…by Jonas E. Alexis
Aleister Crowley, the infamous occultist and black magician we discussed in the previous article, makes a point in his primer The Book of the Law that has had far reaching consequences in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Crowley was convinced that the book was inspired by an entity that communicated through him:
“This book was dictated in Cairo [Egypt] between noon and 1 p.m. on three successive days, April 8th, 9th, and 10th in the year 1904. The Author called himself Aiwass, and claimed to be ‘the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat.”
What then was Aiwass’s message?
“I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, and be drunk thereof! Be strong, o man! Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee of this.”
Moore continues, “LSD was an incredible experience. Not that I’m recommending it for anybody else; but for me it kind of – it hammered home to me that reality was not a fixed thing. That the reality that we saw about us every day was one reality, and a valid one – but that there were others, different perspectives where different things have meaning that were just as valid. That had a profound effect on me.”
Aleister Crowley, the 33rd degree mason who wrote the occult script upon which much of the modern music industry is based, crossed the occult abyss—never to return. But it was not without a huge price.
There are two competing accounts of his final days. The first one states that Crowley “slipped blissfully into the Buddhist state of final liberation, passing from ‘Samadhi to Super-Samadhi to Nirvana to Super Nirvana, expiring in the boundless bliss of the Infinite.”
The second account states that Crowley “died alone in misery and self-loathing, uttering the final words, ‘sometimes I hate myself.’” One biographer said that Crowley declared on his deathbed, “I am perplexed…”
The second account is much more plausible, since Crowley was taking eleven grams of heroin every single day during his last days, “enough to kill most men…most people who saw him in those days described him as ‘a bored old man who found the lonely evenings frightening.’”
Hugh B. Urban of Ohio State University declared that Crowley deliberately set out “to overthrow all established values,” wherever those values are found. But Crowley was specifically trying to overthrow the values which he saw in Christianity. Raised in a Protestant home, Crowley quickly rejected his Christian upbringing and substituted magic in its place.
Inspiration Through Drugs
Crowley set forth a diabolical principle here that should not be ignored, if one seeks to understand the weltanschauung of much of modern music and the entertainment industry.
In Crowley’s view, any work of literature, art, music, and film that is produced under the influence of drugs can spiritually be traced back to “the snake that giveth knowledge,” whether the producers, directors, musicians or entertainers are aware of it or not. (And by drugs here we are not talking about things like Tylenol or Nyquil.)
Crowley went on to say in his book Diary of a Drug Fiend that “…things like heroin and alcohol may be used and should be used for the purpose of worshiping, that is, entering into communion with the ‘Snake that giveth knowledge and delight and bright glory’ which is the genius which lies ‘in the core of every star.’”
Crowley, however, was not the first individual to postulate these occult doctrines. The idea that drugs can be used as a doorway to the occult world has been known throughout the ages. Occult historian Colin Wilson writes:
“All over northern Europe traditional art shows the fairy-people and sorcerers surrounded by mushrooms, usually the ‘liberty cap’ mushroom, now identified as psilocybin, the same used by Native American shamans for around 4,000 years. The Irish Gaelic name for this fabulous fungus, Pokeen, means little god…Crowley spoke for this tradition when he said true religion always invokes Dionysus, Aphrodite and the Muses, which he also called ‘wine, women and song.’”
Colin continues, “Psychedelic drugs, which have the effect of immobilizing the ‘logical mind,’ and putting the subliminal power in the driving seat of personality, can produce revelations of beauty or of horror.” Colin moves on to say, “the chief danger of psychedelic drugs, and probably marihuana, is that their habitual use would cause a drop in the brain’s serotonin production.”
Psychedelic drugs can cause “a lack of self-control,” so that the person “would argue for the sake of arguing, whether he believed what he said or not, and find himself compelled to speak of things he knew would offend people. He believed himself to be accompanied by a familiar spirit, and was an unusually talented astrologer and prophet.”
Pop psychologists and gurus of the 1960s would call this a “peak experience.” This “peak experience” was quickly picked up by Jewish psychologist Abraham Maslow, who collaborated with Alfred Kinsey, a part-time disciple of Aleister Crowley.
Scholar Joyce Milton writes,
“While not religious, a number of [Maslow’s] subjects had spoken of quasi-mystical experiences that led to lasting creative insights. These ‘peak experiences,’ as Maslow called them, were moments when the individual felt himself to be at one with the universe, egoless and yet wholly himself. They occurred when a dancer lost herself in the dance, a writer was transformed by an act of writing, a mother felt a mystical sense of union with her child…
“Although there was nothing explicitly religious about peak experiences, they could only be understood in the context of the psychology of religion. This was dangerous territory for a man who believed that religion was mere superstition as well as a major force for evil in the world.”
And whenever this “peak experience” is harnessed through drugs, sexual revolution always follows. And sex was one of the central axioms of Crowley’s doctrine in bringing about vast social and cultural changes. He wrote,
“If this secret [of sexual magic], which is a scientific secret, were perfectly understood, as it is not by me after more than twelve years’ almost constant study and experiment, there would be nothing which the human imagination can conceive that could not be realized in practice.”
Europe and America did experience this sexual phenomenon more vividly in the 1960s. And Jewish revolutionaries such as Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Sigmund Freud, and a host of others, harnessed that sexual power and unleashed it upon Western culture in general under different names such as psychoanalysis. Urban declares that for Reich and Marcuse,
As we shall see at the end of summer when we delve deeply in the issues surrounding Nazi Germany, Wilhelm Reich in particular was kicked out of Germany largely because of his revolutionary ideas with respect to sex.
Once again we have to come back to Maslow as a source:
“Prayer and worship didn’t make Maslow’s list of activities that may trigger peak experiences, though sexual intercourse and natural birth did. And ‘for the right people and under the right circumstances,’ LSD and psilocybin might make it possible to experience peak at will, without waiting for them to occur spontaneously.”
Calling it “peak experiences” or other names, Crowley viewed that drugs could be used as a bridge to the occult, and this has been corroborated by a number of scholars. Gideon Bohak, a Jewish occult historian, tells us that in the Greek translation of the Septuagint in the third century,
“We thus learn that not only necromancy, augury from birds, and other divinatory techniques are entirely forbidden, but also the dabbling in pharmaka (plural of pharmakon, which means both ‘poison’ and ‘magical procedure,’ not to mention the meaning of ‘medicine,’ whence the English word ‘pharmacy’) and the reticing of incantations.” Philo of Alexandria used the same Greek word to describe magic or sorcery.
The famed British psychiatrist William Sargant wrote:
“Like sexual techniques, drugs have also been used from time immemorial to induce feelings of possession by gods and spirits, and one of Aleister Crowley’s disciples is entirely in harmony with thousands of years of religious and magical tradition, and too much modern tragedy, when he says that “the only really legitimate excuse for resorting to drugs is the scientific one, i.e., for the acquisition of praeterhuman knowledge and power, which includes poetic inspiration or any other form of creative dynamism.
“Poetic inspiration, prophetic power and other forms of “creative dynamism,” whether drug-induced or not, have been regarded in many societies as the result of temporary possession of a human being by a supernatural being or force. It is a pity that modern proponents of the use of marijuana, L.S.D. and the rest have so seldom inquired into the vast literature of this subject, for the effects produced by various different drugs have been reported time and time again in the past.
In the East, the early Vedic hymns sang the praises of soma, the ‘King of Plants,’ omnipotent, all-healing, the giver of immortality, consumption of which elevated the worshipper to the level of the divine, and which was itself considered a god. What soma was is uncertain, but it may have been a mushroom, Amanita muscaria or fly agarics.
“Tantric and other Indian sects ‘have continually resorted to drugs to shift the plane of perception and attain ecstatic states and mystical illumination.’ Drugs, drinks, chemicals and special medicinal preparations were and still are used for this purpose.”
The New Testament offers similar indications. In Galatians 5, Paul uses the Greek word pharmakeia to describe sorcery or witchcraft, from which the word pharmacy is derived. Here again we are not talking about things like Tylenol, and any rational person should know where to draw the line.
Even antidepressant drugs have proved to have negative effect.
For example, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold—and nearly all the teenagers who have committed terrorist acts in the schools—were taking antidepressant drugs. Steven Kazmierczak, the student who killed five people and wounded several others in 2008 at Northern Illinois University, was taking Prozac. Steven Kazmierczak
Other psychiatrists have seen the same link between drugs and the occult. Stanislav Grof, arguably one of the most eminent Freudian psychoanalysts who quickly discovered that drugs and spiritual enlightenment go hand and hand, came up with the term transpersonal psychology to describe the state of mind in which an individual can find himself after taking SLD.
The late Michael Jackson, the self-styled king of pop who achieved stardom with his Thriller album in the 1980s, was, quite literally, a walking drug addict. Yet this did not come out until his untimely death in 2009.
The singer even had a song entitled “Morphine,” which has lines such as “Demerol, he is taking Demerol.” One report reveals that in 2004, Jackson “took more than 10 Xanax pills a night, asking his employees to get the prescription medicine under their names and also personally traveling to doctors’ offices in other states to obtain them…
“The document from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department contains confidential interviews conducted with two of Jackson’s former security guards as officials prepared for Jackson’s child molestation trial in 2005. According to the drug’s Web site, Xanax is for the treatment of panic disorder. The 2004 document details a dark picture of Jackson’s attempts to battle his sleeping disorder. One security guard that sheriff’s deputies interviewed said he expressed his concern about Jackson’s use of 10-plus pills a night to another staffer.
“The second staffer replied: ‘Jackson was doing better because he was down from 30 to 40 Xanax pills a night,’ according to the document. One of the guards said he and three other employees would get prescriptions for Jackson under their names. The second guard backed up the claim, saying he had picked up medicine for the singer that were in other people’s names.
“Years later in 2006, Jackson was in Las Vegas trying to jump-start his career. Deal maker Jack Wishna, who was helping the singer land a long-running show in Vegas, told CNN the singer would appear ‘drugged up’ and ‘incoherent’ — often so weak and emaciated he had to use a wheelchair to get around. Sources close to Jackson [said] that the insomniac singer traveled with an anesthesiologist who would ‘take him down’ at night and ‘bring him back up’ during a world tour in the mid-90s.”
One medical doctor, Sanjay Gupta, told CNN, “No matter how you cut it, this is an extremely high dosage of Xanax. It is a huge red flag…This dosage is exceedingly high for any human being.”
Brian Oxman, an attorney for the Jackson family, declared that Jackson had a drug problem for years. Back in 2007, Jackson settled a law suit with a pharmaceutical department that claimed that Jackson owed them more than $100,000.
During a search of his Neverland home in 2003, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s department found syringes and Demerol on the property. And we also know that Jackson was also taking Diprivan, a powerful sedative, before his death. This type of drug is only used by anesthesiologist.
Arnold Klein, Michael Jackson’s personal dermatologist, admitted that Jackson was using Diprivan way back when he was touring in Germany. Jackson’s last tour in Germany was in 1997, which led many to suggest that he might have been taking the drug for at least twelve years.
Blood tests also indicated that Jackson was taking Methadone and even Dilaudid, a narcotic drug. (Methadone is said to be a heroin substitute.) Factually, the self-loathing pop icon was, as one newspaper put it, “a walking drugstore when he died—he never stood a chance. The body can build up extreme tolerance to huge doses of drugs but eventually it overloads and just shuts down. That is what happened to Michael Jackson.”
Jackson added other drugs on his list such as Fentanyl, Vicodin, Valium, Ambien, etc. Two months after his death, other reports began to uncover Jackson’s drug world:
“Marijuana and numerous empty drug bottles were found by police officers at Michael Jackson’s home shortly after he died. Two bags of marijuana, a bottle of temazepam (used to treat sleeplessness), empty bottles of the sedatives lorzaepam and diazepam were discovered during the search. They also found four other empty pill bottles with no indication as to what may have been in them.”
Even on the day of his death, “as investigators were at the house, ‘family members of the decedent notified Los Angeles County Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter that they had located a quantity of tar heroin in [Jackson’s] bedroom on the second floor of the residence. Winter notified LAPD detectives of the found evidence.’”
As previously noted, Jackson followed Crowley’s principle as set forth in Crowley’s Magick: In Theory and Practice, and there is no doubt that Jackson himself had flirted with the occult, despite the fact that he denied it in public. Listen to the “king of pop” here:
The Marriage Between Drugs and Pop Culture
Two of the famous individuals who had discovered the supernatural powers of drugs were the late Timothy Leary, formerly of Harvard and an ardent follower of Aleister Crowley, and British intellectual Aldous Huxley, known for popular books such as Brave New World and The Doors of Perception. (It is said that it was Crowley who introduced Huxley to mescaline.) After he heavily induced himself with psilocybin, Huxley told Leary in a chilling conversation:
“‘Your role is quite simple. Become a cheerleader for evolution. That’s what I did and my grandfather before me. These brain-drugs, mass-produced in the laboratories, will bring about vast changes in society. All we can do is spread the word. The obstacle to this evolution, Timothy, is the Bible.’”
The late British psychiatrist William Sargant wrote, “Aldous Huxley, in his writings and in talking to me personally, insisted that mescaline had taken him into the presence of God.” Leary declared, “I am a revolutionary, and the faster this system [the culture and the Christian ideals upon which it was built] goes down the happier I’ll be.”
Yet Leary and Huxley were hardly the only individuals to have these “peak experiences” through drugs. Under the influence of drugs, Paul McCartney admitted that the Beatles’ songs and music would come through in less than an hour. Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s wife, confessed:
“More than anything it was the time and place when the Beatles came up. Something did happen there…It was as if several people gathered around a table and a ghost appeared. It was that kind of communication. So they were like mediums in a way. It was more than four people….As I said, they were like mediums. They weren’t conscious of all they were saying but it was coming through them…”
Perhaps one well-known individual who understood the supernatural power of altered state of consciousness through drugs was the renowned psychiatrist R. D. Laing. Thomas Szasz writes:
“Laing began his personal use of LSD in the early 1960s, when it was still legal in the UK. He loved it. Laing hagiographer John Clay writes: ‘LSD opened up new vistas, new fields of experience for him, and he was to use it more and more…’
“With LSD he found he could ‘travel through time in a way that the past wasn’t simply at a distance but co-present.’ The LSD mystique was right up Laing’s alley, and so also was its appeal to his craving to violate boundaries as a therapist: ‘He took it experimentally with patients at Wimpole Street [his office].’
“Clay quotes Laing: ‘I now usually take a small amount of it myself if I give it to anyone, so that I can travel with them.’ In 1964, while lecturing in the United States, Laing sought to meet [Timothy] Leary. They met at Bill Hitchcock’s legendary estate in Milbrook, New York, where Leary was then staying.
“Leary recounted what happened ‘…He said that the only doctor who could heal was the one who understood the shamanic, witchcraft mystery of medicine.’ This, indeed, was the real Laing—the shamanic-mystical, all-powerful ‘doctor…’
“Obeying the law was for other people, not Laing. Laing deceived the Home Office when he applied, as he must have, for special permission to use LSD ‘in the therapeutic context,’ and then used it himself.
“He also deceived all those who believed him when he declared that mental disorders were disturbances in human relationships, not disorders of brain chemistry, and then proceeded to use a chemical with powerful effect on the brain to “treat” his “patients.”
Laing, of course, did not reveal his drug abuse, and even attempted to stop one of his friends (with whom he took drugs) from publishing a book about their “shamanistic” trip. This friend wrote:
“We began exchanging roles, he the patient and I the therapist, and took LSD together in his office and in my Bayswater apartment….Laing and I had sealed a devil’s bargain. Although we set out to ‘cure’ schizophrenia, we became schizophrenic in our attitudes to ourselves and to the outside world.
“Our personal relationships in the Philadelphia Association became increasingly fraught….That night, after I left Kingsley Hall, several of the doctors, who persuaded themselves that I was suicidal, piled into two cars, sped to my apartment, broke in, and jammed me with needles full of Largactil, a fast-acting sedative used by conventional doctors in mental wards.
“Led by Laing, they dragged me back to Kingsley Hall where I really become suicidal. I was enraged: the beating and drugging was such a violation to our code….Before I could fight back—at least four big guys including Laing were pinning me down—the drug took effect. The last thing I remember saying was, “You bastards don’t know what you’re doing…
“I had to figure a way to escape from this bunch of doo-gooders who had lost their nerve as well as their minds….In 1975, 10 year after I broke with Laing, I completed a coming novel, Zone of the Interior, based on my experience with schizophrenia. Published to widespread notice in the US, it was stopped cold in Britain by Laing’s vague threat of a libel action.”
“I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs… cannabis has brought me some feelings for what it is like to be crazy, and how we use that word ‘crazy’ to avoid thinking about things that are too painful for us.” Many of Sagan’s essays were written under the influence of cannabis.
“Some drugs are really important for me because they are the medications to those incredibly intense joys that I’m looking for.” Noted professor of philosophy Gary Gutting writes that Foucault “spent his life seeking extreme sensations from drugs and sadomasochistic sex…”
Rock star Bob Dylan was a man with virtually no talent when he started his career as a rock musician. But when he started using drugs (he even publicly admitted he made a bargain with “the chief commander”), everything else changed. The man who obviously could not string two musical consonants together became one of the famous figures in Rock history.
It was after taking drugs—in this instance marijuana—that one friend of Dylan declared that Dylan would have “a little pad and he’d write things down…just by a stream of consciousness.” When asked to cut down some of the verses in his songs and writings, Dylan replied, “I can’t…They just keep flowing out of me.” He went so far as to say that “drugs are medicine…I think everybody’s mind should be bent once in a while.”
Shia Labeouf, who plays in such top grossing films such as Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Krystal Skull, Transformers, among others, grew up in a home where his father would give him marijuana when he was ten years old. It was during the same time that Labeouf “began performing stand-up and ‘talking dirty’ at comedy clubs.”
And both Edward Furlong and Linda Hamilton, known for their roles in movies such as Terminator 2, were drug addicts.
Biographer Christopher Sandford has this to say about Sting: “drink and drugs became his constant companions, his most loyal friends.” At one point, the artist was so heavily on drugs that he became depressed.
Sting himself was influenced by Crowley. He wrote of Crowley’s tarot cards: “These cards were designed in the 1940’s under the supervision of Aleister Crowley. They’re quite stunning…My favorite tarot card is Death. Oh! Here it is! How strange Death should be right on top. Anyhow, I find it extraordinary how strong are the feelings this card inspires me.”
The famous Hollywood director Oliver Stone was no stranger to drugs.
“Stone loosely based Scarface on his own addiction to cocaine which he had to kick while writing the screenplay. Stone has been rumored to use drugs while making films. On the DVD of Natural Born Killers: The Director’s Cut, one of the producers, Jane Hamsher, recounts stories of taking psilocybin mushrooms with Stone and some of the cast and crew and almost getting pulled over by a police officer—a situation which Stone later wrote into the film.
“In 1999, Stone was arrested and pleaded guilty to drug possession and no contest to driving under the influence. He was ordered into a rehabilitation program. He was arrested again on the night of May 27, 2005, in Los Angeles for possession of a small amount of marijuana.”
Stone declared, “I’m seeing someone separately where I work in a trance state…I believe in meditation. I believe in prayer; you should go to deeper levels….I’m trying to reshape the world through movies”
What has Stone learned from all of this drug trips? Stone declared back in 1987:
In a nutshell, Crowley’s occult doctrine has become one of the main pillars that characterize a large section of the entertainment industry, an issue we shall pursue in the next article.
 Annie Sprinkle, “How Psychedelics Informed my Sex Life and Sex Work,” http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v12n1/12109spr.html.
 For a disturbing report on Jackson participating in Voodoo rituals and placing curses on “enemies,” see for example Maureen Orth, “Losing His Grip,” Vanity Fair, April 2003; “Michael Jackson Is Gone, But the Sad Facts Remain,” Vanity Fair, June 26, 2009.
 See for example Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations Between Music and Possession (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985); Steven M. Friedson, Dancing Prophets: Musical Experience in Tumbuka Healing (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996); Judith Becker, Deep Listeners: Music, Emotion, and Trancing (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); Richard C. Jankowski, Stambeli: Music, Trance, and Alterity in Tunisia (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010).
 See for example Lester Grimspoon, Marihuana Reconsidered (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971); Carl Sagan, “Mr. X,” http://hermiene.net/essays-trans/mr_x.html.
 See for example Brian J. Robb, Heath Ledger: Hollywood’s Dark Star (London: Plexus Publishing, 2008); John McShane, Heath Ledger, His Beautiful Life and Mysterious Death (London: John Blake Publishing, 2008).
 Jason Kovar, “Oliver Stone,” http://www.goodfight.org/a_v_stone_oliver.html.
 Quoted in Jason Kovar, “Oliver Stone,” http://www.goodfight.org/a_v_stone_oliver.html.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.