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Crowley Cross?

To: alt.pagan,alt.satanism,alt.religion.scientology
From: (Goddess in Training)
Subject: Crowley Cross?
Date: 16 Dec 1997 03:43:57 GMT

[x-posted to alt.pagan, alt.satanism, alt.religion.scientology--I think 
this is all the groups that were in on the "Crowley Cross" discussion in 
the FMSF thread. I feel like tyagi now.;>]

I asked on thelema93-l about the "Crowley Cross" to see 1) if it even 
existed and 2) what, if any, connection it has to the Scientology Cross 
(such as the one on ). As I suspected, there 
really was no connection between the two (and I learned there *is* a 
cross associated with the OTO, which looks nothing like the Scientology 

I'm posting a couple of posts from the list, plus part of a private 
email, all with permission of the posters. Hope this helps clear up this 
--'--,-{@  --,--'-{@  --'--,-{@  |  @}-,--'--  @}-'--,--  @}-,--'--         
                 Renee Rosen  
              "In my dome of ivory, A home of activity,
       I want the answers quickly, But I don't have no energy."
                            -- Kate Bush

Date sent:        Mon, 15 Dec 1997 01:04:48 -0500
~From:             Paul Hume 
Organization:     William Blake Oasis
~Subject:          Re: Crowley cross?
Send reply to:

Renee -
The party in question is quoting a pamphlet from Reuben Swinburne
Clymer, head of one of the rival Rosicrucian groups in a fascinating
"war of the Rosicrucians" which popped up on the US esoteric scene
back a number of decades. Clymer's rival was H. Spencer Lewis, head
of AMORC (and its founder, I think?).

Clymer jumped up and down on AMORC's reputed connection with the
"notorious" Aleister Crowley in a pamphlet entitled something like
"NOT The Rosy Cross". Its text is included in a zip that made the
rounds some years back called, which purported to prove the
OTO wasn't Masonry (a generation or so after anyone had even thought
to claim it was, but let that go).

Clymer made great play abot Crowley having replaced the Masonic
version of the cross-crosslet (the Jerusalem cross is, I think, an
alternate title for the device, a cross with smaller crosses at the
ends of its arms, and smaller crosses still at the ends of those)
with his own, the "Crowley Cross." The OTO cross-crosslet, I see
(said he, with a quick glance at the Oasis charter) has 11 crosses on
it...I'd have to dig for a picture of the one Clymer held to be the
correct one, but assume it has 13 crosses (Christ + 12 Apostles and
other 13-fold symbols). I'd have to dig out Fox-Davies or some other
heraldic text to check the variations on the bearing. 11 of course is
a "hot" number for Thelema according to Liber AL. I don't know if
earlier OTO usage (Kellner and Reuss eras) used the Jerusalem Cross
or anything like it, or if Aleister modified the form himself, or
much else about its history.

I think Jack Chick makes some play on this in his immortal tract,
Curse of Baphomet, source of the unforgettable line: "Masonry? Why
George, I didn't know you were into WITCHCRAFT!"

(SPOILER WARNING: It's OK...George takes his friend's explanation of
Masonry's evil and Satanic nature to heart, burns his aprons, fez,
etc. and returns to Jesus...why, his son, dying in the hospital after
a traffic accident at the story's opening, is even returned to

I don't know what form of the cross the Scientologists use (or even
that they used a cross...which is odd, when you think of it) but
there are about a zillion sources L. Ron could have used for
variations on a cross-crosslet/Jerusalem Cross (starting with the
Anglican/Episcopalian communions for one). Offhand, it sounds like BS
to me.

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[from private email from Paul Hume, posted with permission, edited
for length and irrelevancy.]

Date sent:        Mon, 15 Dec 1997 01:56:20 -0500
~From:             Paul Hume 
Send reply to:
Organization:     William Blake Oasis
To:               Renee Rosen 
~Subject:          Re: Crowley cross?

Dear Renee
> Thanks for the explanation. Do you mind if I post this to usenet,
> since it would be clearer than me trying to explain it.

Feel free. You can use any of this letter that you feel is useful as

Assuming that the cross in the title logo of that web page
[ -- Renee] is what the original
correspondent is referring to, it seems to me that he hasn't done his


ANYWAY...the cross I saw on the web page was a calvary cross...with
t's, I think, at the ends of the arms (a cross potent) and a pointy
small cross forming an X at the juncture of the larger cross (a
saltire fitchy?). Leaving aside my apparent necessaity to think in
heraldic terms tonight, if that's the Scientology cross it resembles
nothing in OTO usage, certainly nothing much in Crowley's usage. If
the guy going on about crosses IS referring to the Rose-Cross (the
one on the back of the Thoth cards) as a Crowley Cross, then as you
note, he has done even less homework than you suspected, since that
is indeed a Golden Dawn symbol (The Rose Cross) - and not used in
Crowley's works at all. I've always rather wondered why it is used on
the Thoth deck, since it is pure Mathers/Westcott, not Crowley,
though it is a striking design, of course.

Crowley used a rosey cross when he scried the Aethyrs, the work that
was published as Liber 418, but that was a different talisman
altogether: a vermilion calvary cross (I think he says it was
vermilion) with a big topaz in its center, which he used as a scrying


Date sent:        Mon, 15 Dec 1997 09:35:51 -0800
~From:             Bill Heidrick 
~Subject:          Re: Crowley cross?
Send reply to:


"Renee Rosen"  wrote:

>I've gotten involved in a thread on alt.pagan (and various other
>groups) about Scientology and Crowley, and someone is making the
>claim that the "Crowley Cross" inspired the Scientologist cross. I
>said I couldn't think of a "Crowley cross"

There's a Scientology Cross?

The term "Crowley Cross" often is associated with the writings of
Clymer. Here's a letter from Crowley to Lewis of AMORC and the
section from Clymer's writing that pertains (Published (c) OTO in the
TLC for 12/92 e.v.):


 An. 19{?} {Sol} in {Leo}                 Aleister Crowley
                                   c/o Dennes{?} & Co.
                                   22 Chancery Lane
                                   London W.C.2

  Very Illustrious Very Illuminated and Very dear Bro.'.
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
  Some one has sent me a pamphlet in Blue wrapper 128 pp "Not under
  the Rosy Cross" by Swinburn Clymer, an ignorant swindler who came
  to me in N.Y. in 1914-15 e.v. for support.  I kicked him out.
     As I assume that you know him, practically every statement he
  makes about me is false.  (And why is the old Grand Hierophants'
  Cross called the Crowley Cross?  And the R.C. with all the colours
  of the Rainbow the Black Cross?).  But what can we expect of a
  creature who quotes seriously the obscene sayings of that very
  ancient and fish-like prostitute and black mailer Marian Dockerill?

  I am writing, not only in sympathy, but because the time has come
  for me to turn the tables upon these rascals.  Will you cable me --
  address "Chaucellor {?} London" -- the name and address of your
  London Representative, or otherwise facilitate rapid & sure
  communication between us?  I feel sure that co-operation at this
  moment will be most valuable for the Great Work.
     Love is the law, love under will
        Yours in the Bonds of the Order
  {11-fold cross}  Baphomet X{th Degree} 33{rd Degree} 90{th Degree}
  97{th Degree} O.T.O.

Clymer's pamphlet was revised to include events from the 1930's and
reprinted in "The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America",  by Dr. R.
Swinburne Clymer, The Rosicrucian Foundation, Beverly Hall,
Quakertown, Pa., 1935.  This work is well worth having for its many
reproductions of early documents of O.T.O. and O.T.O. precursors.
The opinions in it are by-and-large garbage, but they do show that
O.T.O. and Crowley have been subjected to lying charges of "Deviltry"
for quite some time in the USA.  The cover blurb is a notable

                           "Not Under the Rosy Cross"
   "Presenting documentary proof that H. Spencer Lewis -- Imperator
   of A.M.O.R.C., a spurious R.C. Order -- fabricated and copied
   secret lessons from published books.  Lewis admits that Crowley --
   Baphomet Anti-Christ -- is his Secret Chief, and the Black Cult of
   O.T.O., as source of his authority, shows his connections with
   Black Magic and inverted triangle."

Here's the passage alluded to in Crowley's letter:
      "In this connection, we recall that Aleister Crowley had been a
      member of an authentic English Rosicrucian organization, in
      which he was probably instructed in the Mystery of the Cross;
      that he denounced his vows, broke his solemn obligations and
      "turned" Black, and that thereafter, a short time prior to
      1909, he fabricated and launched the A.'. A.'. in London.  As
      and for the grand symbol of his A.'. A.'. , its ramifications,
      subordinate orders and their Black Magic activities, he adopted
      a specially designed cross -- not the Rosy Cross that is and
      long has been the symbol of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, but
      the "Crowley Cross".  Crowley made publication of his specially
      designed cross in March, 1910, facing page 210, Volume I, No.
      3, of THE EQUINOX, which we reproduce herein, 'being facsimile
      Reproduction No. 23.'  Will the reader kindly make special note
      of CROWLEY'S CROSS -- the grand symbol of his various Black
      Magic activities? It is of special interest.  We shall
      presently show that Mr. Lewis uses this same 'Crowley Cross' in
      his work and recently made an unsuccessful attempt to register
      it as an emblem of A.M.O.R.C. in the Commonwealth of


>and I decided to ask here
>to see if anyone knew what they were talking about.

I suspect somebody crossed wires and took this from Clymer to paste
up on Scientology without regard for even that fuddled source.

93 93/93
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