The trendiest religion in Hollywood was founded on the teachings of a Satanist, a new essay by Camille Paglia claims. The Church of Scientology - which boasts Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley, Hilary Swank, Juliette Lewis and Kirstie Alley among its members - was founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. According to an article by Paglia in Boston University's Arion journal, Hubbard got many of his ideas from infamous devil worshipper Alistair Crowley.
"Hubbard had met Crowley in the latter's Los Angeles temple in 1945," Paglia writes. "Hubbard's son reveals that Hubbard claimed to be Crowley's successor: Hubbard told him that Scientology was born on the day that Crowley died."
According to the article, Scientologists perform some of the same rites that Crowley invented, all designed to free practitioners from human guilt.
"Drills used by Scientologists to cleanse and clarify the mind are evidently a reinterpretation of Crowley's singular fusion of Asian meditation and Satanic ritualism, which sharpens the all-conquering will . . . Guilt and remorse, in the Crowley way, are mere baggage to be jettisoned," Paglia says.
She writes that Crowley, a Nazi sympathizer who used opiates and hallucinogens and called himself "The Great Beast," advocated total sexual freedom, including orgies and bestiality.
Long after his death in 1947, the diabolist attracted even bigger followers than Hubbard, who founded Scientology in 1954.
"Crowley's influence fell heavily on the late sixties and seventies . . . The Beatles inserted Crowley's face (back row, second from left) in the cartoon cover collage of their landmark 'Sgt. Pepper' album," Paglia writes. In fact, some people say the famous first line of the album, "It was 20 years ago today," is a reference to the year of Crowley's demise.
Other Crowley fans include Ozzy Osbourne, who dedicated an entire song to him on his first solo album. David Bowie refers to Crowley and his cult, The Golden Dawn, on his early song "Quicksand," and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page bought Crowley's mansion, Boleskin House, in Scotland.