Even a very experienced solicitor and legal expert can get it wrong sometimes.
When it comes to the Golden Dawn, the notorious Mr. Aleister Crowley, and the eccentric Comte de Glenstrae a.k.a Samuel Liddell Mathers, even the shiniest obsidian mirror would probably yield up the wrong prediction.
The background to this letter is the court case taken by co-founder and head of one of the Golden Dawn successor groups, Samuel Liddell Mathers, against Aleister Crowley who published some of the Order’s rituals and other materials in his “Equinox” series. Mathers hoped that the courts would find for him, and prevent Crowley from publishing any further secret papers. To the surprise of many, Crowley won his case, possibly helped (inadvertently) by Mathers’ strange behaviour in court.
While the case was being prepared against Crowley, Mathers rallied support from his old fratres in the Golden Dawn splinter groups, particularly Brodie-Innes, who managed to remain on good terms with everyone.
This letter is probably addressed to Robert William Felkin at the Amoun temple of the Stella Matutina in London. It came bundled in with other letters to Felkin in a cache of previously unknown Golden Dawn material which I will be blogging about intermittently.
Some notes about the letter:
Rebman was a publishing company, who also published some of Brodie-Innes’s novels. The novel he is referring to here was For the Soul of a Witch: A Romance of Badenoch which came out later in 1910.
It is signed S.S. - Sub Spe which was Brodie's-Innes's Golden Dawn name/motto.
The divorce referred to was the dissolution of Crowley’s marriage to Rose (prev. Skerett, née Kelly) which was finalised in the previous year. Divorce in England at that time was regarded as being rather scandalous, and was a legalistic process with very few grounds being allowed. As the depositions had to be sworn, anything untrue was potentially perjury.
For an informative, entertaining, and forensically researched life of Aleister Crowley, I can highly recommend Richard Kaczynski's Perdurabo, available at all good bookshops and online.
The transcription of the letter follows:
Care V. H. Frater,
I have written to Elliot, also to Whatley re: Directorships of Rebmans which I have accepted.
I don’t in the least agree with Westcott. I don’t think Crowley will face a Court – I don’t think he has money to pay for it – also there are too many points against him. The latest being (if my information is correct) that Mr. Crowley’s divorce was got by collusion and by directly deceiving the Scotch Courts – for the purpose of screwing money out of her brother who wished for the divorce and for the purpose of advertising himself.
If this is correct the Courts are likely to take it up pretty strenuously. I have put C… [indecipherable] in communication with Mr. Crowley’s solicitors – who are a respectable firm and will give away the whole show rather than by implicated in any deception of the Courts.
Nevertheless if Westcott will help to get the thing squashed without coming into Court it will [be] a very excellect thing and I fancy Mathers is quite ready to make friends with him and explain or apologize for any misunderstandings there were in the past.
Mathers certainly treated him badly at one time.
I am judging now by the tone of Mathers’ letters to me – I will see what I can do. Mathers is very friendly to me just now and healing the breach between him and Westcott would be an advantage in many ways.
I’ll do my best to get a Tatwa paper ready before I go south – but the first and essential thing is I must finish my new novel – I want to consult a Dr. Watt about it when I am in London.
I’ll see about “Dunera” when I’m in Edinburgh, perhaps go and have an interview unknown and incog. I did that several times with the fortune tellers I defended with excellent results.