Monday, June 07, 2010

(Don't) Do What Thou Wilt

So, I was reading an old interview with Joe Strummer and this little anecdote caught my eye:
There was a group called Eddie and the Hotrods right? And on their album, for some reason they chose to put a picture of Aleister Crowley wearing a Mickey Mouse hat...Well, this EP had this picture of Crowley with this Mickey Mouse hat on. I couldn't think of why. Jimmy Page saw this, right, and he rang the band up and said, "I'm putting a curse on you all." And after that, their album went away, just like that.
I thought I'd look into the matter a little more deeply and found this interview with a member of the band:
"Do Anything You Wanna Do" was the summer hit. And you could barely turn a radio on without it blasting out ...whilst the single reached the top 5, it wasn't long afterwards that what was to be known as the Curse of the Hotrods struck. In retrospect it wasn't the best of ideas to mess about with Aleister Crowley. The single cover featured the image above featuring Crowley's face with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, a play on Crowley's mantra - "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law."
It wasn't long before the letters started coming from his followers, saying we were playing with fire and threatening dire retributions on us all. At the time it was unnetrving and we tried to laugh it off, but uncannily enough we suffered more than our fair share of tragedies soon after. In no particular order one of the guys responsible for the cover commited suicide, our manager died of a drugs overdose and all sorts of other troubles befell band members that I won't go into here.
Now, rock n' roll is a rough business and the kinds of problems to Rods ran into are by no means uncommon. But by the same token this all ties into something I've believed very strongly for quite some time now- you have to be very careful what kinds of symbols you choose to play around with. A suicide and an overdose are both self-inflicted tragedies, which speaks to the power of suggestion sociologists have described with voodoo; manifesting the 'curse' in one's own subconscious.

But another strange notion occurred to me- would the same thing happen today? Belief itself is a poorly understood phenomenon, and may very well have a power in and of itself we can't quantify. Back in the 70s there was a small but motivated group of individuals who were fascinated by the Crowley mystique. People took these sorts of things much more seriously than they do today- would that kind of focused intensity of belief create its own manifestations, such as what the band member describes? Does the power of suggestion explain it away, or are there more subtle forces at work?

To answer that in the context of this story, I'd have to hear what other problems the band experienced. But a lot of us have had personal experience with a variety of anomalous weirdness that seems to operate above and beyond any possible type of suggestion.


  1. A rock-n-roll band with a suicide and drugs overdose? Well, it just MUST be that picture of Crowley that did it!! He was the wickedest man alive don't ya know! A satanist!! Gasp, horror!

    And I don't believe for a second that Jimmy Page was sitting around calling bands and telling them he'd cursed them. First of all, if there's one thing Page loves MORE than Crowley it's rock-n-roll. Therefore I'm sure he would have gotten a kick out of the whole thing. I mean puuulease.

  2. Since we're on the topic of Crowley, I'd love to hear your take on this video series. It appears some Thelemites have taken to YouTube for symbol magicks and media manipulation?

    Crowley & Sgt. Pepper

    HELP! & Ritual Postures

    Paul McCartney describes the Beatles as "Magic with a 'K'"

    More pop weirdness (and dubious sourcing) on the main playlist. Very strange.

  3. In short, yes. The "power of suggestion" is itself a much more subtle phenomenon than the pop psychological literature grasps. Intersubjectivity is exactly that--and if we're to be defined without ourselves and within each other, imbuing those relationships with powerful mythological and ritual significances drenches the social mind with a potency that can't help but manifest in "external" reality as well.

    That much seems certain, to me. It's the mechanism by which this happens which is of most interest, because it remains truly mysterious.

    Crowley and others knew intuitively that this stuff "works," and they prescribed accordingly. But did even they understand how?

    I sometimes wonder if the consciousness-matter interface isn't the most obviously pressing issue for contemporary science to address. And yet, it seems to hold a forboding mystique to a "black box" type of question. Maybe they just know better than to mess with something the prevailing reductive materialism has no hope of tackling.

  4. Anony- If you reread the post you'd see that the Jimmy Page story came from Joe Strummer, the dictionary definition of an unreliable narrator. And that I already made your first point.

    Doug- People seem to know that it works, but no one really seems to understand how it works. Maybe the 10% of the brain adage is right after all.

    Anony154- Wow- that's genius. Thanks for the links. Awesome.

  5. Another home run Chris, I think that maybe it's not so much that 10% of the brain that effects these dormant abilities, In my opinion I feel it's the DNA that has been turned off by the Annunaki as "Sitchin" has alluded to.


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  7. Thanks Chris for your consitent naming of anony poster's with their time stamps...

    ALA "154"... just follow the numbers when you are dealing with the occult weirdness & it will spew forth everywhere........

    "I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER"-WIRE from their 1979 album "154"

    Notice the Beatles song title match from "A Hard Days Night"

    I am getting a pretty serious contrition vibe from this whole Eddie and the Hotrods thing...

    That the symbols DO carry weight...

    I also stand by the fact that a great deal of those involved in rock music leave themselves open to influences that often degrade and dull their sense of inner strength: and the weakest, sometimes the most intensely creative and soul seeking- become victim to their own uninformed works, obscured by a lack of discipline.

    Mix these less organized forms of ritual (drinking and heroin in particular), with more serious ritual by those who have the "knack" - and yes, you could have some ugly stuff happen-look at what happened to Led Zeppelin, they had quite a deal of tragedy and downfall by mixing elements.

  8. Anony1154- Yes and maybe turned back on with the Annointed. Maybe that's the bloodline obsession.

    Orgone- Well, those influences you speak of is the way the industry is set up- successful artists have to run themselves ragged touring and doing publicity and all of the rest. Artists will often say that the drugs- especially coke, the Devil's dandruff- entered the picture simply so they could handle the schedules. And cocaine and heroin invariably distort the personality and open the door to all kinds of bad psychological and psychic vibes. Plus you're constantly surrounded by parasites trying to feed off your energy and your success. When you start screwing around with the symbols you're just asking for trouble.

    We need a new model for the music business- which includes people supporting artists financially- maybe even directly. That will come- everything is going to fall apart to shit- and I mean everything- and have to be rebuilt. Maybe when that day comes we'll nurture and support talent, rather than exploit and destroy it.

  9. 09-11-2001 and 6-11-2010

    In the realm of numerology, can we expect any synchronous events shortly? Anybody...

  10. I believe symbols can be imbued with an imprint of energy that can resonate whatever the "imprinter" created. Of course, I also believe that the imprinter, so to speak, needs to have the knowledge necessary and the esoteric wisdom of how to manipulate and corrupt those symbols.

    The symbols, therefore, act to activate ancient memory but can also awaken whatever was programmed into them. Thus, screwing around with symbols because it's "cool" or "trendy" has always been a pet peeve of mine with industry types, etc.

    Crowley was a master at energy manipulation that conjured such a dark energy that the word "hell" doesn't suffice. I go by what I feel when I watch or listen to something. Whenever I'm unfortunate enough to gaze on Crowley's face or his demonstration in photos of his various poses, there is something so evil that it literally worms its way into my consciousness and I have to look away. Yes, I'm what you call an intuitive person but I'm also very grounded and observant and don't get riled up like many. But Crowley is in a camp all by himself.

    I hesitate to say this but I know a man extremely well whose uncle knew Crowley on a personal basis. They were not friends one bit but Crowley would actually contact this man's uncle on a few occasions to tell him what he was doing. This man's uncle was pure of heart and actually wanted to help Crowley move away from the dark side. On one occasion, Crowley contacted this man's uncle and told him of "a deal" he made. (I was told what the deal was but I'm not about to talk about that here.) The man's uncle tried to talk Crowley out of it and Crowley was actually willing at one point to turn down the deal. But the money and prestige offered to Crowley was too much for him to reject and he did what he was asked.

    What he did, without revealing what occurred as I don't want to post that kind of info here, was manipulate energy waves and use certain symbols in doing so, so as to create an extremely violent outcome that would eventually impact part of a country. I'm sure, based on his "success" that he was used again because this man's uncle said, "Crowley couldn't stop himself, even though part of him knew he was doomed."

    Crowley was more than happy to get his message to those who were influential so they could be used to spread his symbols, etc. He did not care one bit for any of them but he saw these influential people as tools for reaching out to the masses. If he could have lived to see it, I'm sure Crowley would have laughed his ass off at how the Beatles so deftly incorporated his symbols in their work.

    The SPIRAL symbol (used in some black magick to create trance) has been hijacked by the New Age movement and the "Gratitude" movement as they use it on their jewelry. It's a clockwise circle with a "9" in the center. It's suspicious to me because I think a lot of the symbols being used out there now are for either creating "mass trance" or "mass chaos." The point is to stay aware and awake as much as you can and realize that even the most innocent looking symbol can have a powerhouse of energy behind it.

    I'm not a member of any religion, by the way so I'm not coming at this from a religious point of view. But I've had a rather different life since I was a child and been exposed to people and info that was kept secret for many decades.

    Enough said.

  11. Crowley was one of the most influential cultural figures (for ill or good) in the 20th century, the more angles you look at him from the more angles you'll see.

    Didn't know about Eddie and the Hot Rods and Crowley. I've always loved that record, and have made the connection between the refrain and Mr. Crowley's "Do What Thou Wilt", but I'd never seen the sleeve or heard the story before.

    Maybe Joe made it up in his own head? Free association?

    Chris, are you familiar with Harry Smith and the Anthology of American Folk Music? He always claimed to be the bastard son of Crowley.


  13. Hi Chris,

    I think it can be argued that Crowley's image has itself become a symbol for many - the post by anonymous that begins "I believe symbols can be imbued with an imprint of energy..." is perhaps an example of this. It isn't surprising to see that for some it can catalyse a sense of evil and foreboding, but equally there are many for whom the opposite is true (for a positive view, i'd recommend the home page of the Aleister Crowley Society

    Is it possible that focussed intent could have brought harm to Eddie and the Hotrods? I think that there is no doubt this could have happened. It takes place everday in places where the tools of shamanism (which is a neutral technology, not a moral code) - are still understood and employed, for good and ill. A Siberian shaman riding the drum and a Thelemic magician inflaming him/herself with prayer are probably far closer in intent, and sometimes outcome, than the latter might believe possible.



  14. Researchers examined records for 17 snake populations covering eight species over the last few decades, and found most had declined markedly...

  15. A chief rule in Thelema-- right up there with Do What Thou Wilt-- is that you're not supposed to interfere with another persons True Will. Page would know that, therefore it's highly unlikely he would be ruining peoples careers (assuming he even had that kind of power)because of a silly picture.

    Joe Strummer was known for his mythologizing.