One of Austin’s lesser-known attractions is the extensive collection of Aleister Crowley manuscripts, documents, and personal papers housed at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center.
I recently asked Setnakt to share the strange tale of how a large chunk of The Great Beast’s archives found their way to Austin.
In 1917, Professor Lindsey Keasbey approached Aleister Crowley to discuss Thelema, socialism and Texas. The professor was a low-ranking member of the AA and he had a vision. One – world peace through socialism. Two – world enlightenment through Thelema, and Three – the University of Texas as a world culture center. It would of course have Crowley’s manuscript copy of the Book of the Law. The First Beast was delighted. It was his True Will that Austin, Texas should be the great home of Thelema. There was the small matter of moving up a grade. Keasbey seems to have objected to the sexual nature of the rites and fled the Beast’s presence. Where would the Manuscript wind up?
In 1919, Crowley left the MSS and other papers with Frater Achad in the “Paris of America” — Detroit, and headed home for England. Frater Achad invented a Kabbalistic version of the LHP wherein humans traveled down the path of Manifestation. He sent Uncle Al his notes on this and Uncle Al asked him to mail the Book of the Law back, quickly. Frater Achad went to the storage warehouse and — they had lost it!!
Crowley cried “Theft!” and broke with his magical son. Frater Jones spoke no more of his Left Path leanings until Uttering his Word MAnifestatION in 1948, a few days before James A. Lewis was born.
Then in 1960, a box with several early twentieth century documents was found in a storage warehouse in Detroit. The Harry Ransom Center was buying stuff for their Yeats collection and snapped it up. It had several Crowley rarities — including the magical jorunals that became _Vision and thr Voice_ and _Book of the Law_. Therefore the University of Texas became a center of Thelema.
It is of course the alma mater of Dr. Stephen Flowers, who in 4 Heard the word Runa and began his search for the word in the books of the infamous clocktower — eventually developing that word into the law REYN TIL RUNA!, which by rune-tally is equal to 93. The University of Texas was also the alma mater of Don Webb, and even gave the name Bull of Ombos to Adept Flowers and Setain Wade, when they researched Set in Te Velde’s book. Of this I can say no more save mention the cryptic Latin inscription in the first issuse of the pylon newletter, the _Vox Tauri_ “Bevo Bata est!”