Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947) was an English occultist and writer who claimed to be a magician – not the stage tricks kind of magician, but the warlock, spells and sorcery type. An L. Ron Hubbard type before there was an L. Ron Hubbard, Crowley also founded a religion in the early 20th century, Thelema, whose prophet he asserted himself to be, entrusted with guiding mankind to the “Aeon of Horus”.
A fundamental principle of Thelema was that the 20th century would usher in the Aeon of Horus, which would overthrow all existing codes of morality and ethics. In the new age, people’s “True Will”, which they would discover via magic, would be all that matters, and Crowley summarized the Horus era’s ethics as: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law“.
Crowley’s magic religion included lots of sex with his followers, which he termed “Sexual Magic”, whereby orgasms and bodily secretions were used as components of magic spells. The main precept of Sexual Magic was that all adherents should be completely open and uninhibited about sex, without social limitations or restraints. Also, followers should expose their children to sex from infancy, and accustom them to witness all kinds of sexual activity.
In 1920, Crowley and his followers established a religious commune in Sicily, the Abbey of Thelema, but it was not long before the perverse goings-on there led to controversy, scandals, and denunciations, that became regular fodder for the British and Italian press. Responding to the outcry, the Italian government finally shut down the commune and evicted everybody in 1923. Crowley then hit the road, and split the remaining two decades of his life traveling between Britain, France, and Germany, to promote his faith.