Friday, March 16, 2018

Crowley Myth Number 4 :: That he Died Penniless and Alone

A few coins

Analysis: ❌ This is false.

The Truth:
Crowley was no longer a rich man by the time he went to Netherwood, but he had a comfortable place to live and his needs were met. As well, he had between £450 and £500 under his bed in a container. Such an amount of money was a lot then--equivalent to over £18,400.00 today. At some point, Lady Frieda Harris tried talking him into paying for a nurse's care from the money. The money came to him from OTO members to support publishing his works, which apparently during his life would not see the light of day. He would not touch it though, as he wanted the money to go to the OTO after his death--he likely felt some sense of importance in this, as his works would surely go on to be published by the OTO. Hence Lady Frieda Harris chose to pay for his nursing care herself.

Netherwood - Last Resort of Aleister Crowley
Netherwood: Last Resort of A.C.

It appears that until Crowley got truly unwell he had a fair shake of visitors. It's common with elderly folks, that after a while their people feel they need more rest, or find regular visits inconvenient to engage in... it may have been the same for Crowley. But he was not entirely alone, and was not underappreciated. He certainly had some visitors; as a matter of fact Patricia Doherty MacAlpine, who was there at the very end, alluded to this in her works. Crowley's son by her (Charles Edward d'Arquires) was there as well. But how many visitors A.C. had towards the end of his life is unclear, as is when regular visits from his dearer friends subsided. There isn't a whole lot written on the topic by those present and some reports conflict. It appears that he was infirm for some time, so when he actually passed it was without fanfare.

Netherwood has oft been referred to as a boarding house, but the truth is that it was anything but. It was a place where people went in retirement, it was for the refined. To provide a clearer illustration of how nice it was, Kenneth Grant--Crowley's secretary, resided there for a while; he rented a guest abode on its grounds. The term "boarding house" became popular after it was once used in a documentary, "Masters of Darkness," that seemed set on making Crowley look sinister, and in the end, broken down.

I think we can rest assured that there will always be plenty of interest in this great man, who achieved so much... and his song will play on for many decades more--the song of the wondrous Great Beast. 

Do what thou wilt; 93/93

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