THE CROWLEY AFFAIR
by Jean-Pascal Ruggiu Nicolas Tereshchenko
Excerpt from the Historical
introduction of the Ahathoor N° 7 Temple of Paris, translated
by Babelfish and Tommy Westlund.
The initiation of Crowley into the grade of Adeptus
Minor remains very doubtful: although he always claimed that Mathers
had initiated him into this grade in Paris in January 1900, many
indices seem to prove the opposite.
Firstly, Crowley himself was not certain about the
exact date of his initiation. He wrote in his periodical (The
Equinox) that he had been "allowed into the glory of Tiphareth"
(i.e. into the grade of Adeptus Minor) on Tuesday January 16,
whereas on the parchment scroll of the R.R.A.C. Isis-Urania Temple,
he wrote the date of January 23, 1900. However, the first of the
Minute Books of the Ahathoor Temple establishes formally that
at the time of his only and single official visit in Paris, July
1, 1899, Crowley was yet only Philosophus and that he was a visiting
member of the Isis-Urania Temple in London; contrary to Allan
Bennett, for example, he had not been elected honorary member
of the Ahathoor Temple. Consequently, normally, he could not receive
the grade of Adeptus Minor in Paris, since he was not a member
of the Ahathoor Temple.
Obviously, Mathers could have made departures from
the rule; however, it is curious that the name of Crowley does
not appear in the account of assemblies of the Ahathoor Temple
which took place on January 19 and on February 2, 1900, whereas
all the members of the Inner Order of this Temple were present
there. As Crowley indicated it himself in his periodical, he arrived
in Paris Monday January 15, 1900 and remained there at least for
the whole week. February 7, he was back at Boleskine in Scotland,
after having passed by Cambridge. That implies that he was certainly
present in Paris Saturday January 19 and perhaps even on February
2. If he had really been inititated into the grade of Adeptus
Minor on January 16, he should have been present at the assembly
of the Ahathoor temple of January 19; and if he had received it
on January 23, he should have been present at that of February
2. In all cases, his initiation should have been mentioned at
the time of these two assemblies.
Secondly, Crowley had been inititated into the grade
of Philosophus in May 1899: according to Order rules, he was to
thus to await a 7 months minimum to be able to pass the examination
of the Portal grade, then 9 months to pass that of the Adeptus
Minor grade. Consequently, he could not receive the grade of Adeptus
Minor in January, but only that of Portal. However, we repeat
that to receive this grade within the Ahathoor Temple (which had
a Vault of the Adepti and an Inner Order independent of that of
the Isis-Urania Temple), he should have initially been elected
as member of this Temple, which was never the case according to
the accounts in the returned Minute Books of the Ahathoor Temple.
According to rules, he could not receive the grade of Adeptus
Minor before October 1900; however, Crowley was excluded from
all the Temples of the Order as of May 1900.
It is thus not very probable that Crowley was ever
initiated regularly into the grade of Adeptus Minor. In fact,
Crowley undoubtedly accepted, in an irregular way, the documents
of the grade of Adeptus Minor on behalf of Alan Bennett, in thanks
of the financial assistance that Crowley had given him so that
he could leave to Ceylon in 1900, where the climate favoured his
health. Besides, it seems that Bennett and Mathers disputed at
this occassion: according to allegations of Crowley, it was because
of Bennetts conversion to Buddhism that Mathers had not accepted.
But one can doubt it, because we know according to certain testimonys,
that Mathers continued to attend the Theosophical Society in Paris
and that he was interested in certain aspects of esoteric Buddhism,
like Tchan. It is possible that the true reason of this argument
had a certain relationship with the fact that Bennett communicated
the documents of the grade of Adeptus Minor to Crowley without
authorization (although Crowley claimed the opposite).
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