Aleister Crowley: Grandpappy of the V for Victory Campaign?

When Infowars launched the V for Victory campaign and the ‘You Are The Resistance’ meme, we charted some of the history of the V symbol.  Now we take a closer look at Aleister Crowley’s contribution to the V for Victory campaign in WWII.

Aleister Crowley: Grandpappy of the V for Victory Campaign?

The recent Infowars V for Victory campaign has raised curiosity about the creation of the original ‘V for Victory’ campaign in World War II, which I addressed in a Death and Taxes article last week.  However, Aleister Crowley’s role in the use of the V-sign struck me as far more interesting than the rest of the symbol’s history.  And so we will now consider Crowley and the V symbol in greater detail.

Aleister Crowley was born Edward Alexander Crowley in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, in 1875.  He was variously a mountaineer, poet, artist, chess player, mystic, occultist, magician and alchemist.  Crowley was later initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, taking the name Frater Perdurabo.  (Such writers as W. B. Yeats and A.E. Waite were Golden Dawn members at the time.)

Crowley left the Golden Dawn after a rebellion in its ranks, travelled to Mexico, where he climbed mountains and then went onto San Francisco and China, amongst other places.  Returning to Britain, Crowley formed A?A?, or the Argenteum Astrum or the Silver Star, a new magical order to replace the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Several years later Crowley was initiated into the Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Oriental Templars), which was modeled after the Freemasons, but became more of a magical order once Crowley assumed leadership, basing the O.T.O. on the Law of Thelema, which reworked a phrase from Rabelais into “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

He continued with his various magical pursuits for the rest of his life, though it has been suggested that Crowley was a British spy as early as 1915, when he supposedly played a part in the sinking of the Lusitania.  Richard B. Spence, author of “Agent 666″ came across files from a U.S. investigation into Crowley, which stated he was employed by the British government.  He came to America during World War I and helped encourage Germans to sink the Lusitania, ultimately bring the U.S. into the war.

As noted above, in World War II, Crowley claimed to have given Churchill the V symbol through his contacts in British Naval Intelligence and MI5 in order to create a magical ‘foil’ to the Nazi’s use of the Swastika.  He also apparently passed the symbol to friends at the BBC, and, according to Churchill, the use of the symbol was approved for a psychological warfare campaign in occupied Europe.

According to Crowley’s Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, the Swastika represents the Mourning of Isis, while the V symbol represents Typhon the Destroyer.  It doesn’t take much thought to imagine how Crowley would have thought the V symbol would have great symbolic value for the Allies in defeating the Nazis.

But, why would Crowley, a great proponent of personal freedom, have aided the Allies?  What was his end game?

It might have been something as simple as magical gamesmanship, with Crowley recognizing that the Nazis were engaged in a game of black magic, and to properly and effectively fight back, the Allies would need to return the volley with a destructive symbol — a symbol he knew well.

Crowley also must have believed that the Nazis were more of a threat to personal freedom than Allied governments, and they needed to be battled accordingly.  Then, of course, there exists the possibility that Crowley had always been a spy for the British or some other country or organization.

Whatever the case, Aleister Crowley might very well have been the creator of the original V for Victory campaign, as it the symbol began appearing throughout Europe to remind the Nazis that their grasp was tenuous—which would make Crowley the grandfather of Infowars’ repurposed V for Victory campaign.

And if you’re interested in more, consider putting Aleister Crowley on the presidential ballot in 2012.