November 7th. Thanks for the Artemis Iota. My mind is now at ease on that subject. The whole of your letter confuses me terrible. I think perhaps that you are yourself confused. Success is your proof does not seem to me to have anything to do with love.
Of course I understand very well, from the first minute that I met you, your difficulties in this outlook of yours. I have written again and again about it, and I don’t know that I can add anything useful. Your real trouble it seems to me is that you take everything so seriously, that you feel compelled to analyse in season and out of season, when there is no real occasion.
I am very glad to hear that there are hopes of a good transfer in December. If I decide to shift over, it is going to cost a lot.
You must apologise to Handel about the book. I sent that copy because I had not one of the other kind available. You can have no conception how muddled it has been. At the present moment I am having to find out from the binder how many copies have been bound, how many need binding and so on, and as to the numbering that has got all mixed up. The difficulty has been mostly that of transporting the books from London here and so on. You have got your twenty copies on the way. I cannot understand your figures at all. The actual cost of producing a copy was approximately £5, but that is allowing nothing whatever for overhead, stationery, typing, journeys and heaven knows what else, occasional secretarial assistance. I say nothing of the author, but the idea that Jack appears to have that 80 dollars should secure him ten copies is contemptible. Two copies are much more like the value. I think you must have misunderstood his cable. It is really too ridiculous.
I will try and get you a copy of the printer’s account, but it is mixed up with the costs of other books, and honestly I don’t know where I am about it. You might be able to make something.
I shall now retire from the unequal contest. It is really no good turning me upside down over all these business calculations. It simply spoils my temper.
Love is the law, love under will.

Yours with great love, but not feeling well; digestion all wrong these last 3 days

P.S. I am sending you a set of six of the Letters of which there are now about 70, chosen at random so as to give you a sort of idea of the scope of the book. It is a little difficult to arrange, about the order in which they should appear, and at the moment I think the best way out of it is to classify them under various headings such as The Universe, Man, the Order, Yoga, Ethics. You might be able to get a contract with an occult periodical to issue them serially. Such people as I have honoured with the privilege of reading them are all very enthusiastic. I find that they want copies for themselves, and every one is agreed that for the first time I have been able to put things in such a way as can be understood by the ordinary intelligent person. For this and other reasons I think that you ought to be able to make a good thing out of it commercially. If you want a complete set of Letters it means that I shall have to have the whole series retyped. I want to impress upon you that people are pestering me from every quarter to supply them with various stuff published or unpublished. This means that I have to send my copies out to a firm to be typed, and this comes out rather expensive. For instance, Jean Phillips appears to be in close touch with Orson Welles and is anxious to interest him in my work. I am therefore sending here various things which might take his fancy. (You realise of course that his acceptation of one story of mine would make us for good and all). It has occurred to me that “The Three Wishes” would suit O.W. very well, not having any spare copies I had to have it retyped, 60 pages cost with two carbons, £3.13.9d. Now I have got to get Liber Aleph recopied and also the secret Documents of the 7th-9th Degress.3 A.C.

P.S. Long letter just in from Jack. Will write again on Sunday when I have had time to read and consider it. A.C.

13 Nov 1944 – Aleister Crowley to Grady McMurty

The Bell Inn.
Ashton Clinton, Bucks
November 13th, 1944

Dear Louis,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Thanks a thousand times for sending Artemis Iota. It took a great weight off my mind. I have been terrified lest, like so many other important things of mine, it had somehow got irrevocably lost.
It is very extraordinary the way things happen. I have just heard from a new disciple that he copied with his own hand three bound volumes of typescript which I had written on Astrology in 1915. It was 1930 when he got them! I believe there was a fourth volume. How they were stolen, and by whom, I cannot imagine.
As I expected, my judgment about your poems is probably the exact opposite of yours. The one into which you put so much hard work I just don’t like. The hard work is apparent. The “Normandy in June” is not so bad; but it is not really a poem. There is no ecstasy in it, or coming out of it. It seems to me to be just a straightforward description of things observed. In other words, you did not do any magical work on it. But for “The Cynic” I have nothing but unqualified praise. As you say, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and I am absolutely convinced that all first class poetry is just exactly that. I said so in the Preface to the “City of God”.
I think that I have told you that I got the £80 from Jack. While on the question of finance, I have what should be very good news for you. It is now quite clear that the new book will run into two volumes, one quite elementary and one a little more advanced. That will automatically and incidentally double the value of your interest in it.
I am very glad to hear of your Education course. It certainly ought to give you a sound and broad idea of northern France. Don’t forget, though, that the central district, the mountain districts, the Bordeaux section, and finally the Mediterranean coast, are all very different from the North, and from each other.
I am very glad to hear of your deal in “La Gauloise”. When your second letter arrived this morning, I had hoped for news of that. Thanks, however, for sending “The Three Schools of Magick.” I don’t think I ever sent one to Jack, so you might as well pass it on. As, a matter of fact, I have cut it into three sections, with some emendations; and it will go into the beginning of the new book. I must say this book does manage to keep me busy. Almost every day I get an idea for a further letter. It seems strange that in all my writings I cannot find any really clear, simple, practical instructions for making talismans and such things; so that will make a letter. Then I have written nothing at all about Astrology; and here is an excellent opportunity to explain my system, which as I think you know, is totally different from any of the orthodox. (Have done this: Two letters — one theory, one how to learn to do it.)
I got a very nice letter from Jack, who seems to have snapped out of his Smith trouble. He talked about the Uriah Heep side of his character, which strikes me as a very good description; but the astonishing thing is I got this letter from Helen, who tells me that Smith has started the retirement on absolutely correct lines! I never believed for a moment that he would do it, so you can imagine how delighted I am to have such news. I hope that he succeeds with his mantra “to go mad and run about naked”, as they say in North Africa. What we have always lacked has been the real fanatic. I could never be anything of the sort myself. At the back of me is an extraordinarily powerful strain of conventional behaviour. I have done a few mad things in my time; but it has always been based upon calculation, and (as in the case of poetry) this business depends entirely on the spontaneous outflow of the spirit. That is why I always feel that even people who, from one point of view are notorious crooks like Billy Sunday and Aimee Macpherson, must have a deeply seated sincerity tucked away unknown to them, which gives them the magical force necessary for their success.
I think that is all for the moment.
Love is the law, love under will.

Yours, A.C.

20 Jun 1944 – Grady McMurty to Aleister Crowley

Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, July 2001.

1475th Ord MM Co (Avn) (Q)
APO 149, U.S. Army
{Undated, probably c. June 20 – 28, 1944}

Dear A. C.,

By the heading you will note that my tour of the world at the Army’s expense is progressing apace. Unfortunately I know no one {in} France to whom I can go for a good game of chess or who can improve my way of thinking like I did when I came to England. Perhaps you can help me out with names and addresses of people who may or may not be around when we have taken over the rest of this fair country.

Did you receive my money order as of the 3rd June? I sent it to your present address. If not let me know as soon as possible. Incidentaly {sic} how many $80 payments have you received on the fifty letters anyway? I’ve lost all count although I retain the stubs of a number of payments. Also there is a question that I asked some time ago about what proof there was that you were the author of the V sign. I am very interested in this as it has such widespread practical implications. Please try to answer these two questions in your next letter.

I sent Sutherland’s Lasker to him while I was still in England. Hope he received it in good condition. Would still like to have one. Maybe he could pick me up a copy of “The Pleasure Palace of Kubla Khan” – something I would very much like to have. I don’t suppose my copy of the Tarot is ready yet but you can send it along as soon as it is as we are getting our mail regularly over here. Have the finance difficulties in the Tarot resolved themselves yet? I hope so.

Received a letter from Jack just before I left. He is unhappy about the Lodge – says that “I am a little sour on the O.T.O. inasmuch as by experience I doubt the value of membership coming in except via previous experience and individual training of the A A sort. It seems to me the early grades (which are all we have here) are too free in admitting non-descripts and too lax in that they do not provide a definite program of training and qualifications. The better people I have met always seem to come via an interest in A A aspects. I think we need some A.B.C.’s of organization, a handbook for prospects, and new members and above all for poor benighted lodge -heads like myself.” I told him about the fifty letters as a handbook for prospects. Unfortunately he also went into some terrible drivel about – should I visit Brittany – to “watch by moonlight for Dahut, the Shadow Queen, that Malgven called the Star of Death, listen for the bells of Ya, and the Druid whispering Mananann! O Mananann!” At least it looks like drivel to me. I know that witchcraft is all very interesting and has its place etc but to go into it to the detriment of the work as a whole seems such a waste of time and talent. After all it is only a small part of the task. Perhaps when Jack receives his Tarot he will find its proper relation.

Well night is coming on and I must crawl back into my hole in the ground. Wish I could tell you what is going on over here but until I see you will have to let you rely on the papers.

Au revoir!



This page is under development.


4 January 1946

Most Beloved Father,1

About three months ago I met Capt. L. Ron Hubbard, a writer and explorer of whom I had known for some time… He is a gentleman; he has red hair, green eyes, is honest and intelligent, and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty [aka Sara] and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affections to him.

Although Ron has no formal training in Magick, he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduce he is in direct touch with his Guardian Angel. He describes his Angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair whom he calls the Empress, and who has guided him through his life and saved him many times… Recently, he says, because of some danger, she has called the Archangel Michael to guard us…

Last night after invoking, I called him in, and he described Isis nude on the left, and a faint figure of past, partly mistaken operations on the right, and a rosewood box with a string of green beads, a string of pearls with a black cross suspended, and a rose… He is the most thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles. He is also interested in establishing the New Aeon but for cogent reasons I have not introduced him to the Lodge.

We are pooling our resources in a partnership that will act as a limited company to control our business ventures. I think I have made a great gain, and as Betty and I are the best of friends there is little loss. I cared for her deeply but I have no desire to control her emotions, and I can, I hope, control my own.

I need a magical partner. I have many experiments in mind… The next time I tie up with a woman it will be on my own terms.

Thy son,


2 Nov 1952 – Jack Parson’s Last Letter, Post-dated after His Death

2 Nov 52 (Note: ? Death)

C. F. Saturnus.


No doubt you will be delighted to hear from an adept who has undertaken the operation of his H(oly) G(aurdian) A(ngel) in accord with our traditions.
The operation began auspiciously with a chromatic display of psychosomatic symptoms and progressed rapidly to acute psychosis. The operator has alternated satisfactorily between manic hysteria and depressing melancholy stupor on approximately 40 cycles, and satisfactory progress has been maintained in social ostracism, economic collapses and mental disassociation.
These statements are mentioned not in any vainglorious spirit of conceit, but rather that they may serve as a comfort and inspiration to other aspirants on the Path.

Now I’m off to the wilds of Mexico for a period, also in pursuit of the elusive H.G.A. before winding up in the guard (room) finally via the booby hatch, the graveyard or —-? If the finem (? Latin for end. T), you can tell all the little practicuses that I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

93 93/93 Noone. Once called 210.

(He dropped some explosive and blew himself up when waiting for Mexico. T)

29 Apr 1952 – Mention of Crossing the Abyss Operation, New Name

29 Apr 52

(1071 S Orange Grove Ave. Pasedena California)

Care Frater Saturnus,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The recently completed operation proved satisfactory from every standpoint, but far more exhausting than I had anticipated. However I am continuing without pause upon the rather extensive program laid out for me for the coming year, utilizing the appropriate restorative methods in recognition of my weakness.

Of that which passed it is at present fitting only that I indicate the following passage. “My name is NAG, which in the Sanskrit is serpent, and my number is 54 and 9, that is the number of the fire of obeah, and of the letter Teth, which signifies a serpent, and my number is 704, which is 11 (Note. 704 = Arbatel. Also angel L.T.N. of Pices. T) that is a number of our body, whose letter is also Teth, and this is the name I bear as I travel through the abyss seeking the womb of my lady BABALON, and this is a numeration thereof, and this is my sign that was given unto Nagaya the cobra by the Lord Buddha, for that he should tie the rest of the bond, and behold this is the name and sign taken by thee when thou camest to puberty in thy 14th year, thou (sh – sic) thou understand it in nowise”.

Teth then is the signature that I shall use in this period:
I understand that you are preparing further manuscripts of A.C. for transcription. I am most interested in obtaining copies of the Comment on Liber 65 and on the Vision and the Voice, as well as any other unpublished works which pertain to my present study.

Although my finances are rather low, I would certainly want to share in the expense of typing or printing. I would much appreciate it if you would send a list of anything which is available, together with the price.
I understand that Brother Fredrick (Mellinger. T) is now working with you. Please convey my best regards. The same to yourself and wife.

Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally

Teth (In Hebrew. T)

3 Oct 1951 – Fragment mentioning preparation of magickal ordeal

3 Oct 51

Your note was most timely and exactly to the point. It seems that this operation engenders tremendous mental and physical stresses – I should have been better prepared for something of the sort from the literature. It is the utter vulnerability of the child that comprises his power and naturally it is of that vulnerability that I (the partial ego) fear most. Well God knows what the end will be. I can only persevere in my way – the outcome is determined by something more than I am or know
(the rest is missing – Ed.)

31 Mar 1950 – Church of Thelema status

31 March 50

Care Frater Saturnus

Greetings of the Vernal Equinox.

After considerable study, thought and actual investigation in accordance with your advice, I have decided to work with 132 (W.T. Smith T) for a probationary period of the next three months. In this connection I have prepared a course of lectures which will begin in two weeks, and have memorized the Gnostic Mass, which is now ready for public performance. I am not without reservations in the matter, but it seems to me perhaps the best effort I can make in the circumstances.

At present we will be operating as the Church of Thelema, which is incorporated in California. This seems a good idea, from the standpoint of religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and from the standpoint of the 15% gross income tax deduction allowed for religious donations.

Since there are so few of us, and the job is so big, I hope that we can all work together if not as members of one group, then at least in deserved mutual trust, respect and cooperation.

I called to see Jane (Wolfe. T) in regard to the Letters to Probationers, and she indicated that she is waiting to hear from you before she takes any action.
I believe that I owe you some thing for the copy of Khaled Khan and the reprints of the three sacred writings. I should also like to obtain a copy of the Book of Lies, if one is available. If you have not read it, I should like to recommend a most unusual and stimulating book by Joseph Campbell “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Best regards and best wishes for you and Sascha

Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally


11 Nov 1949 – Illness, payments, and difficulties

11 Nov 49

Care Frater Saturnus

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The surmise in your letter of 9/24 was correct. I have been ill with bronchial pneumonia, and am now just convalescing. This has resulted in a diminution of income and increase of expenses, so that I have been hard put to it to meet my obligations. This is the reason for the delay in October and this month. During the illness I gave up my apartment, and have now moved to 768 31st Street, Manhattan Beach. My P.O. Box No 312 is the same.

You are right, it has been and will be a solitary battler until the end. Everything else is dead now except the body and the will, and it is my will that the body survive to do that will. I hope to see you during the next year, and discuss some matters that are difficult to develop in correspondence. Best wishes for yourself and the success of your (sic) the work.

Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally