Crowley Meets Clive Barker, Mike Mignola, and Bob Marley (Part III)


…by Jonas E. Alexis


Clive-BarkerPerhaps one of the most notorious filmmakers who has taken the Crowleyan “dagger of art” madness into the theater is Clive Barker.

Barker admits quite frankly that his inspiration comes from primarily two sources: Aleister Crowley and William Butler Yeats. Barker says:

“Yeats then led me to the Golden Dawn, and from the Golden Dawn to Aleister Crowley—and to a whole metaphysical system based on magic. Which I took terribly, terribly seriously.”[1]

In an interview, Barker made it quite clear that magic is “a very serious study for me.”[2]

As we saw earlier, William Butler Yeats was a devoted occultist and magician and the Golden Dawn was a really dark organization whose members busied themselves with occult rituals and even sex magic.

Although Yeats won a Nobel Prize for literature in 1923, he was also known for his involvement in the occult and credited much of his work to his occult practice and obsession. In that sense, he was like his predecessor Shelley, who also flirted with the occult. Yeats wrote,

“If I had not made magic my constant study I could not have written a single word of my Blake book, nor would The Countess Kathleen ever have come to exist. The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.

“It holds to my work the same relation that the philosophy of Godwin holds to the work of Shelley and I have always considered myself a voice of what I believe to be a greater renaesance [sic]—the revolt of the soul against the intellect—now beginning in the world.”[3]

Yeats practiced séances and automatic writings throughout his life and along with his wife.[4] He was so steeped in that practice that that he thought about dropping poetry altogether and plunged into automatic writing.[5]

At one point, Yeats’ wife

“would sit down for two or three hours a day with her tireless husband, he putting the question and she replying to them in automatic script in a notebook.

“Certain spirits with incongruous names claimed to be dictating to her, and Yeats liked to refer to them as the ‘communicators’ and never wholly gave up the idea that they were indeed spirits.”[6]

Yeats had a close relationship with both Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and MacGregor Mathers, two of the most important occultists in the nineteenth century.

In short, Barker got his inspiration from Crowley and Yeats and is now translating their doctrines into books and movies to unsuspecting and impressionable viewers.

Barker is the director or producer of movies like Hell Raiser, Night Breed, Lord of Illusions, Gods and Monsters, Candyman, and others. Here’s how Barker says he is going to kill people:

“Because I make horror movies I have to offend people. That’s my responsibility, to kill as many people as possible…And some of that truth may not be palatable to anybody. My responsibility is not to give a fu$k about that. My responsibility is not to care.”[7]

There you have it. And we should all appreciate Barker for his candor. Unlike some directors, he does not hide his agenda. His movies are about to kill people. But in what way? With guns and bullets? Of course not.

Barker knows that once you destroy the moral and spiritual lives of unsuspecting viewers, you basically destroy their moral and esthetic sense as well. And once a person’s moral fiber has been literally destroyed by filth, then the person practically becomes a puppet, doing exactly what the regime (the Dreadful Few) wanted in the first place.

But Barker is far from alone.

 Mike Mignola, a comic book writer, is indirectly applying Crowley’s magic into his own work. His frightening graphic novel Hellboy, adapted for the big screen in 2004, is about a demon who was brought to earth by the Thule Society. When Mignola was asked about some of his characters, he responded:

Mignola: In the actual miniseries, we’ve got Egor Bromhead, who is sort of an Aleister Crowley-type wizard. He’s good, and…

Interviewer: No, he’s not good, he’s bad.

Mignola: No—he’s bad, he’s bad, and he gets what he deserves. But he’s a good character…I’ve done some Ouija board stuff and I was the guy who always wanted to believe in it. And I remember doing this Ouija board thing with my brother, and it was working—I mean this thing was really moving around. And I was the guy, when we were done, who kept saying to my brother, ‘you did that. That didn’t happen.’ And he’s looking at me going ‘I didn’t do that.’”[8]

Mignola knows exactly what he is doing. In fact, in one of the Hellboy comic books,  he specifically inserted a picture of Crowley in the background. Both Hellboy and Hellboy II employ occult languages, symbols, and names.

One of the main characters in Hellboy is called, among other names, Israel Regardie, who in real life was one of the most renowned occultists in the last century. An occult writer, Regardie became Crowley’s secretary and eventual biographer.

Once again, Barker and Mignola were not the only people who have employed Crowley’s own system into their weltanschauung.

 Legendary musician Bob Marley knew very well that “emissaries invaded his sleep to enlist him as a seer,”[9] and Marley knew quite well that those entities gave him the power to have a master effect on much of the world.

At first, Marley “was frightened by the responsibility, but he had decided to assume it.”[10] Many readers will be shocked to hear that:

“the earliest Rasta songs and chants, including the basic, traditional ‘Rasta Man Chant’ which Bob Marley would record in the mid-seventies, were taken from the Piby, where they were set down in ‘glossolalia,’ an unintelligible ‘angelic language’ that turned out to be quite similar to the ritualistic jargon used in the thirties and forties by the self-styled English sorcerer Aleister Crowley, the so-called ‘Great Beast,’ in his occult Golden Dawn ceremonies.”[11]

It is said that “At the age of three, Bob is reported by the locals to have psychic powers. He reads the hands of several people in the area, revealing to them surprisingly intimate knowledge of their lives.”[12]

The late music journalist and rock biographer Timothy White, after maintaining a long relationship with Marley and his family, finally wrote Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley, saying:

“There is much about Bob Marley that remains mysterious. He seemed to embody the magical qualities of Anancy, the impish spider of African folklore who has the ability to alter his physical form at will and who is cunning enough to sometimes deceive the Supreme Being.”[13]

Since Bob Marley has been worshipped around the world as a god, let’s set the record straight once and for all:

“Obsessed with privacy, he devoted considerable time and energy throughout his life to constructing an elaborate screen to protect his valuable mystique…

“But perhaps what is most amazing about Marley’s rise to fame is how little his fans around the globe needed to know about the thematic undercurrents in his music, the different levels on which his message was delivered, and the roles Rastafarianism and traditional Jamaican culture is played in all of this.

“For example, one of his most vivid songs is ‘Small Axe,’ an almost buoyant bit of reggae sagacity. What seems like a simple allegory, in which a woodsman informs a large tree that it is about to be felled, is actually a fascinating three-pronged assertion that is readily understood by all Jamaicans but utterly obscure to almost anyone else.

“Not only is ‘Small Axe’ intended as a warning to oppressors everywhere that the people of the Third World will one day cut them down to size, but it is also a bit of bravado that had a particular application to the Jamaican recording industry.

“When the song was originally written by Marley and noted Kingston producer

“Lee Perry, it referred to ‘the Big T’ree,’ the island’s dictatorial record company triumvirate—Dynamic, Federal and Studio One.

“And the central image of tree-felling, accompanied by the excuse that it is being done according to the wishes of a superior, is a sober throwback to the old plantation-era pecking order, when slaves who were ordered to topple the island’s gigantic silk-cotton trees, which they held sacred, would sprinkle some rum on the roots of the trunks and sing a woeful song. This was done to assure the spirits lurking within that this destruction was not the slaves’ idea, but…the will of their masters.

“That so many around the world would adore Marley’s records and revere him as a revolutionary Rasta firebrand while never entirely comprehending the complexity of his message made his people love and cherish him all the more.

“They understood the magnitude of his accomplishments, and they regarded his artifice as being quite mystical in origin. He was a shaman, a duly appointed apostle of Jah, scolding the sinful, threatening the pernicious and reaching out to the righteous with arcane language the untrained ear could not completely decipher.

“The references to dried kernels being tossed to chickens in the song ‘Who the Cap Fit’ are incomprehensible to the average non-Jamaican listener, who is unaware that the central phrase is actually a rural proverb. It evokes the image of a farmer silently scattering feed who is saying, in effect:

“‘Don’t call yourself a chicken just because you eat my feed; I never said I was endeavoring to feed chickens.’ That is, ‘you are who you show yourself to be, not who you might say you are.’

“In the tradition of Jamaican storytelling, such maxims and proverbs are rarely offered in casual conversation. Usually they are addressed by a parent to a child, by an older person to a younger one, by a teacher to a student, or by a storyteller to his audience.

“And in these folk expressions are the seeds of social protest, as when a slave would turn his analysis of the eternal enmity between tyrant and chattel into the canny advice, ‘Kick darg, him fren’ you, feed him, him bit you.’ In other words, ‘Treat an underling poorly and he’ll fear you, treat him well and he’ll come to demand your respect.’

“The chief guardians of Jamaican folk wisdom and lore have been the sorcerers, known as ‘obeahmen’ and ‘myalmen.’ Obeah is the practice of exploiting the power of ‘duppies,’ or spirits of the dead, to harm or help people and influence events. A myalman, however, has the ability to thwart or neutralize the evil wrought by duppies.

“Under colonial domination, Jamaican slaves would align themselves in large numbers with obeahmen and myalmen in order to cast spells to defeat their captors.

“he magicians also acted as behind-the-scenes military strategists, calling slaves to arms for major revolts like those in the parish of St. Mary in 1760, 1765 and 1766, during which thousands of renegades fought the British tooth and nail.

“Throughout the Third World, Bob Marley was viewed as a modern myalman who had the will and the means—literally and figuratively—to repel evil. He was, as he himself claimed, a ‘duppy conqueror.’

“He recorded a song called ‘Duppy Conqueror’ in the late 1960s, shortly after being released by the Kingston police following a minor ganja arrest, in which he paraphrased the traditional Jamaican street saw used when defying a bully: If yuh bullbucker, me duppy conquero.”[14]

White went on to comment,

“A man who looked like a skinny lion, moved like a spider and lived like a ghost, Bob Marley died trying to control the duppies within himself.”[15]

He goes on to define a duppy as

“the spirit of the dead, believed to be capable of returning to aid or (more often) harm living beings, directly or indirectly; they are also believed to be subject to the power of obeah and its practitioners, who can ‘set’ or ‘put’ a duppy upon a victim and ‘take off ’ their influences.”[16]

These “duppies” are the background of Marley’s whole musical career, and

“such influences contributed in some manner to the environment in which Bob Marley grew up. Many had a profound personal influence on him, and a few, if you believe the believers, were embodied by him or were within his powers to manifest and direct to his own ends.”[17]

 Barker, Magnolia, and Marley prove that Crowley continues to exert an enormously powerful influence on pop culture. Perhaps Crowley’s job came to full bloom with the founding of the Church of Scientology, whose nefarious founder L. Ron Hubbard was a devoted disciple of Crowley.[18]

Like his master, Hubbard practiced sexual magic to gain power and fame. Like his master, Hubbard ended up deceiving multiplied millions of people, including recent victims such as Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, Anne Archer, Catherine Bell, Priscilla Presley (wife of the late Elvis Presley), John Travolta, etc.

But the Church of Scientology lost most of its power over perceptive observers years ago when Hubbard’s own son exposed the organization as an occult and dark organization.

Then Hubbard’s great grandson ended up breaking the logjam by exposing the Church as “a brilliant form of brainwashing” and “electrified hypnosis”:

Finally, celebrities themselves began to see that Scientology was and still is just a sham:

[1] Quoted in Douglas E. Winter, Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), 58.

[2] John M. Farrell, “World Weaver,”, 1995.

[3] Richard Ellman, Yeats: The Man and the Mask (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999), 97-98.

[4] For a detailed account on this, see for example R. F. Foster, W. B. Yeats: A Life, Vol. II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003); Brenda Maddox, Yeats’s Ghosts: The Secret Life of W. B. Yeats (New York: Harper Perennial, 1999).

[5] See for example Ellman, Yeats, 224-225.

[6] Ibid., 225.

[7] David Ehrenstein, Open Secret: Gay Hollywood (New York: William Morrow, 1998), 265-266.

[8] Shawn Ervin-Gore, “Interview with Mike Mignola,” Dark Horse Comics.

[9] Timothy White, Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley (New York: Henry Holt, 2006), 28.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., 10.

[12] Roger Steffens, “Bob Marley Chronology, 1945-1981,”

[13] White, Catch a Fire, 22.

[14] Ibid., 23-25.

[15] Ibid., 28.

[16] Ibid., 421.

[17] Ibid., 423.

[18] For a recent scholarly study on this, see Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013).


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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.