It looks like everyone is recovering from a massive snowfall this weekend. Hopefully you were all someplace warm or enjoyed the winter for a scant amount of time so that hypothermia didn’t set it.
Let’s get to the questions.
Do you have any information about this man: Aleister Crowley? Anything on his life, his writings and bio books?
Ah The Great Beast himself. Truly, there has never been a more famous con artist in the history of humanity, save maybe the titular character of “The Music Man.” Crowley was a horrible human being, a sexual deviant, a lair, a fraud, and used parapsychology and the occult simply to get laid. But the man was a genius and a master showman and manipulator as well, and that’s why his name is still mentioned today.
Crowley was born in 1875 but it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that he came into prominence. Crowley was born in England, in Lemington Spa. His parents were Christian Zealots. They were members of a fanatical sect called the Plymouth Brethern. And of course, this is the seeds for Crowley’s obsession with Satan. Many children (including one I once dated) who belong to a stifling version of Christianity where the god is feared and hated instead of loved, turn to Satanism, paganism, or some other religion considered “dark” by their parents. Rebellion in its purest form.
Crowley attended Trinity College in Cambridge, and while going there, he went on a trip to Stockholm where he had his first “mystical experience.” 21 + Sweden = drugs people.
In his journal he wrote, “I was awakened to the knowledge that I possessed a magical means of becoming conscious of and satisfying a part of my nature which had up to that moment concealed itself from me. It was an experience of horror and pain, combined with a certain ghostly terror, yet at the same time it was the key to the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists.”
In 1898, Crowley left Cambridge and met George Cecil Jones. This is to be the most pivotal moment of his life as it is Jones who inducts Crowley into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization that introduced ceremonial magic to him. Ceremonial Magic would be linked to Crowley (and vice versa) for the rest of his life. Of course, Crowley being a drama queen and amazingly destructive person, caused a massive schism in the GD by pitting the founder Dr. Wesctott with occultist and high ranking member of the GD, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. Mathers accused Westcott of forging letters about the origins of the society, while admitting well known confidence men such as the Horos family into the order. By 1901, Crowley machinations, combined with the Horos couple being arrested for raping their students of the Occult, destroyed the order and any credibility they had. Of course, before the implosion happened, Crowley had hightailed it to Mexico…
Between 1901 and 1909 Crowley wrote books, traveled the world and studied mysticism. But in 1909, in Cairo, Egypt, Crowley’s biggest con occurred. He wrote a book called, The Book of the Law, which he claimed he received through automatic writing from an entity known as Aiwass. The Book of the Law caught on like wildfire with occultists and parapsychologists of the day and includes Crowley’s most famous line from all of his writings, “Do what thou wilt shalt be the whole of the law.” This statement has been misused, misquoted and misinterpreted ever since he wrote it. Many people take it as Crowley, sorry AIWASS, saying “Hey, you have free reign. Do what ever you want. Do what feels good. Anarchy baby!” and has thus inspired a lot of deviance and stupidity for the past century.
What this statement ACTUALLY means is that those words refer to a call to destiny if you will. Aiwass says that human existence is about discovering your true destiny/true will and making that the focal point for your existence, existing primarily to fulfill said destiny and everything else is secondary to that ultimate purpose. But no, of course pathetic angst-ridden wanna be magicians decided to take that and translate it into meaning “Let’s do heroin and have sex with she-male hookers!” Which of course, Crowley has only himself to blame as he led by example on that one, take Occultism and perverting into a con job for him to make money and to get cheap sex out of his disciples under the guise of “enlightenment.”
By 1912 Crowley’s avarice, greed, and lust, were so overwhelming his common sense and decency that he began to focus on “Sexual Magic” or the use of sexual excitement to raise and focus magical energy. In other words, he used his reputation to convince idiots into putting out for him under the guise of learn occult secrets and magic. Crowley’s sex magic was little more than his philosophy that women were no better than vaginas that you occasionally had to talk to in order to keep getting sex from. Sad little misogynist that he was, Crowley managed to convince people into believing his words, because in Victorian England, would you rather be meek and submissive and a prude, or weak and submissive, but getting sex? Easy choice, right?
Crowley also led several occult societies/cults such as the Ordo Templi Orientis which was totally focused on sex magic once Crowley got involved, taking them away from their Masonic origins. He also created Thelmea, a cult devoted to The Book of the Law and Aiwass. Regardless, the only people that follow Crowley’s teaching today are drug addicted idiots who still take him serious and not as the con man and pathological liar he admitted to being, even in life. Much like the people who still take Anton LeVay seriously.
Crowley in life took credit for many things, such as claiming to have taught Winston Churchill the V for victory symbol, stating it was a magic charm against the Nazi’s black magic. But thankfully Crowley couldn’t escape Karma, as he ended up bankrupt in 1934 when he lost his suit against an Artist named Nina Hammett who he sued after she called him a Black Magician in her book, Laughing Torso. In a case many have called one of the stupidest in British Law, Crowley was laughed out of court and Justice Swift stated,
“I have been over forty years engaged in the administration of the law in one capacity or another. I thought that I knew of every conceivable form of wickedness. I thought that everything which was vicious and bad had been produced at one time or another before me. I have learnt in this case that we can always learn something more if we live long enough. I have never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable stuff as that which has been produced by the man (Crowley) who describes himself to you as the greatest living poet.”
Crowley ended his life befitting one such as he: as a peniless heroin addict in a boarding house in Hastings in 1947. His last words were, “I am perplexed.” Probably wondering how such a self absorbed egomaniac who spent his whole life screwing other people over ended up reaping what he had sown.
But even though I personally find Crowley distasteful and view him as the reason any sort of intellectual debate on parapsychology and occultism has been set back to the Dark Ages, I can’t deny his popularity as a cult hero to many worldwide. Whether it’s budding young pagans or Satanist who discover him by looking up things on the Internet, or musicians such as the Beatles, Marilyn Manson, or even Michael Jackson who have quoted him or used his words in their music (Led Zepplin guitarist Jimmy Page own’s Crowley’s old Loch Ness estate), Crowley will be synonimous with a Dionysian lifestyle, and linked with the Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll culture teenagers tend to gravitate to for a time. Crowley is also responsible for the development of the Neo-Paganism relgion we now call Wicca (Sorry folks, it’s not even 100 years old. Anyone who tells you otherwise is ignorant or just stupid.) and also has been a key figure in the liberation of sexual thoughts, deeds, and discussion in Western Culture. Hate him or Love him, you have to respect what this man managed to do in his lifetime, and that he truly earned his reputation as “The Wickedest Man Alive,” a nickname given to him by the British Press.
And if you’re interested in reading his books or a biography on him, Amazon.com has 318 books by the guy. You can also find an audio CD of him called, “The Great Beast Speaks.” Go for that on Ebay though, as it’s fifty bucks on Amazon.
I hope this helps Mike. I loathe Crowley and have far more respect for Anton LeVay and his accomplishments, if only because LeVay was honest about his satire from the beginning. Crowley ended up taking himself far too serious and began living his gimmick. And he paid the price for it.
Now that we’ve spent three pages of the column just on Crowley, let’s move on, shall we?
Like everyone else in on the face of the Earth I miss the game columns but I understand. I have checked out the Gamefaqs Pokemon boards (*shudder*) for an answer to this question and I can’t find one so who else to ask but the Pokemon expert?
I just bought Coliseum for the GC and I was wondering if you will be able to trade with Emerald when it comes out in April. I don’t want to buy Ruby or Sapphire if I can trade with Emerald. I am thinking about getting FR or LG as well.
I have started Tactics Ogre: KoL from your recommendations and your top 30 list (which was awesome) and the depth at first is a little intimidating but I’m liking it more and more as I play it.
Sorry for the vg questions. I understand if you don’t want to answer because you are a little burnt out. Take care and I hope the job search ends well.
Well, you’ll be happy to know Jeff, that yes, Emerald is compatible. And since I found Ruby and Sapphire to be the worst Pokemon games of all time, I can honestly say, wait for Emerald. Emerald also gives you access to Pokemon like Mew(!) and tells a much better story. Finally, it’s also comes with a wireless adapter for free, sealing the deal on it as a must have. In the mean time CERTAINLY get FR or LG to use with Coliseum. Better games with better Pokemon.
And glad you tried Knight of Lodis, it’s far superior to any other tactical game on the Game Boy. You like FFT for the PS1? It was an Ogre game made by Team Ogre because of a request for Square. FFTA is a pathetic shell of a game compared to Knight of Lodis and it even trounces both Advance Wars. I can’t put enough emphasis on how KOL is one of the best RPG’s ever made.
I’m still more than happy to answer VG questions or comments as well on occasion. And soon you’ll be seeing an update of 2002’s Shining Force history, as well as a really amazing feature on the Sega Saturn we have coming out in February from the Kliq.
As for the job search, it went extremely well. I worked at a crappy company for about a month, but have since moved on to the University of MN and am firmly entrenched in middle management there. For those of you interested in the insanity and comedy that is my life, there’s always my blog that you can read.
Hey Mr. Lucard, this is Angelo again. Great column as
always. Just had a couple questions for you that I thought
maybe you could answer. 1) I once heard a myth that there
is a peculiar belief about Jesus held by a certain
individual or Christian sect or something. The belief was
that Jesus was a constant shroomer, eating a particular
type of mushrooms native to Jerusalem. Apparently the
mythology goes that when Jesus was asked to turn water
into wine all he had to do was piss in the water in order
to toxify it. I understand that this is a ridiculous myth
but I was just wondering if you happened to know anything
about how it was started or where it came from seeing as
your area of expertise is strange mythology.
Another question I have has to do with food. You see, I am
a constant watcher of Iron Chef and theres some
ingredients they use that confuse the shit out of me. You
mentioned Foie Gras in your last column and I was
wondering what exactly that stuff is? How about swallow’s
nest? Sorry to bother you again. Thanks for any response
you can provide.
Well Angelo, I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything about Jesus being on shrooms before your wrote me. However with a little research I turned up the book, “Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy.” Here’s a review of it from http://www.psychedelics.com/psilocybe/holyjesus.html
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (Wireless Flash) — Chew on this: An ethnobotanist in Santa Cruz, California, thinks Jesus was munching magic mushrooms at the Last Supper. Clark Heinrich says man has enjoyed the psychedelic effects of mushrooms since thousands of years before Christ — and figured the King of Kings probably turned on as well.
In fact, he thinks Jesus was high on a psychedelic ‘shroom known as “fly agaric” which was hailed for its taste as well as its trips.
Heinrich says the mushroom resembles pita bread and when soaked with water it feels exactly like human skin. He figures that’s the bread that Jesus was referring to at the last supper when he said “eat this bread, this is my body.”
But that’s not the only way Jesus might have doled out psychedelics. Heinrich says people who eat lots of shrooms have a reddish-orange urine that’s even more hallucinogenic — and figures the almighty turned water into wine by whizzing into a five-gallon jug of H20.
Heinrich is the author of a new book, “Magic Mushrooms In Religion And Alchemy” (Park Street Press).
Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy
by Clark Heinrich ISBN 0-89281-997-9
Anything else I could drum up about this weird subject referred back to this one book. So it is the source of this entire rumour. Hope that helps.
As for your second question, well that leads us into the other section of Nyogtha…
Ah, Foie Gras. One of the greatest delicacies to the human palate. Rare and expensive, one only needs the slightest of tastes to savor its texture and flavor. Foie gras is French, literally meaning, “Fat Liver.” Foie Gras is the liver of a goose or duck swollen by overfeeding.
Many consider this practice cruel and inhumane to the bird, but one has to wonder if the poultry in question truly minds being a glutton for its lifespan. But because of animal rights lobbyists and other well meaning activists, foie gras is expensive and hard to come by. Still it is one of the greatest food in the world, sought after especially by the French and Japanese.
Foie gras has a rich, butterly flavor, and even those usually put off by liver of other animals will admit to enjoy the taste of a slice of foie gras. It is very delicate and contains far more flavor than a normal goose or duck liver.
Foie gras’ discovery is credited to Apicius, the author of the sole remaining Roman Cookbook from before the common era. Apicius details how he would force feed geese figs in order to increase the size of their livers. Ducks and Geese naturally store their fat in their liver for winter migration, so the process is natural and something that Geese and ducks would go through anyway. However, many French producers, force feed the birds corn by holding their throat open and sending the feed straight down their gullet into their stomachs.
France is where foie gras is most popular, and in fact, the Gauls lead the world in foie gras production, producing over 80% of it (96% of their foie gras is from ducks, although many will agree goose foie gras is the best). In fact, France is anal enough to break Foie gras into several categories for us:
1. foie gras entier (entire foie gras), made of one or two whole liver lobes; it can be cooked (cuit), semi-cooked (mi-cuit), or fresh (frais);
2. foie gras, made of pieces of livers reassembled together;
3. bloc de foie gras, a fully-cooked, molded block made of 98% or more foie gras; if termed avec morceaux (“with pieces”), it must contain at least 50% of pieces of foie gras for goose, and 30% for duck.
As well there is Pate de foie gras, (which must be made of 50% or more Foie gras), mousse de foie gras (Ditto), and Parfait de foie gras (which must be made of 75% or more foie gras).
Please note that in America it is almost impossible to find a full fresh foie gras unless you special order it. It is really only available in France, and even then only in the regions where it is produced. You can occasionalyl find full foie gras that are frozen in French supermarkets. For we Americans, you will have to buy it often from a website where you get fully cooked and prepared Foie gras in a can. And even then, only in 49 states as in California, Gov. Terminator has signed a bill outlawing Foie gras production and sale. Thankfully that doesn’t take effect until 2012.
The same bill is trying to be passed in NY state as well. What’s most interesting is those are the only two states in the US that produce any Foie gras at all. Foie gras is illegal in Germany, Denmark, and Israel.
As for a swallow’s nest, it is also known as Bird’s Nest soup and it’s exactly what it sounds like: the nest of a starlet. Bird’s nest’s are exeedingly expensive ingredients and are usually used in desert soups in Asia.
Now for this week’s recipe.
Since Angelo mentioned Iron Chef, I thought it would be fun to pluck a recipe from Battle Foie Gras that originally aired on July 30, 1999. In a battle between Iron Chef Chen Kenichi and challenger from Tour D’argent Dominic Corby, this dish was created and was later listed by Chairman Kaga as one of his ten favorite dishes on the show. This battle ended in a tie BTW.
There’s no way in hell any of you will probably ever make this dish considering the sheer cost of a full foie gras is approximately $115, and that’s just for a pound of it. FROZEN. But still it’s an amazing recipe which I have made only once and still consider to be the greatest thing I have ever tasted. So today, let us make…
Roasted Duck Stuffed with Foie Gras
1 whole goose foie gras
2 salted grape leaves
1 baby duck
4 eggplants, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 Litre ruby port
200 cc jus de truffle
1 litre fond de veau
20 grams butter
4 white asparagus
4 green asparagus
1. Salt and pepper the foie gras well. Wrap it in grape leaves
2. Stuff the foie gras into the duck. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. While roasting, try to baste as often as possible. Remove the duck from the oven while the inside is STILL pink. Keep warm for about 1 hour, so that the remaining heat cooks the foie gras.
3. Salt and pepper the eggplant. Grill it until completely cooked.
4. Reduce the ruby port until it is candylike in texture, then ass the jus de truffle. Reduce further, and add the fond de veau and butter at the end to abjust the taste.
5. Boil both kinds of asparagus. Place the duck and foie gras onto a plate. Add the Asparagus with melted butter and eggplant on the side. Pour sauce over duck.
And that my friends, is a dish you only need to eat once if your life. Anything else is second rate. ALLEZ CUISINE, no?
Laflin didn’t plug me last week even though I appeared in his column the week before. How fickle those sports boys are.
Corpse Bride toys! Can we say “Easy sell to goths?”
If anyone buys me this Captain Atom figure, I will forever mention you in the column in someway. :-P
Eric S watches Smackdown. He’s like a martyr. But not.
Gordi mocks the Cowbell skit.
Spaceballs: The Series? God help us all.
McCullar reviews RE: Apocalypse…which I will probably end up buying someday. Because Jill Valentine’s actress is a fox.
That’s it for this week. Spent just as much time on cooking as I did on Crowley, but then, I’d rather talk about fatty livers than a fat head any day. ;-) I’ll see you next week and keep those emails coming.