“Tobias Churton has done it again! Exhaustively exploring the Beast’s sojourn through the kaleidoscope of cultural tumult that was the final years of the Weimar Republic, Churton’s astute eye and clarity of composition provide the lucky reader with a riveting view into what was a hotbed of sex, art, and politics. Churton’s gifts at conjuring a fascinating and profound study from myriad sources are in evidence as usual, painting an engaging portrait of the Magus of the Aeon and the milieu in which he moved.” (Frater Puck, Ordo Templi Orientis-U.S. Grand Lodge and host of Thelema NOW!)
A biographical history of Aleister Crowley’s activities in Berlin from 1930 to 1932 as Hitler was rising to power
• Examines Crowley’s focus on his art, his work as a spy for British Intelligence, his colorful love life and sex magick exploits, and his contacts with magical orders
• Explores Crowley’s relationships with Berlin’s artists, filmmakers, writers, and performers such as Christopher Isherwood, Jean Ross, and Aldous Huxley
• Recounts the fates of Crowley’s friends and colleagues under the Nazis as well as what happened to Crowley’s lost art exhibition
Gnostic poet, painter, writer, and magician Aleister Crowley arrived in Berlin on April 18, 1930. As prophet of his syncretic religion “Thelema,” he wanted to be among the leaders of art and thought, and Berlin, the liberated future-gazing metropolis, wanted him. There he would live, until his hurried departure on June 22, 1932, as Hitler was rapidly rising to power and the black curtain of intolerance came down upon the city.
Known to his friends affectionately as “The Beast,” Crowley saw the closing lights of Berlin’s artistic renaissance of the Weimar period when Berlin played host to many of the world’s most outstanding artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, composers, architects, philosophers, and scientists, including Albert Einstein, Bertolt Brecht, Ethel Mannin, Otto Dix, Aldous Huxley, Jean Ross, Christopher Isherwood, and many other luminaries of a glittering world soon to be trampled into the mud by the global bloodbath of World War II.
Drawing on previously unpublished letters and diary material by Crowley, Tobias Churton examines Crowley’s years in Berlin and his intense focus on his art, his work as a spy for British Intelligence, his colorful love life and sex magick exploits, and his contacts with German Theosophy, Freemasonry, and magical orders. He recounts the fates of Crowley’s colleagues under the Nazis as well as what happened to Crowley’s lost art exhibition–six crates of paintings left behind in Germany as the Gestapo was closing in. Revealing the real Crowley long hidden from the historical record, Churton presents “the Beast” anew in all his ambiguous and, for some, terrifying glory, at a blazing, seminal moment in the history of the world.
Available from Amazon, more information available at: http://www.tobiaschurton.com
Tobias Churton is a British scholar of Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and other esoteric movements. He is lecturer at Exeter University and author of Gnostic Philosophy, The Magus of Freemasonry, and Freemasonry and other works.