Crowley was an evil psychopath.
Crowley was also convicted of running a crime ring – but to read his autobiography, you would never know it.
Crowley was a competent pimp, but he was incompetent at the actual magic stuff.
Crowley tried to produce serious occult phenomena and failed miserably, so he re-defined his goals. He tried to turn really invisible, and failed, so he decided that invisibility was just the confidence to pass by guards.
Neovictorian is probably uninformed of some of the sordid details of Crowley’s failures. Then again, Crowley failed so frequently, it’s hard for any one scholar to be informed of all the details.
Neovictorian seems to be praising Crowley here:
A typical pitfall of occultism is to define your goals loosely, symbolically, allusively. When you only allude to a secret text, it is easy to elude the uncomfortable sense that you have failed to reach your goal within your deadline. And when excessive allusion leads to excessive elusion, the entire occult lifestyle becomes an illusion.
The dry-as-dust psychical researchers bore you with statistics, but at least they try to document their experiments readably – and sometimes they can make a bit of cash by clairvoyant market speculation. The semi-literate superstition-mongers may be one-tenth stupid and nine-tenths insane, but at least their spells aim for verifiable goals – like finding lost possessions.
Occultists are very often bohemian artistes who blather endlessly about Ineffable Communion with Cosmic Intelligence, instead of actually casting a spell to find a lost object or making a prediction about the markets. Occultists who talk too much become exceptionally tedious performance artists.
The Fourth Paw of the Sphinx is called “To Keep Silent” for a reason – it will clamp itself over the effective occultist’s mouth before he can bloviate his way out of the paranormal and into the demi-monde between theater and three-card-monte.