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Aleister Crowley and Jack the Ripper

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  • Aleister Crowley and Jack the Ripper

    On the 'Questions' thread Mike Covell poses the question, "When did Aleister Crowley first propose that he knew the identity of Jack the Ripper and when did this claim first make it into print?"

    That may be two questions! I suspect that Mike probably knows more about Crowley than I do, or at least he is more up to date than I am. However, I shall answer as best I can, although I thought that this tale and its ramifications was already well known. Anyway, here goes.

    It was not long after Aleister Crowley had established the Magical Order of the 'O.T.O.' in London that he was joined by 'a woman from New York' who was 'a great personal friend of the late Mabel Collins, the famous novelist and theosophist...' That woman was Vittoria Cremers.

    So it was Cremers who first told Crowley the tale of Collins, the Ripper and the box containing the bloodstained ties. Without looking into my Crowley files, which are extensive, I don't recall the exact date when Crowley put the tale into print, it was the mid-1930s I believe.

  • #2
    1929, through Bernard O'Donnell, but his first public writing that can be connected to the overall investigation was in 1910

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    • #3
      Thanks Stewart, and sorry about the delay in getting back to you.
      I have a few different sources but most give the rough date of the 1930's on Crowley's announcement that he knew the identity of Jack the Ripper.

      It fall's in line with the other announcements that Black Magic was a possible motive.

      We also have Betty May's expose which begun in 1923 after Charles Loveday's death, when she wrote several articles that appeared in the British press.

      I also found a great article by Pierre Girouard dated back in 1929 from the East Anglian Times, where he reveals the Black Magic angle. He reveals his source as Baroness K!

      Then we have Vittoria Cremers telling Bernard O'Donnell her recollections, in 1930, which as we all know, were for the O'Donnell Manuscript.

      Next up Ingleby Oddie reveals in Inquest, published in 1941, that friend Athur Diosy, was also fond of the Black Magic theory.

      And finally, Leonard Gribble's 1973 article in True Detective Magazine, which explore's the Black Magic angle, which is said to have come through a friend of Crowley's! Gribble, however, lists Stanley as Jack The Ripper!

      Thanks again Stewart, and sorry to drag you away from your birthday cake!!

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      • #4
        Hi Mike

        According to Robin Odell's Ripperology (p. 49), Sir Arthur Diósy gave a talk to the Crimes Club on November 8, 1914 on "My Black Magic theory of the Whitechapel murders as submitted at the time to Scotland Yard."

        As Odell (p. 49-50) goes on to relate, "Diósy had apparently been commissioned by The Star newspaper in 1888 to make on-the-spot investigations into the Whitechapel murders. He believed the murders were committed by a black magician in a quest for the ingredients for an elixir vitae, which had to be taken from a recently killed woman. The author of this fantastic notion said that he put forward his theories to Scotland Yard, where they were received with very little enthusiasm."

        As I previously discussed in an article that appeared in Ripperologist and later in the Rip's own collection of essays, Ripperology, it does seem as if D'Onston and Diósy were working in parallel in both having a belief that black magic was behind the murders. How much they conferred, if at all, on their common beliefs or else "pinched" each other's ideas, remains to be determined.

        Chris
        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
        https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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        • #5
          Of course, I was so excited about some new delopments yesterday, my head was in the clouds! I read your dissertation and Stephenson and Diosy, and loved it, and it would appear that the two were heading in the same direction, albeit on different tracks!

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          • #6
            Our Society

            The Arthur Diosy talk to Our Society ('The Crimes Club') was given on 8 November 1914 and was impromptu -



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            • #7
              Max Pemberton

              In the book Sixty Years Ago and After by Sir Max Pemberton, London, Hutchinson, 1936, the Diosy theory was presented to the public -


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              • #8
                Fantastic reading, thanks for sharing Stewart. I would love to know the identitites of the possible five, and chosen one!

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                • #9
                  The Magical Theory

                  The magical theory itself, of course, dates back to the time of the murders, so by the time that Crowley became involved in the idea it was old hat.

                  There are many secondary sources on Crowley so the story can become confused. As I said, Crowley himself in his 1934 article on the theory dates it back to his meeting with Cremers. The 1929 East Anglian Daily Times article has been known about for many years and was cited by Melvin Harris, here's the entry from 'Alexander Kelly', 1995 -

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                  • #10
                    Sothis

                    The full Crowley essay of the Jack the Ripper connection was not published until September 1974, in Sothis, Vol. I, No. IV, pp. 61-67 -


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SPE View Post
                      The Arthur Diosy talk to Our Society ('The Crimes Club') was given on 8 November 1914 and was impromptu -

                      [ATTACH]5436[/ATTACH]

                      [ATTACH]5437[/ATTACH]
                      Hi Stewart

                      Thanks, Stewart, for those postings.

                      The timeline you posted appears to be from a history of Our Society aka "The Crimes Club" -- could you provide the citation?

                      Thanks

                      Chris
                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Records

                        Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                        Hi Stewart
                        Thanks, Stewart, for those postings.
                        The timeline you posted appears to be from a history of Our Society aka "The Crimes Club" -- could you provide the citation?
                        Thanks
                        Chris
                        It's from the records of Our Society.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SPE View Post
                          It's from the records of Our Society.
                          Thanks, Stewart. Are the records readily available to the public or is this a privately published publication just for society members?

                          Chris
                          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Private

                            Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                            Thanks, Stewart. Are the records readily available to the public or is this a privately published publication just for society members?
                            Chris
                            It's private.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Excellent stuff here Stewart
                              It appears that our man belonged th 'The English Order of Christ' ( (A Templar related organisation) in the 1890s too with some interesting company. However I doubt HPB was JTR at the end of the day...despite what AC may have mentioned!!!

                              Just started a thread re The Ripper Code which may be worth a rant on!!!!


                              Suzi x

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