THE GREAT BEAST by John Symonds


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This is the biography of Aleister Crowley who was self-styled the ""wickedest man in the world"" and a social outcast from the time that he made indecent advances to an older boy at school at the ripe age of twelve. Referred to- even by his mother- as ""The Great Beast""- the antichrist of Revelations, Crowley made a religion of evil, engaged in sexual orgies, dope jags, and weird abracadabra which shocked and repelled two continents. But for the nineteenth century intellectuals- looking for new spiritual values- Crowley's religion, a compound of Dionysian rites, yoga, and Scottish Masonry, provided a release, and among the famous who took Crowley seriously- for a time at least- were Yeats, Gauguin, and Katherine Mansfield. This is strictly adult fare- incorporating as it does some of Crowley's pornographic verse which may titillate where it does not offend.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1952
Publisher: Roy