Pursuing his interest in occultism, Crowley was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania Temple in London in 1898. Crowley soon befriended Second Order member Allan Bennett; together they studied magick and mysticism extensively. He also became the protege and ally of Mathers, the order’s autocratic leader, who lived in Paris, where he had opened the Golden Dawn’s Ahathöor Temple. However, in London, he alienated some leaders of the order, including the renowned Irish poet William Butler Yeats. They apparently objected to Crowley’s purported pornographic writings, blasphemy, and immoral lifestyle. When, in 1900, Crowley applied for admission the Second Order, the leadership of Isis-Urania turned him down. However, he soon travelled to Paris, where Mathers admitted him.
Upon his return, the leadership of Isis-Urania, openly defying Mathers, refused to recognize his entry into the Second Order. Matters went from bad to worse. At Mathers’ request, Crowley attempted to seize property of Isis-Urania, including confidential documents and temple furnishings. When this failed, claiming ownership of the property, Crowley sued Isis-Urania, which in turn sued him. He soon realized that he would expose himself to significant risk and an ugly legal battle; therefore, he filed for voluntary dismissal. The fight ended in Crowley’s and Mathers’ defeats; ultimately the former departed from the Golden Dawn and the latter lost control of Isis-Urania.
Aleister Crowley died on Dec 1, 1947.