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Subject: ::: Aleister Crowley and the LAM Statement ::: (Repost)

All Follow-Up: Re: ::: Aleister Crowley and the LAM Statement ::: (Repost)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 04:31:24 GMT
References: 1,

::: Aleister Crowley and the LAM Statement :::

by Ian Blake 

Thus far in my articles on the paranormal I have tried to convey 
an impression of pragmatism and common sense, dealing almost 
exclusively with the brain, its functions and - more especially -
its dysfunctions.  My aim has always been to explain various 
types of phenomena without explaining them away.  Magic and the 
occult have been mentioned on a number of occasions, but only in 
passing, as a side issue, as it were.  In the main I have 
confined myself to "armchair UFOlogy", leaving the wider 
implications (magical, spiritual, etc.) to other, possibly 
more capable hands.  It is a fact however, that one seldom gets 
very far in these areas without coming across occult doctrine in 
one form or another, usually updated and translated into "new 
age" jargon.  In this article I intend to examine some of the 
more esoteric aspects of UFOlogy, hopefully laying the ground-
work for further investigation.  


UFO research, even of the armchair variety, calls for a high 
degree of mental flexibility.  One can draw up general rules to 
assist in analysis, but it is necessary to keep an open mind at 
all times, and be prepared for the exception that cuts across 
all previous theories.  This is especially true of the contactee 
syndrome, which serves as a crystallization point for all manner 
of complexes and repressed desires.  My own, albeit limited 
experience has led me to the realization that most contactees 
are basically no different from the rest of us.  They are in 
fact perfectly ordinary human beings suffering from familiar 
symptoms, particularly those of boredom, alienation and sheer 
lack of purpose.  But what of the exceptions to this rule?  What,
for instance of the occultist who strives by an effort of will 
to establish contact with trans-spatial entities?  According to 
a recent edition of the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) journal 
_Khabs_, "the central concern of magic is communion with 
discarnate or extraterrestrial intelligences."  It is to this 
end that much contemporary occultism is predicated.  As long ago 
as 1918 Aleister Crowley conducted a series of experiments in 
what would today be termed channeling, or "induced contacteeism".
(This is of course a simplification of what actually took 
place, employed here for the sake of convenience.) Since then, 
several occultists, notably Michael Bertiaux in the 1960s and a 
group of OTO initiates in the 1970s, have carried out similar 
magical workings.  What is more their efforts in many cases have 
been crowned with remarkable success - at least if the official 
OTO party line is to be believed.  This in turn raises serious 
implications for the entire field of UFO research.  In order to 
place these implications in their proper context, it is first of 
all necessary to say a few words regarding Aleister Crowley's 
Amalantrah Working, a series of visions and trance-
communications received circa January - March 1918 by the oddly-
named Roddie Minor, who was at that time acting as Crowley's 
Scarlet Woman.  

It is not my intention in writing this article to provide an 
introduction to the wider field of occultism, or to Thelemic 
doctrine per se.  For readers who would prefer a clear and 
reasonably objective summary of the Amalantrah Working, Crowley'
s own "Magical Record" is invaluable.  So too are Roddie Minor's 
own thoughts on the matter.  Readers who do not have access to 
either of these are best advised to consult John Symond's "The 
Great Beast," which gives a well-balanced and coherent account 
of what actually took place.  


The facts of the matter are briefly as follows: At the outbreak 
of WWI, Crowley set sail from his native England aboard the 
Lusitania, bound for the USA.  Arriving in high spirits, he took 
up residence in an apartment on New York's bustling West 36th 
street and there divided his time more or less equally between 
acts of sex magic and the composition of crackpot pro-German 
propaganda for The Fatherland.  Following an expedite to 
Vancouver via San Francisco and New Orleans he returned to New 
York and moved into furnished rooms on Central Park West.  
Roddie Minor, a married woman living apart from her husband, 
joined him there circa September/ October 1917 and together they 
set about exploring the wilder shores of magica sexualis.  

Crowley's personal record for October 1, 1917 describes Minor as 
"big, muscular, (and) sensual."  John Symonds adds that she was 
"broad-shouldered and pleasant-faced."  In addition to these 
homely attributes, she also possessed a well-developed 
clairvoyant faculty.  Under the influence of hashish and opium 
she described to Crowley a series of archetypal visions 
involving (among others) a king, a small boy and a wizard who 
introduced himself as "Amalantrah" - who delivered exhortations 
to "find the egg."  The reaction of most people would no doubt 
be to view these accounts as nothing more than drug-induced 
hallucinations having no wider significance, but Aleister 
Crowley was no ordinary man.  According to Symonds, he "made no 
attempt to interpret this material in terms of unconsciousness.  
To him the characters and incidents of mescal visions were more 
real than anything reality or the ego could provide.  He would 
not have been surprised to meet...Amalantrah strolling up Fifth 
Avenue.  The wizard would have descended onto the plane of 
illusion, that is all."  

At length, feeling that Amalantrah had nothing further to impart,
Crowley decamped for Europe, leaving Roddie Minor to her own 
devices.  But the story doesn't end there.  It would be beyond 
my competence to provide a complete and faithful account of the 
Amalantrah Working and its aftermath.  The last word on the 
subject will probably never be written.  For the purpose of this 
article I need only observe that Crowley was not interested in 
ideas for their own sake, but in results.  The details are 
unclear, but it seems that at some stage during the proceedings 
he underwent a form of contactee experience involving a large-
headed entity now known to occultists as Lam.  

Lam, (whose name derives from the Tibetan word for "way" or 
"path") later became the subject of a portrait by Crowley, drawn 
from life and imbued with a haunting inner quality of its own.  
The original was first exhibited in New York in 1919 and has 
been reproduced several times since then, most recently in the 
third issue of "Starfire" magazine.  Although lacking the crude 
power of Crowley's more extravagant canvases and murals, it is 
nevertheless a remarkable piece of work.  The subject is 
depicted in extreme close-up and appears somehow dwarfish, 
despite the fact that there is no indication of scale in the 
overall composition.  The head is large, smooth and hairless, 
tapering to a pointed chin.  The mouth is slitlike; the eyes 
extend part-ways around the sides of the face.  There is no 
suggestion of clothing beyond what appears to be a cloak 
buttoned at the neck, nor does the entity have any ears.  In 
short, Lam resembles nothing so much as a typical UFO occupant 
of the "examiner" type (what Americans would call "greys".  ) 


Crowley's portrait of Lam passed into the hands of Kenneth Grant 
circa 1945 following an astral working in which he and Crowley 
were jointly involved.  Grant, who was authorized in the early 
'50s to work the first three grades of the OTO, is now widely 
perceived as Crowley's natural heir and successor.  His interest 
in CETI-type phenomena is of long-standing duration.  In 1955 
for instance, he announced the discovery of a trans-plutonian 
planet called Isis, and simultaneously established an order 
called the New Isis Lodge OTO for the purpose (among others) of 
contacting higher intelligences.  A similar situation arose some 
30 years later in the late 1980s, when Grant allegedly received 
'strong intimations' to the effect that Crowley's portrait of Lam 
"is the present focus of an extraterrestrial - and perhaps trans-
plutonic-energy which the OTO is required to communicate at this 
critical period..." I have no idea as to the nature of these '
intimations', besides which, writing about magic is a dubious 
enterprise at best, fraught with semantic difficulties.  Perhaps 
the best option in an article as necessarily as brief as this, 
is to quote directly from "The Lam Statement", a text circulated 
among OTO initiates with a view to "regularizing the mode of 
rapport and constructing a magical formula for establishing 
communication with Lam."  We are told first of all that: 

"It has been considered advisable by the Sovereign Sanctuary to 
regularize and to examine results achieved by individual members 
of the OTO who have established contact with the magical entity 
known as Lam.  We are therefore founding an Inner Cult of this 
dikpala for the purpose of amassing precise accounts of such 

The portrait of (Lam) which is reproduced in "The Magical 
Revival" may be used as the visual focus, and can serve as the 
Yantra of the Cult; the name Lam is the Mantra; and the Tantra 
is the union with the dikpala by entering the Egg of Spirit 
represented by the Head.  Entry may be affected by projecting 
consciousness through the eyes"...And elsewhere in a section 
titled "The Magical Procedure": 

The Mode of Entering the Egg may proceed as follows.  Each 
votary is encouraged to experiment and evolve his own method 
from the basic procedure: 

1) Sit in silence before the portrait.  

2) Invoke mentally my silent repetition the Name.  

3) If response is felt to be positive...enter the Egg and merge 
   with That which is within, and look out through the entity's 
   eyes on what appears now to the votary an alien world.  

4) Seal the Egg, i.e., close the eyes of Lam and await developments.

The Remainder of "The Lam Statement" deals with the 
practicalities of invocation and banishing in a ritual context.  
Some parts of the text are esoteric, having to do with the 
Cabala and other such difficult matters (my knowledge of 
occultism is largely theoretical; I have very little practical 
experience); others are remarkably straightforward.  It is 
difficult to assess whether the claims made for "LAMeditation" 
have any basis in fact.  Certain objections inevitably remain 
open.  Nevertheless, we should be cautious about assuming that 
it is all pure imagination.  There is a definite residue of data 
here that cannot be dismissed out of hand.  The real question 
now facing us is simply: what exactly happens at times like this?
What is the basis of these extraordinary accounts?  Do we, in 
order to explain them need to invoke the concept of 'trans-
plutonian entities', or are we dealing instead with archetypes 
dredged up from the collective unconscious?  There is pervasive 
evidence to support both alternatives.  All it takes is a 
willingness to look at the facts.  

Perhaps the most important point arising from "The Lam Statement"
is simply that contactee type experiences can be induced at 
will.  There are in fact a number of important parallels between 
"LAMeditation" and the broader issue of "contacteeism" in 
general.  Consider John Keel once remarked that "in most 
contactee events the percipient is alone...when the UFO contact 
occurs."  This observation might equally apply to the abductee 
syndrome.  Once again the vast majority of all cases are 
uncorroborated by hard evidence.  Independent witness testimony 
is so rare as to be virtually unknown.  In short, whatever else 
it may be, "alien contact" (I am loath to use the phrase without 
quotes) is essentially a solitary experience.  And so too is 
LAMeditation.  "The Lam Statement" makes this point in no 
uncertain terms, warning that group working is considered 
inadvisable.  "Each votary should work in isolation," it 
stresses, "or only with his or her magical partner..IX Working 
is held to be _extremely dangerous_ (sic emphasis) in this area 
even if both partners are officially IX."  The precise nature of 
this danger is not specified but we are left in no doubt as to 
its reality.  

Nor do the similarities (with the contactee experience) end 
there.  In common with most forms of magical procedure, rapport 
with Lam requires stern self-discipline and dedication to a 
higher purpose.  Referring back to "The Lam Statement" we find 
that "adumbrations of identity with Lam may be experienced as a 
strong sense of the unreality or unfamiliarity of the "objective"
universe.  There is a definite parallel here with the curious 
sense of dissociation experienced by very many witnesses.  In 
recent years there has been an increasing acceptance that this 
sort of thing is not pure delusion.  Jenny Randles for instance, 
refers to it as the "Oz Effect".  Writing in "The Pennine UFO 
Mystery" she describes a typical case in which the witnesses "
said that they were not afraid: indeed they were very strangely 
calm and subdued...isolated in time and space as if removed from 
the real world and melded with the UFO above them; only they and 
it existed..." Having personally experienced this odd sensation 
on two separate occasions I am reluctant to dismiss it merely as 
the subjective reaction of a highly-strung temperament.  On the 
other hand, however, I am equally reluctant to interpret it as 
some form of rapport with extraterrestrial entities.  I suspect 
that most investigators would share my reluctance.  (There is a 
tendency nowadays, particularly among UFO researchers here in 
the U.  K.  , to dismiss the ETH (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis) 
as little more than a form of American cultural imperialism, 
rather on par with Coca Cola, McDonald's, and Ninja Turtles.) 
It is far more likely that we are dealing here with some form of 
psychic response, the precise nature of which is at present a 


In magical terms it is possible to identify Lam with the Dwarf 
Self, the Silent Self, Harpocrates, Hadit, and perhaps most 
significantly, the Babe In The Egg.  Here I quote from Michael 
Staley's forward to "The Lam Statement" in "Starfire" vol. 1 
no. 3: "The Amalantrah is in many ways a continuation of the 
Abuldiz Working of several years previous.  In both of these 
Workings the symbolism of the egg featured prominently.  One of 
the earlier versions of the Amalantrah Working ended with the 
sentence, "It's all in the egg."  During the final surviving 
version of this Working, in reference to a question about the 
egg, Crowley was told: "Thou art to go this way."  

There is a certain danger in constructing theories based on 
intuitive or inspired source material.  At this point I may be 
allowing my knowledge of UFOlogy to influence my interpretation 
of the Lam text: (Inevitably some of my assertions may seem to 
cross the line into pure fantasy; I can only ask the reader to 
bear with me) I can't help seeing in Roddie Minor's channeled 
references to "the egg" a parallel with various issues relating 
to UFO research in general.  

Eggshaped UFOs are of course, by no means uncommon.  There are 
dozens of examples on file.  The famous Soccoro, New Mexico case 
(April 24, 1964) springs readily to mind.  So too do the Salem, 
Massachusetts (July 16, 1952), Saigon, Vietnam (April 17, 1967), 
Levelland, Texas (November 3, 1967); and White Sands, New Mexico 
(also November 3, 1967) sightings.  Space and brevity preclude 
going into these cases at length.  Besides which, it would be to 
little purpose - a tenuous connection at best.  Far more 
significant are those cases where the witness seemingly enters 
what psychologists would term an "altered State of consciousness".  
Testimonies abound in this respect.  For instance: "The room 
is whitish," abductee Stephen Kilburn recalled under hypnosis in 
1978; "it's curved on the inside...I don't think there are any 
angles in the room.  Everything is kind of milky or misty or 
something.  it doesn't shine, but everything has that metallic 
glow to it."  Accounts like this are by no means uncommon, and 
it is unlikely that all are pure fabrication.  But what is the 
alternative?  We seem to be dealing here with something very 
simiIar to the process of LAMeditation which, it will be 
recalled, entails "entering the egg and merging with that which 
is within."  This recognition is important, for it leads us once 
again to the suspicion that the abduction syndrome may have 
something in common with what is traditionally called "magic".  

Before we allow ourselves to be convinced however, it is worth 
taking into account John Rimmer's observation that the witness 
in this case, "one of a number investigated by Budd Hopkins, had 
_no conscious memory_ of an abduction before the investigation." 
The phrase I have underlined is important, not least because 
the Lam procedure also involves a form of hypnosis, albeit self-
administered and - regulated.  Rimmer adds that "the UFO 
abduction as a distinct phenomenon exists as a result of the 
process of hypnotic regression."  And again: "...to a very great 
extent the evidence for alien abductions stands or falls on the 
reliability of memories recalled through regression, and the 
techniques of hypnosis themselves."  (Budd Hopkins and others do 
report that many abduction events are recalled without the aid 
of hypnosis-but bear with Mr. Blake here -ed.) 


These comments obviously go to the very heart of the matter.  In 
real terms most accounts gained under hypnosis are so vague and 
imprecise as to be virtually worthless.  The sensible reaction 
to them must inevitably be that they contain a certain amount of 
"confabulated" material, expressing the repressed desires of the 
unconscious mind.  Hilary Evans seems to be referring to 
something of this sort in "Visions * Apparitions * Alien 
Visitors" when he asks, "Are we to suppose that, subconsciously, 
all the witnesses...were unconsciously seeking their encounter?  
And in that case do we have to suppose that every UFO percipient 
is also responding to some subconscious motivation?"  I suspect 
so - at least as a broad percept.  I suspect furthermore, just 
as the vampires of eighteenth century Hungary were unable to 
cross a threshold uninvited, so the UFO entities of contemporary 
folklore are bound by a similar constraint.  Having given the 
matter careful consideration, I am forced reluctantly to 
conclude that they too are unable to cross the threshold of 
human experience without first being "invited" in some way.  

In writing this article I have experienced none of the 
satisfaction from seeing a range of facts fall neatly into place.
At the end of it all, I am left feeling just as bewildered as 
ever.  In order to assess "The Lam Statement" fully, it is 
necessary to consider the possibility that there may indeed be 
such a thing as genuine alien contact.  Is it conceivable that 
some students of Thelema have indeed established contact with 
non-human entities?  I believe that it is.  I am not however, 
convinced that these entities are necessarily "trans-plutonian". 
There is a certain amount of evidence (internal consistency, 
cross-correspondences) to support such a contention, but the 
matter by its very nature cannot be proved scientifically.  No 
matter.  More than anything else, "The Lam Statement" testifies 
to the power of the unconscious mind.  Translated out of occult 
terminology into the language of conventional psychology, we can 
see that it describes a process of self-exploration leading to a 
greater realization of inner potential.  Perhaps this is the 
best way to view it.  

** End ** 

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