Drugs and the Deathbed

Various myths about Aleister Crowley appear from time to time, which we will take a moment to briefly address. In this post we will discuss two myths surrounding Crowley’s use of drugs and his death.


Aleister Crowley was a heroin addict until his dying day. He was just not perfect, not enlightened, and he failed. Why would anyone follow this guy or want to be like him? Does AC2012 encourage people to strive to be like Aleister Crowley?


We certainly do not suggest that anyone try to live like Crowley lived. He said that “we must each cut our own way through the jungle.” What we hope is that people all over the world will hear his message of liberty and renounce slave religion. Crowley’s sole “commandment” (if you want to call it that) is that each of us know and do our own will.

Concerning drugs, Aleister Crowley was prescribed heroin for his asthma, a common medical practice at the time, and he became addicted like anyone would. He later used heroin recreationally and sacramentally, as he did with many drugs including cocaine, hashish, ether, peyote, and pretty much anything that he could get his hands on to try. He was after all a scientist, trained as a chemist even, a mystic, and a psychonaut. What do you expect?

If this fact is enough to keep you from taking any of Crowley’s ideas seriously, we commend your anti-intellectual dedication and suggest that you also consider the advice of Bill Hicks:

“Go home tonight and take all your albums and all your tapes and all your CDs and burn ’em, ’cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrreal fuckin’ high on drugs.”

Aleister Crowley was prophet of the New Aeon, and he preached freedom and sovereignty of the individual as the guiding principle of politics. He viewed this freedom as a necessary precondition for being able to accomplish one’s will, or fulfill one’s inmost nature. In the goal of accomplishing his will, Aleister Crowley was definitely not perfect and he did not always succeed. Of this, he was more than well aware, and he wrote:

Here then let me make open confession, and say thus: though I pledged myself almost in boyhood to the Great Work, though to my aid came the most puissant forces in the whole Universe to hold me to it, though habit itself now constraineth me in the right direction, yet I have not fulfilled my Will: I turn aside daily from the appointed task. I waver. I falter. I lag.

Let this then be of great comfort to you all, that if I be so imperfect–and for very shame I have not emphasized that imperfection–if I, the chosen one, still fail, then how easy for yourselves to surpass me! Or, should you only equal me, then even so how great attainment should be yours!

Be of good cheer, therefore, since both my failure and my success are arguments of courage for yourselves.


Aleister Crowley died lonely. His last words were “I’m Perplexed.” He died penniless. Obviously whatever his teachings were, they did not help him in the end. Therefore his writings are worthless.

Netherwood, Aleister Crowley's final home

Netherwood, Aleister Crowley's final home, was also home to a number of other intellectuals. In this beautiful place, on acreage atop a hill, with a view of the cliffs AC climbed as a child, Crowley was frequently surrounded by friends and family.


Do you really think that no wise or intelligent person of any value should ever be perplexed, feel loneliness, or lack investment capital? Really? We take it then that you are a Scientologist.

For those who are curious about the real story of Aleister Crowley’s death bed, we offer the following from Lawrence Sutin’s Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley, the recollection of Patricia MacAlpine, mother of Crowley’s son Aleister Ataturk:

“…the beast [Aleister Crowley] remained in good spirits, enjoying the comings and goings of Aleister Ataturk and the other children, who adored him in turn. Crowley did, however, remain in bed. The day before he died, he talked calmly and at length with MacAlpine. The following day was a still one but at the moment of Crowley’s death, which came quietly, the curtains in his room were caught in a gust of wind and a peal of thunder was heard. ‘It was the gods greeting him’ said MacAlpine.”

Moreover, while Crowley had spent his small fortune on publishing, he did not die in a state of poverty. His friends and brethren willingly supported him, just as he had done in so many ways for them throughout his life. As a testimony of his lack of need, he was responsible for keeping a locked box of money belonging to Ordo Templi Orientis, which he did, and never opened it. On his death he left everything, consisting most importantly of his intellectual property, to this same Order.

To learn more about Aleister Crowley’s life, there are two extremely good biographies available right now:

Do you know of a Crowley myth worth addressing or making fun of? Please write us: aleister.crowley.2012@gmail.com.

About ac2012

We realize that Aleister Crowley is dead. And British. And, moreover, not running for office. Nevertheless, we believe that the most effective vote you can cast in 2012 is one for Aleister Crowley. “The absolute rule of the state shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual will.”
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46 Responses to Drugs and the Deathbed

  1. Johnny says:

    all ppl here molesting Crowley’s soul. You don’t need satan ‘as you call it’ to harm humanity. Human beings nature is not that good. Have you ever honestly asked yourself why you think bad for other people or why do you want to hurt people. That’s not satan its your own meaty self. And that is the reason why some are vegans. They believe that you are what you eat. Isn’t that the truth? Crowley was notable and had extremely good literature and arts background. He knew all religions and all maneuvers to control other religions and ultimately lead the way masses think. So read Crowley and cry because you are really ignorant of the man itself. He was pure experimentation. Is that wrong? And so you believe in someone called Christ when other cultures like Sumerian had they’re own version. Our ‘christian’ version was stolen and impregnated in your minds. Just meditate on your own to know your true self so you can be a better person.

  2. Lori says:

    Amazing the depths of deception you people fall for, just like Crowley himself. He was nothing…and I mean nothing, more than another puppet of Satan. Under the guise of”enlightenment” and “intellectual”. Give me a break. This man was vile as they come and just like so many before and after him will realize they were used, lied to and fooled. He is a fool. The only Truth, the only One, is Jesus. Anyone can play around with the occult and experience the supernatural that way. Oh, they’ll give you money, fame, power..whatever you so desire. They being demons. But they will also torment you for eternity while they laugh at how stupid you were to fall for it. I don’t enjoy the fact that AC is going to burn in hell for eternity. But let’s call him what he was, nothing more than a glorified idiot.

    • ac2012 says:

      You wrote, “But they will also torment you for eternity while they laugh at how stupid you were to fall for it.”

      Woah woah woah wait… torment for eternity while laughing at me… that seems like… HEY! You fundie xtian idiots ARE the demons! Holy cow, this is amazing!

      Wait, where’s my money and fame? You are ripping me off.

      • Lori says:

        Woah, 4 years later and I’m just reading what I wrote and I am utterly ashamed and disgusted at the things I said. Please accept my apology. It’s like reading another person’s words. I have since been born-again and received the Holy Spirit. Now I know the love of God. And He loves all, even Crowley. However, few will be saved. Most want to be their own god. To govern their own lives. But we were created by the LORD and for Him. He is a hidden treasure! Call on Him in repentance and He will hear!

    • Jay says:

      Ya, Ya, Ya,
      No way was he an example of how to lead one’s life. But his Thelemic writings especially the channeled writings are Thelemic cannons. He himself even admitted that he was a failure as a human but the important fact remained, he was chosen as scribe and prophet of the Law of Thelema.

      What about all you Christians who follow Christ , believe he was crucified , died and was buried and now sits at the right hand of the Father. In Fact , Jesus passed out on the cross. Potius Pilate was said to have remarked, ” He’s dead already”, I’ll admit, he wasn’t crucified in the normal manner but still it takes days to die from crucifixion. He was resuscitated in the tomb and led away. He ended up leaving the Palestine area and heading for hinterlands, far from Roman jurisdiction, which makes much sense. If the Romans would have found out he was alive, he would have been a hunted man. He finished the remainder of his life in Kashmir and is buried in a Mausoleum there along with a Muslim saint.
      End of point!

    • rosequire says:

      Aleister Crowley should be sanctified. He was trying to free us from the slave religions that you hold so closely. Pathetic.

  3. Don says:

    If you love his teachings, because they really seem
    To be down to earth and true. Great! Fact of the matter
    Is as I engulf in everything before and after him, including,
    Levay etc. and Jimmy page who I once was a hudge fan of
    Until learning by study he is also an Iccoultist. But
    Most are blinded as I was, but when I looked at everything,
    Before during and after him. It is 100% the work of
    More sinister a force. We are all blinded until we are not.
    Ya don’t know what you don’t know, and satan knows
    You don’t! Just think look study and open your eyes!!!
    May God Bless and intervene in our lives! Amen!

  4. Mungo Grimes says:

    He was and will always be the greatest poet that ever walked and lived … PERPLEXION IS THE FIRST SYMPTOM OF THE INDIVIDUAL EGOS DISCARDING OIF ITS OWN KLESHAS Aleister wasa great and powerful mind and soul he must have lit the heavens up upon arrival God bless him I say ….

  5. zgrand says:

    I go back and forth on Christ and religion. There are things I like about Christ, it would be nice to have a big brother to come to you in your time of need but the fact is I see no clear evidence he ever does. You have to rely on yourself, trusted friends, family, personal power or spirit. The Gospels are confusing and full of contradictions. The more you try and make sense of it the more confused you get. The most confusing thing in all literature is a god of love is going to torture millions in hell for all time! No parole, no probation, no coffee breaks and no mercy from the merciful father!?!?!?!? And so many Christians are liars and so many churches are greedy which is also a contradiction. The bible says not to lie and Christ condemned greed.

  6. joet1163@gmail.com says:

    Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Satan cannot win. He can only copy and steal from the true God of the universe. If we all just do our own will than anyone can kill, rape, molest or steal because it’s their will.

    • ac2012 says:

      No, you’re mistaken. We recognize the right of every individual to do their true will, which is to say, fulfill their inmost nature. If someone were to kill, rape, molest, or steal, that would be preventing someone from doing their will, and therefore would be a negation of the whole philosophy. You should read this website, which is full of quotations from Aleister Crowley that support this. Stop believing every ridiculous lie that your preacher tells you.

      • RavenMontage says:

        in reading that comment my first thought was ‘why is this person even on this site?’ It clearly seems as thought the intent wasn’t to be educated/enlightened—moreso simply to be (as many zealots) to push their own agenda whilst disrespecting the rights and beliefs of those who choose to follow a Path different than their chosen one. Sad really

    • Roland says:

      Just by stating this you show you do not understand A.C.
      Crowley says “Love is the law”. And like AC2012 says, “Don’t believe every lie your preacher tells you”, use your own common sense!

      • RavenMontage says:

        um, have you not noticed how little ‘common sense’ many of these Christians possess? Perhaps it was removed from their minds when all that ridiculous pious spew was inserted

    • Jay says:

      That is not the will that the Book of the Law is referring to, Nuit says in Ch. 1 , Verse 44. “For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect”… Meaning if it is your Will/Purpose to be a Pianist , you do not do so because you think that you can become rich and famous, have lots of adoring women, become the next Rachmaninoff . You play the piano without lust of result and play because it is your predilection in life to do so. Yes, anyone can become a murderer and a rapist because they say it is their will do so so or Crowley said to do so ” The Devil made me do it.”

  7. blvr says:

    Do you have any prove of what he said or did not say.

  8. Red Fox says:

    I personally like the story that Crowley said “Sometimes I hate myself” on his death bed.

    It just sounds like ol’ Aleister to crack a self-deprecating joke on his deathbed.

    Whatever happened, I highly doubt he was afraid to die. I don’t think there has ever been anyone who has done so much with their life as he had, with the possible exception of very few.

  9. zurvan1 says:

    Let me preface this by saying I have reservations about Crowley, mitigating my respect and my debt. That said, Symonds – who wrote to belittle Crowley, and kicked off a wave of interest instead – changed his mind about AC’s last words at least once. The line he first published, ‘I am perplexed’ went to ‘sometimes I hate myself’ in later editions. Its not unlikely there was no-one there to hear Crowley’s last words. His life is more important anyway, his value today is as an important occult writer and experimenter, and there’s no taking away from that.

  10. Rowie says:

    Thank god there are still people who dare to use their own common sense. The fact people are still talking about “The Old Crow” has to count for something? I still see him as an important person who tried to hack his own way through the jungle of religious indoctrination and media brainwashing. Thumbs up for AC2012.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Highly entertaining philosophies here….however….Incorrect Lon, His last words quite the contrary, ‘Father, into thy hands i commit my spirit”

  12. IAO131 says:

    At least he didn’t poop himself to death like Buddha.

  13. Diana says:

    So very sorry to burst your bubble but he left a hideous corpse behind. In fact Aleister bastardized tantric yoga tenets to suit his own perverse needs for satanic rituals. I could care less how you distort the truth to make him seem heroic he was a drug abuser and black magic wizard who respected no one not even himself therefore he believed in nothing . Anyone who a true and enlightened belief system will easily look 20 to 30 years younger than their biological years. Your article is totally a work of fiction. Good luck convincing others they should follow the ramblings of a selfish man man who disobeyed the karmic laws of Mother Kali Devi Ma. Indian ritual is saco red and so is the Kabaalah so once you temper with anyone’s spiritual belief systems you play with fire and you play with Karmic Law.

    • ac2012 says:

      Nonsense. The facts are very well documented, and you are repeating tabloid lies.

    • Ienpu says:

      Yeah..Gandhi Looked Fabulous. Your New Age nonsense holds no water and is the response of someone who knows little to nothing on any of the subjects you spoke of above. Epic Fail.

      • john says:

        Gandhi was famous for his political disobedience against the british empire . NOT RELIGION .

      • john says:

        oh , and A.C. lived at about the same time as Gandhi . So calling it a new age idea is also misleading .

    • Bob says:

      Well you know what even if you were right that’s a lot better then defameing an amazing name like Diana by being an idiot. Just thought it might help you get through life to realize that.

    • Julia Stockigt says:

      It is clear that you know not of what you speak. You betray your own ignorance when you put your name to these worn out gibes having obviously never read any of Crowley’s varied works yourself. You have chosen instead to parrot off from among the copious collections of slanderous fearmongering that so many have heaped upon To Mega Therion, both during his life and since his death.
      During the prudish and xenophobic victorian era in which Crowley began his work, simply studying Tantric or Kabbalistic lore was enough to condemn him to the sort of rumour-slinging which continues to this day.
      The benefit of hindsight we have today makes it apparent that much of the hatred directed at the man during his lifetime was homophobic in origin. It is difficult to understand how these predudices against him can still prevail today, until we examine his outspoken views on drug use. For of all the loathsome prejudices projected upon minorities through the ages (think antisemitism, the witch trials, the communist scourge, racism, classism and religious persecution of all kinds), is there any which prevails more markedly today in a legal, political and social context than the villification of recreational or religious drug use?
      Of course he was fully aware of these tendencies toward hysteria in the masses, and it was not without glib humour that he named himself the Great Beast666, (which interestingly is represented kabbalistically as www), and was in turn driven out of England, and later Italy. (see Temple at Cefalu)
      During his lifetime he attained great skill as both a poet and mountain climber. He also travelled widely to Mexico, Russia, China, Northern Africa, the Middle East and India-during which time he climbed extensively in the Himalayas. On his many travels he immersed himself fearlessly in the local culture, preferring to shun the ‘grande tour’ mentality of most European travellers of the day.
      The prophetic utterings he recorded concerning the era in which we now live, if nothing else, are enough for sincere seekers of knowledge and truth to engage in further study, and he wanted it no other way. He was a great champion of the sacred freedom of the
      Individual within the perameters of Thelemic practice, and his attitude to drug use reflected this. He despised the hypocracy evidenced in the inconsistant and racist laws prohibiting drug use, in both the sacred and profane social contexts.
      His work was dedicated to the aim of religion,(using) the method of science, and he held himself to the same stringent standards as those around him.
      Perderabo was one of his mottos. It means ‘I Shall Endure’, which is a good thing and lucky for us because he was clearly so far ahead of his times.

    • john says:

      so physical appearance is your religious claim to fame ?

  14. Frater oMen says:

    What some of the critics perpetuating those myths fail to realize is that according to the Bible Jesus the Christ died a betrayed, publicly humiliated, penniless criminal.

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  16. David says:

    Concerning deathbed perplexity, PLEASE see line 666 (!) of “The Ascension” from “The Sword of Song”.

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  19. Lon Milo DuQuette says:

    …I seem to recall someone else’s last words were, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”

    • Incal says:

      Actually, Jesus’ final words on the cross were, “It is finished.” He at last finished paying the cost of humanity’s sin.

      Unfortunately, many choose to reject His sacrifice and endure the cost, needlessly, on their own. The problem is, it’s beyond their ultimate capacity to pay.

      • john says:

        they are quoting the book of John , you moron . You know the only Apostle who was at the crucifixion .

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