Not many fans of the singer David Bowie (born as David Robert Jones in 1947) are aware that he had a secret obsession with the occult, Gnostic doctrines, the paranormal, Aleister Crowley, Nazi’s and cocaine. He was by no means a Nazi himself, and in fact, his mother was Irish and part Jewish. There have been several books that have documented these alleged facts.
It was also documented that in his younger years he was into the teachings of the Gnostics and Jewish Kabbalah. In his cocaine heydays it was said, that he was sometimes paranoid and used protective pentagrams to protect himself against the dark spiritual occult forces.
I found it fascinating that Bowie was interested in the occult and Gnosticism. In 1976, Bowie had said, “My overriding interest was in kabbalah and Crowleyism. That whole dark and rather fearsome never–world of the wrong side of the brain.” … And more recently, [in 1995 he stated] ‘I’ve been interested in the Gnostics.'”
There is an old story told of the seventeen–year–old Cameron Crowe who allegedly found Bowie secretly burning black candles against an aborted magical ritual during the LA period. Crowe published several narratives in ‘Rolling Stone‘ and ‘Playboy’ of Bowie drawing black magick symbols, seeing disembodied beings, thinking he was the Messiah, keeping bottles of his urine in the fridge, etc.
In Bowie’s 1971 song ‘Quicksand’ he sang:
I’m closer to the Golden Dawn
Immersed in Crowley’s uniform of imagery.
Bowie’s extraterrestrials and silver pentagrams marked on their foreheads:
“Extraterrestrials had been in the audience during his concerts at the Los Angeles Amphitheatre [in September 1974]. People had mistaken them for the Bowie clones he attracted. The silver pentagrams marked on their foreheads had been interpreted as attempts to imitate his own facial decoration. But he had distinguished his own. They were there and their eyes never left him. He had counted twenty. He was terrified they would come backstage. The time wasn’t right. His act had still to be perfected, enhanced, taken to ultimate extremes. He had become an automatized mutant, a rock android. People paid to see him with the expectation he would die on-stage.
And he had got out of that.” (Jeremy Reed: “Diamond Nebula”, London 1994, p. 68)
Bowie had fascination with the NAZI’s and Hitler. He called the German, Führer ‘the first Pop star’ because of his massive mesmerizing theatrical political rallies where he hypnotized the citizens of Germany with his words.
Bowie also had a huge cocaine habit, and suffered from paranoid delusions as a result. He also practiced what is called psychic self-defense where he performed various rituals in order to protect himself against dark forces.
John Lennon and Elton John, both in Hollywood at the time, were horrified by the extent of Bowie’s cocaine habit. According to Lennon’s then girlfriend May Pang, no one had ever ‘seen such mounds of the stuff’ as Bowie consumed.
Glenn Hughes, the bassist for Deep Purple, had said about Bowie, “David had a fear of heights and wouldn’t go into an elevator. … He never used to go above the third floor. Ever. If I got him into an elevator, it was frightening. He was paranoid and so I became paranoid. We partied in private.” Bowie himself has stated the effect that the cocaine was having on his paranoia: “Cocaine severs any link you have with another human being. … Around late 1975 everything was starting to break up.”
According to Marc Spitz’s 2010 Bowie: A Biography, Bowie was “obsessed with using occult magic to attain success and protect himself from demonic forces.” Spitz had written: “Bowie would sit in the house with a pile of high-quality cocaine atop the glass coffee table.” Bowie became obsessed with the book Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune (Bebergal confirms this bit), which describes itself as a “safeguard for protecting yourself against paranormal malevolence.” Among other things, “Bowie began drawing protective pentagrams on every surface.”
Hughes also said, “He felt inclined to go on very bizarre tangents about Aleister Crowley or the Nazis or numerals a lot. … He was completely wired. Maniacally wired. I could not keep up with him. He was on the edge all the time of paranoia, and also going on about things I had no friggin’ idea of what he was talking about. He’d go into a rap on it and I wouldn’t know what he was talking about.”
Bowie summed his life in these times with the following words, “My other fascination was with the Nazis and their search for the Holy Grail. … I paid with the worst manic depression of my life. … My psyche went through the roof, it just fractured into pieces. I was hallucinating twenty- four hours a day. … I felt like I’d fallen into the bowels of the earth.”
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.
Let’s put things in order : the purpose of the Gnostic is to lose you with the “Snake”. Gnosis is all about the genesis of the snake. Gnosis is thus a deviance of the a mystical evidence by disrupting knowledge. Once Adam and Eve accept the gift of the snake they become the first gnostics which doesn’t mean they are initiated to some valuable secret but that they had profanated the sacralized by getting conscious of the good and the evil. David tried to redeem at many reprises by shouting “I don’t want knowledge ; I want certainty”.With Blackstar video he shows he is still uncertain and suffers from this in nihilism and deceptions. Gnosis is the opposite of virtue and the errand from the men in seeking all that is standing away from the truth of the Revelation. Like when you have to work some class paper and that you prefer to go for entertainment. First you do your duty and after you can get some reasonable fun…
There is, for example, no doubt regarding Bowie’s interest in Crowley – himself an intriguing figure with some fascinating ideas. However, I could take this article more seriously if it managed the simple task of writing “Nazis” in the plural correctly (rather than “Nazi’s”, the possessive singular).
I didn’t read your article because the little snippet that appeared on Google was enough.
Every Bowie fan is well aware of his supposed obsession with the Occult. True fans know that it’s Bullspit.
The occult was very fashionable in the 1960’s and 70’s and David was by far not the only young person to ever pick up a book about a taboo subject that was mysterious and intriguing. And as an artist he was naturally influenced by everything around him. It doesn’t mean he was “obsessed” with it.
As for his “obsession” with cocaine, it’s called ADDICTION, and you could show a little more sensitivity. And his obsession with Nazis and fascism was a direct result of mental and emotional effects of the cocaine, which distorted his reality. It is also a very well known fact, it’s just not one that any real fan, anyone who respects the man and all he accomplished in his time here on Earth, would talk about.
Given your user name is Blackstar, I assume you have watched this music video. It is full with occult symbolism!
Gnostics don’t care much for mental concepts and categories, the above argument misses the point entirely
I could show you two lines I wrote as a 23-year-old that, had I become a household name, would have you drawing all sorts of spiritual conclusions. The London boys were empty vessels and the spirit world hates a vacuum.
Thelemism has nothing whatsoever to do with Gnosticism. It is sensation drug addiction and completely Hylic. Gnosticism is a pretty ascetic Protochristian faith that developed by Jews in parallel with Mosaic Judaism, and it is identical to the Essene Nazoreans. They still live today as Mandeans, who for certain would claim that all Thelemists go to Hell with no chance of redemption. Gnosis is similar to “reason”, not to “awesome experiences”.
Thanks for your comment Rullbert. True Gnosticism is about walking your own path in accordance with natural laws and spiritual awakening in which you connect with the ancient teachings of your ancestors because they are us and we are them. As Plato said “All learning is remembering.” There is nothing wrong with using natural drugs within reason and balance along your path as long as they do not hurt you or others. The Western Gnostic still live today in The Order of the Gnostics which is the ancient order now made modern. I’m a descendant of Phoenicians, Pythagoras and Greek Hellenes who were the first people to create a world wide religion based on Gnosis.
Nonsense. “The Order of the Gnostics” is some modern construct, and has no relation to Phoenicians, Pythagoras and Greek Hellenes whatsoever. So this appeal to authority fails.
Thelema is interesting in concept. But as I studied the life and practice of Crowley. (There are some good videos on YouTube.) I realized that his life played out horribly and he did very detestable things hoping to gain who knows what. His system was very Hylic and the idea that you can cut deals with or control superior, stronger, wiser beings is incredibly irrational.
That is what you think Rullbert and as expected. I’m not implying that I have a charter from Pythagoras or Plato, but that I have the rite encoded withing my DNA which is Gnosis. The people who you call Jews and the Essenes are the same teachings I speak of.
Nonsense that too. Pseudoscience, false allegations of historicity and false pretensions of prophetism! You’re not Gnostics, especially not Sethians, but instead lookalikes that *use* the common derogatory reputation of the label “Gnostic” for some soul destructive purpose. You’re like the thelemists: some kind of sensation seekers — and sensation seeking leads away from Gnosis, which is knowledge.
Untrue. Crowley got a lot from the Gnostics