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Aleister Crowley Panic Gets Stirred Up Over Boleskine House

Aleister Crowley Panic Gets Stirred Up Over Boleskine House

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Satanic panic grips Loch Ness as an innovative historian attempts to conserve the “not so good” name of England’s most controversial occultist, Aleister Crowley. Back in November the Daily Record said “Fears are growing” that Boleskine House, the former Loch Ness home of the controversial English ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley, would soon become “a black magic hub.” And it looks like new plans to restore the fire damaged roofless building that was Boleskine House will be passed next week, causing a similar stir locally, as also happened in 1904 AD when the occultist visited Boleskine House.

Aleister Crowley as Magus, Liber ABA, in 1912 AD. (Public domain)

Aleister Crowley as Magus, Liber ABA, in 1912 AD. (Public domain

Aleister Crowley And The Way The Media Portrays Controversy

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947 AD) was a British occultist, writer, and mountaineer who practiced ceremonial “magick.” He called himself “ The Beast 666” after he calculated a numerical process by which the letters of his name totaled the Biblical number associated with Satan, 666.

And it should be held in mind that Crowley was a dedicated media antagonizer and a marketer trying to sell books, so he chose this name to shock, and of course the suckers at daily newspapers at the time took his bait hook line and sinker. Hence: wickedest man in the world, who “drank blood and staged huge orgies there fueled by heroin and cocaine,” according to the Daily Record.

Adding to this tiresome media narrative, that so predictably only defames Crowley, the Daily Record described the poet only as an “orgie-loving, drug fuelled occultist” and refer to him as the “ wickedest man in the world.” This name was another sensationalist, and naive, term coined by reporters in London to sell papers in the early 20th century.

However, what you won’t read often is that Crowley is repeatedly called a “literary genius,” for example, by Los Angeles-based composer/librettist David Hertzberg after his successful 2017 opera, “The Wake World: A Tale for Babes and Sucklings.” Hertzberg was inspired by Aleister Crowley’s outstanding work of the same name telling the story of the internal journey of Lola as she travels through the magical tree of life with her guardian angel.

Boleskine House was destroyed by fire in 2019 and this is what’s left today. (Boleskine House Foundation)

Boleskine House was destroyed by fire in 2019 and this is what’s left today. (Boleskine House Foundation)

Boleskine House: Where Crowley Lived For 5 Months In 1904 AD

The Loch Ness property known as Boleskine House is currently managed by London lawyer and academic Keith Readdy. And in November 2020 AD, protesters demanded the local council reject his plans to restore the once glorious but now neglected estate.

Crowley lived in Boleskine House in 1904 for 5 months. The house was later bought by Led Zeppelin’ guitarist Jimmy Page. And now, Mr Readdy wants to build ten holiday lodges on the property. The Daily Record said opponents fear the sprawling lake side property will become “a pilgrimage site for occultists and Satanists.” However, as a great majority of us know, there´s a BIG difference between an “occultist” and a “Satanist.”

Mr Readdy´s non-profit charity website is very clear about its aims which are to “use the estate to promote education on the heritage of the house, to welcome the enjoyment of its structure and surrounding gardens.” And he is openly “not affiliated with Aleister Crowley or Thelema” and runs an independent organization “with primary secular interests to restore the house.” However, the Daily Record stated:

“Many Thelemites know Boleskine House as the significant place in history where Aleister Crowley underwent the intensive ceremony known as The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage in an attempt to contact his Holy Guardian Angel.”

The Hypocrisy Regarding Crowley Is Quite Unreal Here

Read that last sentence again and you might see the hilarity in all this. Crowley was attempting to contact his “Holy Guardian Angel,” the same one he wrote about in  The Wake World, that famous opera. Yet, none of the tens of thousands of opera fans shared this “fear” of the Holy Guardian Angel. And, perhaps more ridiculous is that every single Christian who has ever attended a church has attempted to commune with their “Holy Guardian Angel,” which is generally referred to as Jesus in the Christian context.

To Crowley, communicating with “his” Holy Guardian Angel was achieving a higher state of consciousness, and he followed an old ritual laid out in a 16th-century-AD German-Jewish alchemic book. That medieval work describes facing one’s inner fears, as conceptual demons, by physically raising them, containing them, and then banishing them. Nothing more than Sabrina does on every episode of the hit Netflix series.

What Boleskine House once looked like and will hopefully look like again. (Boleskine House Foundation)

What Boleskine House once looked like and will hopefully look like again. (Boleskine House Foundation)

Looks Like There Are Two Problems Here, And I am One

If Mr Readdy IS trying to attract “Satanists” to Loch Ness, then so am I! For the 70th anniversary of Crowley’s death, I filmed a documentary at Boleskine House titled Alistair Crowley Demystified, telling the story of Crowley´s 1904 ritual on the banks of Loch Ness. Although Crowley attempted to raise “ the Grand Dukes and High Princes of Hell,” my film explores the burnt architecture and mind of one of the most misunderstood “psychonauts” in modern history.

And having spent the day in the fire-shattered historic building, with not a spirit to be seen, I am delighted, supportive and impressed by the bravado of Mr Readdy and his efforts to preserve a deeply historic building on the banks of Scotland’s premiere monster haunt. And according to a more recent article in The Times, the plans “are set to be approved next week.”

Ohhhh, you better watch out for here come the Thelamites screaming their terrifying slogan: “Love is the law / Love Under Will.” You see, Crowley and modern followers of his religion, Thelema, regard “Love” as the highest form of being and existence, “pure love,” not the one you have for your partner, or your dog, but a more universal kinda love. 

Top image: The outline of Boleskine House in Scotland, which burnt down in 2019 and is now being restored, despite protests and fear mongering.            Source: Aaron Sneddon / CC BY-SA 4.0

By Ashley Cowie



Even though I could not immediately locate it, I seem to recall one of your YouTube videos where you take a walk through Boleskine House and relate some of its history. I found it interesting, I wish you posted it here. This seemed like a sequel to that to me.


I don’t know where to begin! Everything looks so bad and unprofessional. First, there is the fact that you don’t respect the facts. Such as: Crowley didn’t VISIT Boleskine. He OWNED it. He held the deed to it. I know right now your wee socialist sensibilities are stamping their feet and shrieking about how private property is bad. Crowley would have shrieked along with you. Then he would have shown you his DEED to the estate, told you to suck it, and handed you a whipping.

Your style is overly confrontational, so much so that it lacks the objectivity of a true journalist or historical writer. Yes, I’ve looked at your “qualifications” and these days they’d even let intestinal parasites into the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. You studied filmmaking in Glasgow. What . . . couldn’t handle studying REAL subjects, like history? If you had perhaps your article wouldn’t read like the drivel of some first year “creative writing” student bogging us all down with their diary entries about their feelings. Then you got them to say that you write “news and research features for various history and archaeology platforms” . . . so basically you’re a blogger. Congratulations. Oh, you published books? Gee whiz, sparky! So have I. So has some ticket agent at Paddington. So has a cloud of gnats. These days publishing a book isn’t hard. However, judging what I just endured, writing PROPERLY, and WELL, is DAMNED difficult!

Then we have your phrase, “ tiresome media narrative, that so predictably only defames Crowley” I thought they only wrote like that in Pravda and the National Enquirer, and. . . Oh. So, you’re saying Crowley DIDN’T abandon his first wife and first child in Vietnam, doing nothing to prevent his first child dying of typhus? He DIDN’T consume upwards of 14 grams of heroin per week (at least), that he WASN’T known BY MANY to be a fecalphiliac? That he DIDN’T use people like condoms? That he DIDN’T leave his fellow mountaineers to die, buried alive in an avalanche? What . . . you are going to take the stance that Crowley had some kind of RIGHT to be a monster? No one has that right: Not Marx, Not Hitler, Not Crowley, and certainly not whoever started your career.

Your entire article is feeling based, not fact based. Personally, I do not give a good god damn that you have chosen to fling yourself breathlessly at the clay feet of this false idol (your own problem if you don’t get the reference). I am more shocked, enraged, and ready to fight because Ancient Origins (a publication I USED to enjoy) seems to have NO idea that they have a hyper-emotional, left-wing, Crowley propagandist on their staff. 

I was IN the O.T.O., you ignorant quim. I got out because it is nothing but perverts, pedophiles, and wall-to-wall drug apologists who have the laughable gall to think there’s something pure about filth. And don’t DARE try to say I’m accusing them of being in league with Satan. I have a funny feeling that Satan laughs his ass off at every “satanist” or “devil worshipper” AND Thelemite. Don’t you know anything? Satan isn’t even what you thin khe is. He WORKS for the Supreme Being. Like a jailer. Don’t worry, though. You’ll find out. Oh and don’t start hurling Christian-based insults at me. Just because I refer to Satan doesn’t mean I’m a Christian. Your rigid categories and prejudices aren’t at all accurate. You couldn’t handle what I am, and for the moment I am bored and so here I am spanking you so you’re going to just get the rest of your spanking. Then I will forget you.

There is NOTHING spiritual or otherworldly in having NO SELF CONTROL, NO ETHICS, and NO CONSCIENCE. Oh, and there’s nothing spiritual in this article, either. I do not care for whatever responses this comment will get from you or any of Crowley’s apologists. Boleskine is a burned out husk. So is THE ENTIRE BODY of Crowley’s beliefs, so that’s quite fitting . . . and hilarious. You’re welcome.

Facts and Truth only. Feelings are private and I don't recall asking about yours.

ashley cowie's picture


Ashley is a Scottish historian, author, and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems in accessible and exciting ways.

He was raised in Wick, a small fishing village in the county of Caithness on the north east coast of... Read More

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