This presentation by Keith Ready examines Thelema’s occulture between the 1960s and 1990s, discussing the impact that publication has made on the establishment and legitimization of Thelema, forwarded by Aleister Crowley in 1904 as a new religious movement in contemporary Western culture. The resurrection of Thelema in the middle of the 20th-century is a complex story. It involves contentious claims to heirship in a complex structure of hierarchy as well as copyright discrepancies to written material. While this presentation exclusively focuses on a historical account of the Thelemic movements known as the Ordo Templi Orientis and A∴A∴ in their crucial periods of abeyance and revival, the overarching question centers around the importance of a movement’s literature and who owns its copyright. It will be seen that an epic battle for legitimization and authority ensued within the Thelemic occulture, culminating in legal battles for the acquisition of copyright and incorporation.
Keith Readdy holds a bachelors in philosophy from the University of Central Florida and a master from the University of Amsterdam's Center for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents. He is the author of the recent work entitled One Truth and One Spirit: Aleister Crowley's Spiritual Legacy, published in 2018 by Ibis Press. He currently lives in London and serves as Chairman of the newly established Boleskine House Foundation, a registered Scottish charity that aims to restore and preserve former Crowley estate Boleskine House in Foyers, Scotland.