He was born Edward Alexander Crowely in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. His parents, members of a fundamentalist sect, the plymouth Brethren, raised him in an atmosphere of repression and religious bigotry. He rebelled to such an extent that his mother christened him 'the Beasr' after the Anyichrist. Crowley was drawn to the occult at a young age and was fascinated by blood, torture and sexual degradation. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, but never earned a degree, instead devoting his time to writing poetry and studying occultism. in 1898, he joined the London chapter of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD) and quickly advanced to the highest grade. After leaving Cambridge he named himself Count Vladimir and pursued his occult activities full-time in London.
He spent World War I in the United States, putting out pro German propaganda. In 1920, while driving through Italy, he had a vision of a hillside villa. He found a place on Sicily, took it over and renamed it the Sacred Abbey of the Thelemic Mysteries. Envisioned as a magical colony, the villa served as the site for numerous sexual orgies and magical rites, many attended by his illegitimate children. The behavior led Benito Mussolini to expel Crowley from Italy in May 1923.
In 1945 Crowley moved to a boarding house in Hastings, where he lived the last two years of his life, dissipated, drug-addicted and bored. Cowley's published books include The Book of Law (1904), Magick in Theory and Practice (1929) and The Book of Thoth (1944)
Dictionaty of the Occult 1996 Geddes & Grosset pg.59,60,61