By now you’ve heard the sensational news of five Donald Trump statues, The Emperor Has No Balls, that were placed around the country. If you haven’t heard about it, you can read about it in Slate, the Daily Beast and in the The Washington Post – just to name a few. Even Chris Hodapp, over at Freemasons for Dummies, made a mention of it (taking no public sides in the political debate) on the day the statues appeared.
As strange as the appearance of this statue was, even stranger was the inclusion of a Masonic Ring on the nude presidential contender, rendering a strange message on an even stranger figure upon which to associate it. The inclusion reminded me of a certain car commercial that ran during a certain super football game in 2013 with a devilish Willem DaFoe (you can read about it here and here) sporting the square and compass on his finger which ended up garnering nearly 3000 signatures to have the image removed.
Masonic ring on Donald Trump Statue
And yet, here we have another example of the iconic square and compass stealthy sneaking its way back into the material culture*, now poised eloquently on one of the most in-eloquent of presidential candidates in an unflattering of pose. Alas, the Hans Christian Andersen appellation of the Emperor Has No Clothes is perhaps one allegorical tale to be told about the presidential contender. But, an emperor without balls, wearing a Masonic Ring? The only question I can imagine on the minds of most Freemasons (after the obvious statement of how ludicrous it is) is …why? Why a Masonic ring on a naked Donald Trump?
I wondered that too. So, I asked the artist behind the statue “Ginger” (aka Joshua Monroe), why. Why a naked Donald Trump wearing only a Masonic Ring?
I should probably say that replicas of the sculpture, which are now priced at $10,000 with multiple buyers lining up, was a commissioned piece by the activist collective Indecline. In a recent press release, Indecline says “Museums in Miami (Wynwood), Germany, Arizona and California have also contacted INDECLINE in attempts to secure Trump statues for gallery shows.” The statue (and by circumstance, the ring upon it) further seeps into the material culture.
This was my conversation with the artist Ginger about it.
GS: A masonic ring is a pretty unique thing to have on hand, even for an artist. After watching the making of video where you cast the model (at bottom), was the ring the models or something you had on hand in your studio?
Ginger: It was not very hard to acquire the ring. Then the model was not [a mason] as I believe most Mason’s would want nothing to do with a project like this. I meant absolutely no disrespect to the Masons but they are the world’s most recognizable secret society.
GS: It’s an interesting juxtaposition, the naked figure clad only in a Masonic square and compass ring. The Washington Post mentioned that it represented his (Trumps) access to secret or elitist power (attributing to the artist “emblematic of privilege, secret handshakes and cloistered groups of powerful people”). I’m curious, as an artist, is that a real part of the philosophy you see in [Trump] or just a design element meant to connect disparate elements into a new reality? Was the inclusion of the ring just a “secret society” prop, or did you mean to link the “naked emperor” with a Masonic ring as his only garment (which itself has a strangely symbolic reverse meaning within Freemasonry)?
Ginger: The reason that I myself chose to put the Masonic ring into the sculpture was to symbolize the fact that Donald Trump, who I know is not a mason, is most definitely involved in secret dealings and secret societies that the general public will never be aware of.
My grandfather was a high-ranking mason. I myself, being a legacy, have been asked to join several times by several members. As far as owning the Mason’s ring there’s actually artist and vendors that sell them on the street.
GS: Having a background in art, I think I understand how the ring is being used, but I know that a huge community of Freemasons are just dumbstruck (if not outright offended) at its use. Knowing that it’s the artist prerogative to choose what goes in or stays out of a piece is their own, I wonder what your thought is about how the community-at-large reads or interprets the association? Do you have any thought on how the community of Freemasons would interpret the inclusion? (Do you care or does it matter?)?
Ginger: I considered it a very tongue and cheek wink to the secret societies and their Quest To Rule The World. I have many friends who are masons and they joke about their meetings being held Pinky and the Brain style to try and take over the world. But it’s mostly crappy food that their wives have made. I myself have done lots of Charity and volunteer work and that’s why I’ve been approached by Masons I respect what you do and I hope you guys are not offended.
GS: I’m curious, do you see Trump as an emperor with no cloths because of what he’s done before the election or because he’s running now? Do you think it’s that secret access that makes him so naked?
Ginger: The title of the installment was actually set in stone long before the collective even found me as an artist.
The overall concept and look was their idea and their political statement. I am just the artist who brought it to life. However it was my idea to add the Mason ring not to insult Masons but [it] suggests his involvement in secret societies.
*Material culture is defined as: the physical evidence of a culture in the objects and architecture they make, or have made. The term tends to be relevant only in archaeological and anthropological studies, but it specifically means all material evidence which can be attributed to culture, past or present.
Not much I can say about this video, other than to comment that it seems to really come from the heart takes a serious and respectful approach to the fraternity in a very modern and contemporary way. It definitely belongs in the sphere of the Masonic nexus of the material culture.
Even if you’re not a fan of the genre of the music I think you’ll find some depth in the message.
From the YouTube Credits:
Apathy – “The Grand Leveler” produced by Smoke The World
From the album “Connecticut Casual” (June 3rd, 2014)
On Dirty Version Records
Video by Reel Wolf Productions
Special thanks to the officers and brethren of Coastal Lodge #57 in Stonington CT & Bro. Jim Johnson
This should be filed under the material culture of Freemasonry, the validity of which is open to interpretation. Yet, the video illustrates the story itself.
The footage comes from the Usain Bolt’s DJ Challenge channel on YouTube within which the Olympic medalist talks about his love of music from a 2010 spot for the 2010 Singapore Olympic Games.
In the video, at about 10 second mark, you can see his sporting of a gold Masonic ring with a red jewel and a gold square and compass in the center.
It’s been a topic of conversation in the Godlike Productions conspiracy internet forum which is where I noticed the 2010 video being bantered about a week or so ago. It was a topic of a photo of the athlete published in a 2010 piece in Jahkno! asking if Bolt was a Freemason then as the same ring is clearly shown on his pinky.
Needless to say, its made for a cavalcade of suggestive connections to the Illuminati, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, and the hip hop underground of secret societies and world domination.
Yet, after a brief search on the web, all that seems to come to the surface are mentions of Bolt’s success because he is a Freemason, world domination from Freemasons, and how the Illuminati is running the world through actors like Bolt nothing readily comes to the surface about his affiliations. So, I file this one under the material culture of Freemasonry as another example of Masonry in the world.
It’s Halloween, time for spooky movies, and the new film Paranormal Activity 3 does a terrific job in delivering the spooktacular. If you haven’t followed the series, Paranormal Activity 3 is actually the first story installment of the trilogy giving us the foundation of its Paranormal predecessors.
I won’t give away the plot (big house, bumps in the night, and Ghost Hunter esque videography) but in the climax of the movie, the audience is treated to a glimpse of perhaps why the activity is so paranormal and a tease of things to come. Its a fun film and perfect for the season and with the end of the film, I can only say that there needs to be a pre-prequel to tell the story of the apparition/demon Toby and what really is going on at Grandmas house. But it was the end of the film that I found myself pulling it into the Masonic nexus of freemason symbols.
Neared its end, there came a scene that made me chuckle and find a thread to pull with a link to Freemasonry. In the films transition from a faux cinéma vérité into a DIY shaky camera aesthetic, a la Blair Witch Project, we catch a glimpse of the why the activity is so paranormal. This is the last 15 minutes of the film that Derrick Deane of Fandango.com says “.. will ‘Mess You Up For Life'” which is right about where we find the Masonic connection.
It’s obvious that the sinister Paranormal Activity is coming from somewhere. Its not so obvious from where. Its not the benign ghosts from the Disney Haunted Mansion, or the night vision sleuthing of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. On the wall, in the manner of the Satanic Panic films from the 80’s, is the Luciferian leverage to make it really creepy.
If you go watch the film, pay attention to the unicorn.
In the blur between the faux cinéma vérité and shakey cam we, from the vantage of the hapless cinematographer and stepfather Dennis, find ourselves looking for the missing wife and step kids amidst a flurry of things that go bump in the night. There, on the all where the cute and cuddly unicorn once rested is a modified Magical Triangle of Solomon followed by a quick camera pan to the infamous Sigil of Baphomet on the opposite wall.
While, neither of the symbols are truly freemason symbols, the Magical Triangle comes out of a tradition of King Solomon, the wise king and one third Master Architect behind the construction of the great Temple constructed in his name to house the ark of the covenant.
Christian tradition holds the wise king was benign and kingly in status, but when you read deeper into the subtext of Judaism and Islam, as Lon Milo Duquette does in his book The Key to Solomon’s Key: Is This the Lost Symbol of Masonry?, we discover a king, prophet, and wizard, on the level of the great eastern Magi. Duquette writes “…he [Solomon] could talk with animals, fly through the air on a magical carpet, and cause others to fly through the air to him.” One other thing Solomon is thought to of done was summon evil spirits. The Triangle comes out of a work called The Lesser Key of Solomon the King or Clavicula Solominis Regis, a work originally translated by MacGregor Mathers who, in occult circles, was a well known Golden Dawn mage and Masonic devotee in the rebirth of magical spiritualism.
As the symbol goes the triangle with the circle, Duquette refers to is as the Magical Triangle within which Solomon commanded evil spirits. As it was used in ritual practice, it was a place on within which the magician inscribed on the ground to hold the demons he summoned. While it looks good in the movie on a wall, the symbols when used to summon “evil spirits” it is to be made 2 feet from a Magical Circle on the ground in evocations.
The Sigil of Baphomet is a bit more abstract in the Masonic landscape. Coming out of the work of French Occultist Eliphas Lévi, the pentagram with a rams head is more a device to illustrate (represent) evil than serve as any summoning symbol. Often the illustration includes the words Samael and Lilith which are inscribed in the middle and come from the work La Clef de la magie noire, by French Occultist Stanislas de Guaita. Guaita was a student of Levi’s work and elaborated in image to Levi’s conception. The Church of Satan website says of the symbol “…oriented in the opposite direction, the pentagrammatic Star is nothing more than a symbol of iniquity, perdition, blasphemy: its two points in the air become the horns of the foul Goat threatening Heaven, and whose head is framed with the stellar pentacle, with its low ears in the side branches, and its beard in disorder in the single lower point.”
Levi’s work, in time, became important in the occult world at the rise of spiritualism in the late 1800’s along side with tarot cards, Ouija boards, astrology, and séances. Evidence of Levi’s influence can be traced into the workings of the Golden Dawn which is in and of itself an extrapolation of Masonic degree work.
So, with those two images at the end of the film, from an occultist’s point of view, it’s easy to see the film maker’s idea of connecting the Paranormal Activity to some form of magical summoning from which the terror ensues. Without a doubt, the two symbols have been absorbed by the black magic community and fallen into the material culture of all things evil, with Paranormal Activity 3 becoming the latest instance. As viewers watch the film and begin to ask themselves the meaning of the two symbols, it makes me wonder if it will incite another decade of Satanic Panic as it did in the 80’s or if the sinister black magic of the cinema will be treated as just another work of cult fiction made to titillate the timid with the evils of witchcraft and black magic shrouded in the horror things that go bump in the night.
…Syfy will develop “Culture Shock With Tommy Lee,” in which the former Motley Crue member seeks to uncover and expose secret societies. Stern said that any show involving a celebrity was a tough sell to him, but that he was won over by Lee’s sincerity. “This comes from a very deep-seated, personal desire to uncover the truth behind these secret societies,” Stern said, “starting with his father’s membership in the Freemasons.”
From the Syfy channel programming announcement:
Culture Shock with Tommy Lee — This one-hour investigative travel show follows Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee as he attempts to uncover the various rituals, symbols and other mysteries of secret societies around the world. Tommy Lee will dig into the history behind the secret society, search out its meeting locations and members, and meet with former members to reveal the society’s rituals and deepest secrets. A production of ITV Studios America. Executive producers: Tommy Lee and Carl Stubner. Supervising producer: Jenna Barnes.
I don’t know about you, but nothing says investigative travel reporter like glam metal drummer Tommy Lee. Maybe its a play on words, a double entendre, as he exposes their “deepest secrets” – definitely culture shocking.
And didn’t Brad Meltzer try to do something like this on Decoded?
If the show hasn’t hooked you yet, maybe Lee’s bio of his early occult leanings will, especially as his bio reads that he lived in West Covina up through his High School years. It stands to reason that his father, whom he mentions was a Brother in a West Covina Lodge. And everybody knows just what a hot bed of occult activity West Covina is.
Hodapp makes some good observations as to the brand extension of the Syfy channel as the network to “Imagine Greater”, which must mean to imagine bad reality shows, but hey, maybe the show will be a good one, right? Perez Hilton has high hopes for what he’s calling Tommy Lee’s “Ghost Hunters…Rock N’ Roll edition”.
I would think that Lee won’t have far to go, as some of his closest friends sport some “secret society” tattoos in plain sight – just ask Dave Navarro to show you his elbows where he sports Aleister Crowley’s adaptation of the Unicursal Hexagram, one of the emblem/logos of Thelema. Even Lee sported his own esoteric tattoos, at one point wearing a backwards swastika tattoo on his arm – backward from the Nazi rendition which presumably stood for the crooked arm cross from ancient India used in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism religious practice.
In the same Hustler Magazine article, the interviewer asks Lee what his secret to being so lucky is. He answered:
I don’t know if there is one. I definitely don’t try. Maybe that’s the secret right there. I think I have a lust for life. When I wake up in the morning, I’m like: “What are we doing today?!” I still have that little kid thing. I’m not sure what that is. It might be my children’s fault. They keep me young. I still do all the shit that at some point most adults stop doing, like playing in the sandbox. They keep my lust for life alive.
Apparently playing with his kids wasn’t “secret” enough and now he needs to uncover and expose the secret societies that his father belonged to. If its anything like his other reality moments, I’m sure it’ll be all over the internet.
Having looked at the past 100 years of the Boy Scouts, it is important to spend some time on their organization so as to put into perspective how it operates and perhaps take a lesson for how a member centric organization functions with a national leadership while still retaining its local focus. The value of having a national organization is easy to see when you look beyond the titles and examine the work being performed in service to the organization. Rather than platitudes and titles, an engine of progress and motion is working behind the scenes to grow, nurture, and build the overall brand, something that Freemasonry does not have in a way comparable to that of the BSA.
An initial aspect of interest with the Boy Scouts as a body is that the national organization structure removes the diversity of individual states from practicing Scouting in their own manner and sets a national standard by which the entire body adheres to. Further it delegates down from the top to the increasingly more local organizations the management and practice down to the Troop level through committees and charter councils. At the lowest rungs the troop becomes, like the lodge, the local corporate unit, still broken into patrols which function within the troop. This seems to have allowed for the troops to retain a diversity of its local community from which the members reside.
An interesting aspect of juxtapose is to look at the Scout Troop to a system, more familiar to readers, of the Masonic lodge. Troops are made up of members from the local community, staffed by their parents and guardians, and chartered by an organization (church, civic group, business, etc) to operate. The group meets in weekly meetings for the purpose of training, planning, rank progression, with a variety of activities taking place at any given time. The meeting has leadership that directs it (similar to a Worshipful Master) with junior officers (like the Wardens) who assist where and when necessary. The meetings have a distinct purpose however, and like a corporate business meeting, it breaks out into teams to accomplish its various tasks, something unlike a Masonic Lodge meeting.
To appreciate the local operation, we should look at how the Scouts operate from a national level that makes its way to the troops.
First Masonry, as most readers will know, is based on a lodge system with each local lodge reporting loosely to a regional management (or District Inspector) but directly through its charter reports to a state level governance, called the Grand Lodge. In North American Masonry, the reporting structure stops there as directives, edicts, publications, and announcements come from it. The Grand Lodge also functions as the state point of contact for marketing, brand protection, and broader national communication. In a direct line, the individual Mason reports to a lodge, and the lodge to a Grand Lodge. In this line of succession there is some blurred lines of responsibility as to public interaction and marketing go (if any exist at all), and practice is set by the Grand Lodge based loosely on its custom which varies in nuance from state to state in dress, recognition between bodies, landmarks of the institution, and custom. At a high level lodges have similar practice, but custom and dress has a great degree of variance from local lodges between states, because of a lack of standardization. Observational, this has created silo’s of Freemasonry rather than a unified national body as with the Boy Scouts. Perhaps in its founding this was an organizational hazard and part of its planned incorporation to cultivate a unified message and purpose.
Structurally, the Boy Scout’s are localized at every level so as to meet the needs of its constituency. Diagrammatically, the troop reports to a unit committee, which reports to the Chartered Organization which then reports to a District, and then a Local Council. The Local council in return reports up to an Area Committee, which then report to a Regional who in turn reports to a National Council.
By reporting level this looks like:
National Council, BSA
This level is the overall leadership in the Executive Board and sets the general direction of the of the work of the Scouts. This Board is entirely volunteer except for the National Commissioner, International Commissioner, and the Chief Scout Executive. The Council develops programs; sets and maintains quality standards in training, leadership selection, uniforming, registration records, literature development, and advancement requirements. It does not directly administer to the troops, packs, venturing crews, etc, rather it delegates downward.
Regional Council (Committee and Board)
The country is broken into Regions for better management and governed by a Regional Committee and Council. The Council exercises the authority and responsibility of the Regional Committee whenever the Regional Committee is not in session but both function to implement national BSA policy and programs. Additionally it plans events and activities for its specific region and to train members of the various standing committees. All members at this level are also volunteers.
The Regional Board conducts the affairs of Scouting in the region on a day to day basis in conformity with regional committee and board policy
Regions are further broken into areas where the Area council functions similarly o the Regional in setting, managing, and implementing local activities.
Local councils are usually not-for-profit private corporations registered within the State in which they are headquartered, they administer any program they wish in the BSA portfolio through an annually issued charter to administer the BSA programs in their area. To hold the charter the Council adheres to certain program, financial and accounting standards. Local councils are privately funded and are not financially linked to the National Council or local units. Funding comes from donations, corporate sponsors, and special events. The local council is led by volunteers, with administration performed by a staff of professional Scouters. The Council President is the top volunteer; the Scout Executive is the top professional. In many ways this appears as essentially a franchise from the national body.
Local Councils promote the Scouting programs, register units and personnel, provide facilities and leadership for year-round outdoor programs and summer camps, and insure the general principals of scouting are adhered to. Additionally they insure the integrity of the merit badge system, ensures badges-and insignia are protected, and provide training to the Local Units and community groups using the Scouting program. Most importantly the Local Council sets the standards in Scout policies (locally).
Local Councils report to Regional Councils on finances, scouting membership, numbers of scouts attending camps and on their review of charter renewal applications for the Troops and Packs.
The District is an optional add-on to mobilize resources in the growth and success of Scouting units in the area. Traditionally they are composed of volunteers, and provide training, and programs for Scouts.
This is the sponsoring body that owns and runs a particular Scout Troop granted as a franchise of sorts) to operate a Boy Scout unit. Typically the chartered organization has goals similar to the Scouting organization such as a school, church, civic organization, business, etc. The chartering organization provides a meeting place for the Scouts, selects a Scoutmaster, approves unit leadership and provides a representative to liaise with the Troop.
The Unit committee is three composed of three or more qualified adults selected by the chartered organization who’s responsibility is to deliver quality unit programs, manage unit administration, and utilizes programs to accomplish the Troops goals and development.
Individual Unit – Troop
The Unit is composed of the Scouts themselves, which are broken into patrols which have their own structure of operation including Scribes, Quartermasters, Librarians, Chaplin, Guides, Historians, Assistant Patrol Leaders, and instructors, as well as many others. This is the essential functioning component of the Scouts and the most fundamental expression of the Boy Scouts purpose.
At the Troop level, then, is the foundation of the Scouts life, like the Lodge for the Mason. The Troop is a fluid body of new and returning members which functions to facilitate the Scout experience. Meetings consist of training on the basis of First aid to the types of lashings to affix two or more poles together. A function of the Scout meeting is the individual progress of the Scouts. Unlike Masonry, the Boy Scouts have a variety of testable points by which the candidate progresses. These points, spread between merit badges, knot tying, projects, teaching, and memorization. These processes serve to bring the Scout into a tight relationship with the corporate body, progressing through a series of ranks demarcated with each subsequent achievement. It’s in these progressions that a highly valuable lesson is taught to the member , lessons retained for the rest of their life. For example the Scout learns the fundamentals of first aid, how to tie a knot to secure materials in place, conservation, leadership, and even how to plan a complex and multi thousand dollar project. All of this takes place weekly at the recurring troop meeting.
As you can see, the organization is deep in that there is a tremendous infrastructure to protect its purpose and product. One of the most notable elements in recent history is the close and careful cultivation of the Boy Scout Brand which is one of its strongest corporate properties and essentially the product itself which is licensed or franchised to the Chartering body.
This level of brand development/protection is outside the capacity of Masonry at present and likely the cause of its slip in public awareness (especially when contrasted in the work of the Shrine which has a highly cultivated presence and brand). The model of the Scouts organization is something that Masonry can take a lesson from in several ways. First to disassociate the idea of the Lodge as the focal point for the group activity which allows the attention instead to be focused on activities, projects, and community engagement rather than utility bills and infrastructure management. The importance of the body of work performed out shines the landed importance on the place in which the work takes place. This is not to suggest a franchising, but the experimentation of an un-landed lodge (like a traveling lodge) that can focus on its community involvement by literally being in the community.
Also, having a National Organization, unlike the Masonic Grand Lodge system, allows for a specific set of standardized processes that can be made universal so that each operating lodge has a basis of operation integrity especially when coupled with a leadership structure which allows the adoption of locally flavored practice and preferences with permutations built into the foundational rules local users. In essence, the infrastructure allows for the BSA Troops to operate without worry as to what they are in operation of, they have a National Standard of material and an activity chain of National command supporting and growing the organization. We can see this in the basic principal of the Boy Scout Handbook where essentially the codex of Scouting resides.
Responsibility still ultimately falls on the local body, but with an arsenal of tools, training, a strong stable brand, and a national level of marketing the work of the local can more specifically focus on the work of building Boy Scouts.
In conceiving the organization, its easy to say that it is a complex model of operation. Boy Scout Troops are thriving across the country (and world) and continue to offer programs for young people. A Wikipedia article on recent Boy Scout Controversies places numbers just over 2.7 million members (in all Scouting groups) as of 2009, with a similar downward trend that Freemasonry is experiencing (roughly a 22% average per decade loss).
Without a doubt there are many lessons to take away from the Boy Scouts, from their history, their operation, and their organization. Unlike most century old institutions, looking at what has taken shape in the last 100 years to coalesce into what it is today, an outsider can be encouraged to imagine what the Boy Scouts of America will become in its next century. Strong leadership from early visionaries and a strong organizational foundation has allowed for the progression of a clear vision of purpose to promote “patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values”, all of which the Boy Scouts have cultivated. They are truly an American institution and an asset to the spirit of young people everywhere. Being Prepared is every bit the noble endeavor it seems and on so many levels the very basis of shaping young men for the ideal of civic engagement to become good men.
All in all, the Boy Scouts have had a stellar century and this centennial celebration is a milestone in American culture and a monumental achievement for American youth, to which the only thing to say is congratulations on a terrific organization. It is absolutely one that Freemasonry should take note from in both its operation and its outlook. The Scouts sprang up in the minds of those who saw the need for action in the face of a rapidly changing nation, foreshadowing the national call to instill values in children, and it still blazes a trail to educate, motivate, and activate the imagination and active civic expression in fast maturing boys. Despite recent controversies, the Boy Scouts is still a member run organization operating in a manner to uphold its principals which perhaps puts it at odds with the present day zeitgeist of multiple perspectives and ever shifting outlooks. But, just as it adapted to a changing world in 1910, so too have the Scouts emerged to embrace the 21st century at its 2010 centennial.
If you want to support your local Scouting body, I encourage you to visit the Boy Scouts of America web site. Or, with your donation, help support scouting through their fund raising which supports their camps, equipment, and uniforms.
Or, if you have a young man looking to improve himself, I recommend joining the Scouts today.
The 2008 film Chemical Wedding is a fictional story about the resurrection of the 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley. Written by Bruce Dickinson–yes, THE Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden–and Julian Doyle, it is best described as a low budget horror flick. It fulfills every expectation that that description creates: the story line is kind of cheesy, the effects are mediocre, and it features numerous sexual situations.
The story of the film is fairly straight forward. A professor of theology at Cambridge University is involved in a virtual reality experiment which goes horribly wrong and becomes the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley. Crowley comes to rebuild the temple in three days and perform a virgin birth. Crowley’s objectives during the movie rely heavily on adaptations of Crowley’s interpretations of the Christian Gospels and the story of Osiris. He regards the impregnation of Isis by a reed as the greatest form of sex magick and seeks to recreate the event through a chemical wedding with a red-headed woman.
The Freemasons play an important role in this movie. It is apparently assumed by the writers that the Freemasons had a great effect on Crowley, when the truth is that Crowley really wanted to have a great effect on the Freemasons. Nevertheless, the movie even features a fairly lengthy scene portraying a Masonic lodge meeting. The Freemason will notice the absence of factual information in this lodge meeting and that the movie is obviously portraying the fraternity in a negatively light.
The movie also spends a lot of time showing explicit scenes of Crowley’s sex magick rituals. The squeamish viewer should be warned, watching this movie requires a fair amount of fortitude. In the end, the sex magick is portrayed as being the whole of Crowley’s interest and he is portrayed as a man addicted to the most depraved of sex acts. It is necessary to note that if the inaccuracy of the movie’s portrayal of the Freemasons is an indicator, the portrayal of Crowley and his teachings is probably also a bit far out.
To be honest, the only truly redeeming quality of the movie is its soundtrack. Thankfully, Bruce Dickinson is a shameless self promoter and features the music of his band Iron Maiden. I have long believed that Maiden is the king of metal as they bring everything to the table: wide-ranging vocals, deep lyrics, searing guitar riffs, and rock solid rhythm. My favorite scene of the movie features a man sitting in an alley who says to Crowley “Your time will come,” which Dickinson uses as an opportunity to fade into the chorus of “Wicker Man.”
I would recommend this movie to a person that likes very edgy entertainment, is intrigued by the occult, and cannot be offended or upset by graphic sex and violence scenes. If you get upset about seeing Freemasons being portrayed as the “bad guys” or think that Crowley was more than just a sex addicted madman, then you probably don’t want to see the movie.
I’d give Crowley 4 out of 5 stars as it is for select audiences only.