As told by Frater Robert Anton Wilson; Holy Discordian, OTO Initiate and CAW Water Brother in his Outstanding Masterpiece of Speculative Illumination "Cosmic Trigger." Recalling Crowleymas (October 12) 1974, Brother Wilson hath eloquently stated:
I had wanted to talk to Doctor Vallee for several months now and I immediately kidnapped him into a room which the other party- goers were not informed about. On the way, we spotted Hymenaeus Alpha (Grady McMurty), Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis, and his wife, Phylis.
The Skeptic had heard Jacques Vallee talk at a conference on Science and Spirit, sponsored by the Theosophical Society, earlier in the year. He had taken a new approach to the UFO mystery and was systematically feeding all the reports of extraterrestrial contacts into a giant computer. The computer was programmed to look for various possible repeated patterns. Jacques said that the evidence emerging suggested to him that the UFOs weren't extraterrestrial at all, but that they seemed to be intelligent systems intent on convincing us they were extraterrestrial. [Indeed, even as our Dear Brother Terence McKenna hath said, "We are part of a symbiotic relationship with something which disguises itself as an extraterrestrial invasion so as not to alarm us." -B:.B:.]
Now the Skeptic started pumping Jacques about his evidence that they weren't extraterrestrial. He started to explain that, analyzing the reports chronologically, it appeared that They (whoever or whatever they are) always strive to give the impression that they are something the society they are visiting can understand. In medieval sightings, he said, they called themselves angels; in the great 1902 flap in several states, one of the craft spoke to a West Virginia farmer and said they were an airship invented and flown from Kansas; in 1940s-1950s sightings, they often said they were from Venus; since Venus has been examined and seems incapable of supporting life, they now say they are from another star-system in this galaxy.
"Where do you think they come from?" I asked.
Doctor Vallee gave the Gallic form of the classic scientific Not- Speculating-Beyond-The-Dat
"You must have some personal hunch," I insisted.
He gave in gracefully. "They relate to space-time in ways for which we have, at present, no concepts," he said. "They cannot explain to us because we are not ready to understand."
I asked Grady McMurty if Aleister Crowley had ever said anything to him implying the extraterrestrial theory which Kenneth Grant, Outer Head of another Ordo Templi Orientis, implies in his accounts of Crowley's contacts with Higher Intelligences.
"Some of the things Aleister said to me," Grady replied carefully, "could be interpreted as hints pointing that way." He went on to quote Crowley's aphorisms about various of the standard entities contacted by Magick. The Abramelin spirits, for instance, need to be watched carefully. "They bite," Aleister explained in his best deadpan am-I-kidding-or-not? style. The Enochian "angels," on the other hand, don't always have to be summoned. "When you're ready, they come for you," Aleister said flatly.
(The Enochian entities were first contacted by Dr. John Dee in the early 17th Century. Dr. Dee, court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth and also an important mathematician, has been controversial from his own time to ours, some writers regarding him as a genius of the first rank and others as a clever lunatic. According to two interesting books, "The World Stage" and "The Rosicrucian Enlightenment," both by a most scrupulous historian, Dr. Francis Yates, Dee was almost certainly a prime mover in the "Illuminati" and "Rosicrucian Brotherhoods" of that time, which played a central role in the birth of modem science.
The alleged UFOnaut from Uranus which communicated with the two Naval Intelligence officers gave a name, AFFA, which is a word in the "angelic" language used by the entities Dee contacted. It means Nothing. George Hunt Williamson also got some words in "angelic" from his Space Brothers, remember.)
"The outstanding quality of UFO contactees," Jacques Vallee said at this point, "was incoherence. I now have grave reservations about all physical details they supply," he said.
"They are like people after an auto accident. All they know is that something very serious has happened to them." Only the fact that so many cases involve other witnesses, who see something in the sky before the "contactee" has his/her strange experience, justifies the assumption that what happens is more than "subjective."
"Largely," Doctor Vallee summarized, "they come out of it with a new perspective on humanity. A religious perspective, in general terms. But all the details are contradictory and confusing." He regarded green men, purple giant men, physical craft with windows in them, etc., as falling into the category psychologists call "substitute memory," always provided by the ingenious brain when the actual experience is too shocking to be classified.
I asked how many in the room had experienced the contact of what appeared to be Higher Intelligence. Grady and Phylis McMurty put up their hands, as did two young magicians from the Los Angeles area, and myself. Jacques Vallee, curiously, looked as if he might raise his hand, but then evidently changed his mind and did not. I said I inclined to believe the Higher Intelligences were extraterrestrial, and asked what the others thought.
Grady McMurty -- Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis -- said, in effect, that the theory of higher dimensions made more sense to him than the extraterrestrial theory in terms of actual space ships entering our biosphere.
The two Los Angeles magicians agreed
Tom, who had been a witch for five years and hadn't raised his hand when asked for contactee testimony, said that the Higher Intelligences are imbedded in our language and numbers, as the Cabalists think, and have no other kind of existence. He added that every time he tried to explain this he saw that people thought he was going schizophrenic and he began to fear that they might be right, so he preferred not to talk about it at all. Tom-who is a computer programmer by profession, a witch only by religion-later added a bit to this, saying that all that exists is information and coding; we only imagine we have bodies and live in space-time dimensions.
Doctor Vallee listened to all this with a bland smile, and did not seem to regard any of us as mad.
(A few days later, in discussion with the former Vacaville prison psychologist, Dr. Wesley Hiler, I asked him what he really thought of Dr. Leary's extraterrestrial contacts. Specifically, since he didn't regard Leary as crazy or hallucinating, what was happening when Leary thought he was receiving extraterrestrial communications? "Every man and woman who reaches the higher levels of spiritual and intellectual development," Dr. Hiler said calmly, "feels the presence of a Higher Intelligence. Our theories are all unproven. Socrates called it his daemon. Others call it gods or angels. Leary calls it extraterrestrial. Maybe it's just another part of our brain, a part we usually don't use. Who knows?")
Since everybody in the room at this point had either had the required experience, or was willing to speculate about it and study it objectively rather than merely banishing it with the label "hallucination," I went into my rap about the parallels between Leary and Wilhelm Reich.
"The attempt to destroy both Dr. Reich and Dr. Leary reached its most intense peak right after they reported their extraterrestrial contacts," I said. "I keep having very weird theories about what that means..."
Grady McMurty nodded vigorously. "That's the $64,000 question," he said emphatically. "For years I've been asking Phylis and everybody else I know: why does the gnosis always get busted? Every single time the energy is raised and large-scale group illuminations are occurring, the local branch of the Inquisition kills it dead. Why, why, why?"
Nobody had any very conclusive ideas.
"I'll tell you what I think," Grady said. "There's war in Heaven. The Higher Intelligences, whoever they are, aren't all playing on the same team. Some of them are trying to encourage our evolution to higher levels, and some of them want to keep us stuck just where we are."
According to Grady, some occult lodges are working with those nonhuman intelligences who want to accelerate human evolution, but some of the others are working with the intelligences who wish to keep us near an animal level of awareness.
This is a standard idea in occult circles and it can safely be stated, without exaggeration, that every "school" or "lodge of adepts that exists is regarded, by some of the others, as belonging to the Black Brotherhood of the evil path. Grady's own Ordo Templi Orientis, indeed, has been accused of this more often than have most other occult lodges. I have personally maintained my good cheer and staved off paranoia, while moving among various occult groups as student or participant, by always adhering rigidly to the standard Anglo-Saxon legal maxim that every accused person must be regarded as innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This obviously spares me a lot of worry, but the more guarded approach is very well argued by Isaac Bonewitz, the author of Real Magick. "Paranoid magicians outlive the others," Isaac says.
Somehow the conversation drifted away from Grady's concept of "war in Heaven." Several times, Grady tried to steer us back there, but each time we wandered on to a different subject. Tom said later that he felt a presence in the room deliberately pushing us away from that topic...
Dr. H. -- the psychiatrist whose bad acid-trip had started the Crowleymas party off so jumpily for me -- dropped by the next day, to thank me for "talking him down" from his anxiety attack.
He also, it soon appeared, wanted to tell me about his accelerating experiences with magick. It had started over two years earlier, after an intensive seminar at Esalen. Dr. H. suddenly found that he could see "auras." (The aura of the human body, known to shamans and witches since time immemorial, has been repeatedly rediscovered by scientists, most of whom were thereupon denounced as "cranks." Franz Anton Mesmer called it "animal magnetism," in the 16th century. In the 19th, Baron Reichenbach called it "OD." In the 1920s, Gurvich named it "the mytogenic ray."
Wilhelm Reich rediscovered it in the 1930s, called it "orgone energy," and was destroyed by AMA bigots who charged that he was hallucinating it. Kirlian photography has now demonstrated beyond all doubt that this aura exists.) Dr. H. soon found, further, that he could use the aura as a diagnostic tool in analyzing new patients. This experience, Leary's books, and a lecture by me on Crowley's magick, led him to further experiments.
On a beach in Sonoma County, after taking LSD the day before and programming an opening of the self to higher beings or energies, Dr. H. (no longer under the direct influence of the drug) had an experience with Something from the sky. "It wasn't exactly a Higher Intelligence," he said carefully, "or, at least, I didn't receive that aspect of it, if it was Higher Intelligence. To me, it was just energy. Terrible energy. My chest was sore for hours afterward. I thought it would kill me, but I was absolutely ecstatic and egoless at the peak of it. If the chest-pain weren't so intense, it would have been a totally positive experience."
(MacGregor Mathers, Outer Head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the first occult teacher of such worthies as Aleister Crowley, poet William Butler Yeats and novelist Arthur Machen, once recorded a meeting with the Secret Chiefs. These ambiguous entities, known in several schools of occult training, are variously believed to be discarnate spirits of the great Magi of the past, living Magi who can teleport themselves about as easily as you or I telephone a friend, "angels" in the traditional sense, or merely "beings we cannot understand." In any case, Mathers noted that the meeting, although pleasant, left him feeling as if he'd been "struck by lightning" and he also suffered chest pains and extreme difficulty in breathing.
Dr. Israel Regardie has also noted that Alan Bennett, who was Crowley's chief teacher for many years, developed asthma, a chest disease. Crowley developed asthma himself as his contacts with the Secret Chiefs occurred more often; and Regardie finally "caught" asthma for several years after studying with Crowley, a condition which was only cured when he went through the bioenergetic therapy of Wilhelm Reich.)