Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rick Wakeman Denounces Crowley Shock!

We at Ghooric Zone central like to keep abreast of cutting edge developments in the world of contemporary occultism, so imagine our mixed reaction of shock, surprise and delight at being informed of Aleister Crowley's moral shortcomings by none other than the mighty Rick Wakemen.

After providing the score for a new documentary about Aleister Crowley, Rick Wakeman had the following to say about the Great Beast: 'There is no doubt that Alistair [sic] Crowley was one of the most evil men that walked this earth'. Good God man, do you not have anything better to do with your time!

Granted that Crowley wasn't the most pleasant of people and could be a pretty nasty piece of work (as well as a rather pathetic figure)at times, but he doesn't really deserve this level of vilification. This all-too common insistence on blaming the worlds ills on some external (and usually supernatural) evil is, to my mind, a highly dangerous strategy, and one which - via scapegoating and the subsequent creation of moral panics - is often complicit in the very production of human suffering and evil it seeks to prevent. This is obviously over stating the case in this instance, as it's unlikely that we'll be seeing Wakeman at the forefront of a major witch-hunt against Thelemites and other occultists in the nerar future, but nonetheless scapegoating of this sort only helps to mystify the very real but banal sources of human evil - an issue I mean to explore in a forthcoming post concerning Lovecraft and the 'Occult Reich'. At least Crowley had the courtesy to refrain from unleashing the abject horror of twenty-five minute synthesiser solos on the world whilst wearing a sequined cape and pretending to be Merlin.

In any case, Wakeman's comment demonstrates a total ignorance of Crowley's life and magical philosophy. My presumption is that Wakeman's views were also derived from the documentary, which is pretty much being marketed as a kind of sensationalised horror story. The fact that it's slated for a straight-to-DVD realease doesn't bode well either.

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