Lovecraft and Crowley – Another Link?

Time and time again, people have asked whether science fiction author H. P. Lovecraft and notorious occultist Aleister Crowley had heard of each other, or were in any way connected.  I covered H. P. Lovecraft’s knowledge of Crowley in my Fortean Times article (short version:  HPL had heard of him and seen a book in a store, but didn’t know much more than was in the popular press).  But did Crowley hear of Lovecraft?

When I first got on the Internet, years ago, I read the following story.  I can’t find the printout of the email – I know it’s around here somewhere – but even then it was presented as apocryphal.

As Crowley aficionados know, one of Crowley’s disciples in his later years was Grady McMurty.  McMurty later came to head an organization considered by many (but not all) to be the heir to Crowley’s OTO.  (We’re not going there.)  In the waning years of Crowley’s life, McMurty was fighting in World War II and visiting Crowley when on leave.

As the story goes, McMurty was of a high enough rank to name four of the Jeeps under his command.  For the first three, he selected mythos names – I recall Hastur, Nyarlathotep, and either Cthugha or Cthulhu.  All of these, of course, are gods/aliens/titans from the Cthulhu Mythos.  His men then begged him to let them pick the fourth name.  He relented – and ended up with his fourth jeep being named Snowdrop.

If this story is true (and that’s a big if), it’s likely that McMurty was a large Lovecraft fan.  If that’s true, there’s a good chance that he mentioned it to Crowley.  From what little I know about Crowley, that makes it likely that Crowley rolled his eyes, asked him why he couldn’t read some Swinburne or Baudelaire instead, and promptly forgot all about it.  Still, I’ve often wondered if it were true.

Any insight or educated guesses from readers are welcome.

Advertisements
Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 9:59 pm  Comments (2)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://danharms.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/lovecraft-and-crowley-another-link/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] investigation at the second location similar to the investigations conducted at Skinwalker Ranch. Lovecraft And Crowley – Another Link? Dan Harms Time and time again, people have asked whether science fiction author H. P. Lovecraft and […]

  2. Other then McMurtry to make a connection you could go the route of Kenneth Grant, who as a young man knew Crowley and served as his administrator for a short time (see his _Remembering Aleister Crowley_ for details). Grant would go on to be one of the first Occult Lovecraftians in his so-called “Typhonian Trilogy” and in his own version of the OTO system.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s