Aleister Crowley was one of the most bizarre, fascinating, and mysterious figures of the 20th century. Known in his own time as “the wickedest man in the world,” Crowley equally attracted and repulsed his contemporaries. From spiritualism and writing to mountain climbing, yoga, and the occult, Crowley left his mark on many different facets of life. But he is perhaps most famous – or infamous – for his controversial, influential beliefs.
Facts about Aleister Crowley reveal a complicated, charismatic man who was not afraid to follow his own path. Born in 1875 to religious parents in England, Aleister Crowley ultimately flouted traditional morals and sought his own philosophical and spiritual beliefs that some people ridiculed and others embraced. He founded his own religion – known as Thelema – and was an important member of Ordo Templi Orientis, one of the most important secret societies.
But Crowley was a man of this world, even if he was preoccupied with mining the secrets of other worlds. During his adult life, he endured two global crises – World Wars I and II – and he may have participated in them in truly unique ways. He was also an outspoken bisexual who touted the importance of sex to a scandalized public.
For better or for worse, it cannot be denied that Aleister Crowley was one of the most astonishingly original, imaginative people in modern history.