The Charming Cats. Newspapers called him “The Worst Man in the World.” They told fantastic stories of him: he could raise devils and dead cats; he drank blood; he celebrated the obscene Black Mass in his “temple” at Chancery Lane. Crowley added some stories of his own. He said he could make himself invisible, and claimed to have walked around a town once in a red robe and golden crown, unnoticed by anyone. In a treatise on magic he blandly remarked that “for nearly all purposes, human sacrifice is best.” In 1934 he sued Authoress Nina Hamnett for libel, claiming that he had been represented in her book as a practitioner of black magic; he said his magic was white.
But the wicked magic of world events made Crowley’s little orgies look tame. He resented it; he was envious. Said he: “Before Hitler was, I am.” But it was no use. He became a fat, olive-skinned man with heavy jowls and mean little eyes which made him look like a stockbroker when the market is bad. He was crushed to hear himself described one day as “a rather harmless old gentleman.”
Last week Death, as it must even to magicians, came to Aleister Crowley. The world of 1947 buried him almost without noticing it, and without a shudder.