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Aleister Crowley On Drug Prohibition

Frank_MackyFrank_Macky Heretic / Infidel PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
From Part 6 of his essay, On Cocaine. This was written around the time cocaine was about to be (or was just) prohibited in the United States but was still quite legal in the UK. The reasoning Crowley employs here, like in so many of his other works, is strikingly modern. He truly was a man ahead of his time and therefore, greatly misunderstood.


HOWEVER, let us concede the prohibitionist claims. Let us admit the police contention that cocaine and the rest are used by criminals who would otherwise lack the nerve to operate; they also contend that the effects of the drug are so deadly that the cleverest thieves quickly become inefficient. Then for Heaven's sake establish depots where they can get free cocaine!

You cannot cure a drug fiend; you cannot make him a useful citizen. He never was a good citizen, or he would not have fallen into slavery. If you reform him temporarily, at vast expense, risk, and trouble, your whole work vanishes like morning mist when he meets his next temptation. The proper remedy is to let him gang his own gait to the devil. Instead of less drug, give him more drug, and be done with him. His fate will be a warning to his neighbors, and in a year or two people will have the sense to shun the danger. Those who have not, let them die, too, and save the State. Moral weaklings are a danger to society, in whatever line their failures lie. If they are so amiable as to kill themselves, it is a crime to interfere.

You will say that while these people are killing themselves they will do mischief. Maybe; but they are doing it now.

Prohibition has created an underground traffic, as it always does; and the evils of this are immeasurable. Thousands of citizens are in league to defeat the law; are actually bribed by the law itself to do so, since theprofits of the illicit trade become enormous, and the closer the prohibition, the more unreasonably big they are. You can stamp out the use of silk handkerchiefs in this way: people say, "All right: we'll use linen." But the "cocaine fiend" wants cocaine; and you can't put him off with Epsom salts. Moreover, his mind has lost all proportion; he will pay anything for his drug; he will never say, "I can't afford it"; andif the price be high, he will steal, rob, murder to get it. Again I say: you cannot reform a drug fiend; all you do by preventing them from obtaining it is to create a class of subtle and dangerous crimials; and even when you have jailed them all, is any one any the better?

While such large profits (from one thousand to two thousand percent) are to be made by secret dealers, it is to the interest of those dealers to make new victims. And the profits at present that it would be worth my while to go to London and back first class to smuggle no more cocaine than I could hide in the lining of my overcoat! All expenses paid, and a handsome sum in the bank aat the end of the trip! And for all the law, and the spies, and the rest of it, I could sell my stuff with very little risk in a single night in the Tenderloin.

Another point is this. Prohibition cannot be carried to its extreme. It is im possible, ultimately, to withhold drugs from doctors. Now doctors, more than any other single class, are drug fiends; and also, there are many who will traffic in drugs for the sake of money or power. If you possess a supply of the drug, you are the master, body and soul, of any person who needs it.

People do not understand that a drug, to its slave, is more valuable than gold or diamonds; a virtuous woman may be above rubies, but medical experience tells us that there is no virtuous woman in need of the drug who would not prostitute herself to a rag-picker for a single sniff.

And if it be really the case that one-fifth of the population takes some drug, then this long little, wrong little island is in for some very lively times.

The absurdity of the prohibitionist contention is shown by the experience of London and other European cities. In London any householder or apparently responsible person can buy any drug as easily as if it were cheese; and London is not full of raving maniacs, snuffing cocaine at every street corner, in the intervals of burglary, rape, arson, murder, malfeasance in office, and misprison of treason, as we are assured must be the case if a free people are kindly allowed to exercise a little freedom.

Or, if the prohibitionist contention be not absurd, it is a comment upon the moral level of the people of the United States which would have been righteously resented by the Gadarene swine after the devils had entered into them.

I am not here concerned to protest on their behalf; alloowing the justice of the remark, I still say that prohibition is no cure. The cure is to give the people something to think about; to develop their minds; to fill them with ambitions beyond dollars; to set up a standard of achievement which is to be measured in terms of eternal realities; in a word, to educate them.

If this appear impossible, well and good; it is only another argument for encouraging them to take cocaine.

Comments

  • MojowatcherMojowatcher Member PExer
    From Part 6 of his essay, On Cocaine. This was written around the time cocaine was about to be (or was just) prohibited in the United States but was still quite legal in the UK. The reasoning Crowley employs here, like in so many of his other works, is strikingly modern. He truly was a man ahead of his time and therefore, greatly misunderstood.


    HOWEVER, let us concede the prohibitionist claims. Let us admit the police contention that cocaine and the rest are used by criminals who would otherwise lack the nerve to operate; they also contend that the effects of the drug are so deadly that the cleverest thieves quickly become inefficient. Then for Heaven's sake establish depots where they can get free cocaine!

    You cannot cure a drug fiend; you cannot make him a useful citizen. He never was a good citizen, or he would not have fallen into slavery. If you reform him temporarily, at vast expense, risk, and trouble, your whole work vanishes like morning mist when he meets his next temptation. The proper remedy is to let him gang his own gait to the devil. Instead of less drug, give him more drug, and be done with him. His fate will be a warning to his neighbors, and in a year or two people will have the sense to shun the danger. Those who have not, let them die, too, and save the State. Moral weaklings are a danger to society, in whatever line their failures lie. If they are so amiable as to kill themselves, it is a crime to interfere.

    You will say that while these people are killing themselves they will do mischief. Maybe; but they are doing it now.

    Prohibition has created an underground traffic, as it always does; and the evils of this are immeasurable. Thousands of citizens are in league to defeat the law; are actually bribed by the law itself to do so, since theprofits of the illicit trade become enormous, and the closer the prohibition, the more unreasonably big they are. You can stamp out the use of silk handkerchiefs in this way: people say, "All right: we'll use linen." But the "cocaine fiend" wants cocaine; and you can't put him off with Epsom salts. Moreover, his mind has lost all proportion; he will pay anything for his drug; he will never say, "I can't afford it"; andif the price be high, he will steal, rob, murder to get it. Again I say: you cannot reform a drug fiend; all you do by preventing them from obtaining it is to create a class of subtle and dangerous crimials; and even when you have jailed them all, is any one any the better?

    While such large profits (from one thousand to two thousand percent) are to be made by secret dealers, it is to the interest of those dealers to make new victims. And the profits at present that it would be worth my while to go to London and back first class to smuggle no more cocaine than I could hide in the lining of my overcoat! All expenses paid, and a handsome sum in the bank aat the end of the trip! And for all the law, and the spies, and the rest of it, I could sell my stuff with very little risk in a single night in the Tenderloin.

    Another point is this. Prohibition cannot be carried to its extreme. It is im possible, ultimately, to withhold drugs from doctors. Now doctors, more than any other single class, are drug fiends; and also, there are many who will traffic in drugs for the sake of money or power. If you possess a supply of the drug, you are the master, body and soul, of any person who needs it.

    People do not understand that a drug, to its slave, is more valuable than gold or diamonds; a virtuous woman may be above rubies, but medical experience tells us that there is no virtuous woman in need of the drug who would not prostitute herself to a rag-picker for a single sniff.

    And if it be really the case that one-fifth of the population takes some drug, then this long little, wrong little island is in for some very lively times.

    The absurdity of the prohibitionist contention is shown by the experience of London and other European cities. In London any householder or apparently responsible person can buy any drug as easily as if it were cheese; and London is not full of raving maniacs, snuffing cocaine at every street corner, in the intervals of burglary, rape, arson, murder, malfeasance in office, and misprison of treason, as we are assured must be the case if a free people are kindly allowed to exercise a little freedom.

    Or, if the prohibitionist contention be not absurd, it is a comment upon the moral level of the people of the United States which would have been righteously resented by the Gadarene swine after the devils had entered into them.

    I am not here concerned to protest on their behalf; alloowing the justice of the remark, I still say that prohibition is no cure. The cure is to give the people something to think about; to develop their minds; to fill them with ambitions beyond dollars; to set up a standard of achievement which is to be measured in terms of eternal realities; in a word, to educate them.

    If this appear impossible, well and good; it is only another argument for encouraging them to take cocaine.

    Good reads Franky-Macky! *okay*. I agree with Crowley. There is truth and wisdom in this pronouncements.
  • Frank_MackyFrank_Macky Heretic / Infidel PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Good reads Franky-Macky! *okay*. I agree with Crowley. There is truth and wisdom in this pronouncements.
    Of course if you listen to fundy xtians, they will say that Crowley is a satanist, etc...

    If I were 15 and I were still brainwashed by the influences of these ignoramuses, I'd probably believe that as well.

    Today I realize that it's best to think of them in much the same way that we view, say, primitive tribesmen who will think you are a god (or demon), if, for example, you show them how a lighter or a calculator works.

    If you read much of Crowley's works, you will notice the heavy amount of disdain he has for the conventional thinkers of his time. The guy is in no way perfect, but when someone is so far advanced of their peers, I think it's quite natural for such a person to feel a lot of disdain for the people around him, especially if their ignorance causes them to treat him with hostility.

    On the other hand, just because your peers treat you with disdain does not automatically mean are necessarily far advanced - maybe you really are just a kook. ;)

    But a lot of Crowley's writings reflect a wisdom that suggests he isn't a kook (or at least some of the time he isn't).
  • SmartDessaSmartDessa Things divide;Christ unites PExer
    nah, aleister crowley is not really demonic, he's just one of your atheist posers in his era who makes a lot of fuss trying to make you want taboo, and thus earning fame if not infamy.

    and boy we have plenty of such today, as we speak.

    crowley is like vice ganda in the philippines, kids want to be gay not because they're really gay.
  • marcus_huntmarcus_hunt Member PExer
    kids want to be gay not because they're really gay?

    :rotflmao:
  • MojowatcherMojowatcher Member PExer
    kids want to be gay not because they're really gay?

    :rotflmao:

    Oo, nga naman. Ate smartD, can you substantiate that statement?
  • MojowatcherMojowatcher Member PExer
    At any rate, that is not the issue. Some people always look into the personal side when they cannot argue.

    The thing is that Crowley's essay is full of wisdom to me.
  • MojowatcherMojowatcher Member PExer
    Instead of addressing the issue of drug dependency some people would like to personalize the issue to deflect.

    In reality religions failed in this particular issue in our society.
  • SmartDessaSmartDessa Things divide;Christ unites PExer
    Oo, nga naman. Ate smartD, can you substantiate that statement?

    it's the fad.
    don't you guys read the news?
  • MojowatcherMojowatcher Member PExer
    You see? The religious just ignore the issues in our society!
  • tontontonton Let's stop and talk awhile. PExer
    SmartDessa wrote: »
    it's the fad.
    don't you guys read the news?

    What news? Link please.
  • SmartDessaSmartDessa Things divide;Christ unites PExer
    tonton wrote: »
    What news? Link please.

    ahahaha, it's just an expression, you simpleton.
  • tontontonton Let's stop and talk awhile. PExer
    SmartDessa wrote: »
    ahahaha, it's just an expression, you simpleton.

    Aba ungas to a. Sinong may expression ng ganyan? Baka ikaw lang.
  • Frank_MackyFrank_Macky Heretic / Infidel PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    SmartDessa wrote: »
    nah, aleister crowley is not really demonic, he's just one of your atheist posers in his era who makes a lot of fuss trying to make you want taboo, and thus earning fame if not infamy.
    I doubt Crowley would have had such longevity if he were a mere poser whose writings did not offer any substance.

    But at least you don't seem to be one of those raving ignorant fundy cultist loon hicks who are quick to label anything and everything as demonic/satanic (the riotously funny Mr. "Buddha is Baal" comes to mind).
  • SmartDessaSmartDessa Things divide;Christ unites PExer
    tonton wrote: »
    Aba ungas to a. Sinong may expression ng ganyan? Baka ikaw lang.

    you expect me to link you with exact sources why gay kids rises in the Phil?

    just read the news, watch the TV, nagkalat na ang mga gay na bata. kada episode ng showtime na mga bata ang contestants laging mayroong gay.
  • marcus_huntmarcus_hunt Member PExer
    So nakikiuso lang pala yung ibang bading ngayon :rotflmao: Pag di na uso, di na ulit sila bading at kikilos like one.

    :rotflmao:

    Ano yan baggy pants? :rotflmao:
  • SmartDessaSmartDessa Things divide;Christ unites PExer
    ^that's my point.

    it has become a fad.
  • marcus_huntmarcus_hunt Member PExer
    kinonfirm pa talaga :rotflmao:

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