A Hackney Disciple of the Beast 666: A History in Letters


  • Christopher Josiffe Independent researcher




A∴A∴, Aleister Crowley, Anthroposophy, Argenteum Astrum, Neville Foreman, New Thought, Ordo Templi Orientis, O.T.O., sex magic, Theosoph


Studies of Aleister Crowley’s followers have tended to focus on unconventional or bohemian figures. This article examines a different type of person—Neville Foreman, an insurance clerk and family man who lived in the unfashionable Clapton district of Hackney, East London. Several years’ correspondence between Foreman and Crowley sheds light on the profile of a Crowley acolyte from a more conventional background. Whilst Foreman was no bohemian, this lower-middle class office clerk was nonetheless an esoteric seeker. Dissatisfied with his previous explorations in New Thought, Theosophy and Anthroposophy, Foreman arrived at Crowley and Thelema hoping for spiritual guidance and personal development, and also seeking some resolution to his sexual difficulties.

Author Biography

  • Christopher Josiffe, Independent researcher
    Christopher Josiffe is an independent scholar in London. He wishes to thank Bill Breeze and Ordo Templi Orientis, Martin Foreman, and the reading room staff of the Library of the Warburg Institute, University of London for their assistance.


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How to Cite

Josiffe, C. (2016). A Hackney Disciple of the Beast 666: A History in Letters. Pomegranate, 18(1), 5-30. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v18i1.22349