TOBIAS CHURTON


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Extraordinary NEW BOOKS 2016-2018!!!

Deconstructing Gurdjieff book cover

Hot on the heels of the acclaimed OCCULT PARIS comes DECONSTRUCTING GURDJIEFF: Biography of a Spiritual Magician, published by Inner Traditions International in June 2017. Commissioned to be the new standard biography of G.I. Gurdjieff, Deconstructing Gurdjieff is Tobias Churton’s meticulously researched biography of the great mystic and spiritual teacher who has affected so many people’s lives in the East and West. Churton gets right under the skin of the myth and the legend of Gurdjieff and reveals the true story as never before. Fans of Churton’s writing will not be surprised to find the book solidly reliable in its depth of research and respect for its sources. It aims at the truth of Gurdjieff, a still controversial, and much misunderstood figure, and while also aiming to become the standard biography, it is above all an illuminating delight to read, and not a little controversial.




And if that were not sufficient for one year, in December 2017, Inner Traditions will publish ALEISTER CROWLEY IN AMERICA: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World.


AC in America book cover

In Summer 2016 Tobias completed an almost superhuman marathon period of intense literary productivity when he put the last full-stop to his mammoth account of Aleister Crowley’s connection with the United States of America: ALEISTER CROWLEY IN AMERICA: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World is the first book to focus on Crowley’s extraordinarily long, exacting and multi-faceted relationship with the USA, beginning in 1898 when he published a poem advocating the then outré view that Britain and America should be allied to oppose tyranny in the world and to maintain liberty and practical freedom for individuals everywhere henceforth. First arriving in New York in 1900, before a long sojourn in Mexico, Crowley returned to the States again in 1901, 1906, and once more in 1914, when he stayed for a very full five years of uninterrupted residence. The period, which involved spying, romance, magick, intrigue, psychedelia, poetry and journalism is dealt with in all its complexity in a consistently illuminating and revelatory fashion in Churton’s book, culminating in an account of Crowley’s long legacy in America after he left a country embracing “Prohibition” in 1919. The story is taken up to the present day and in its depth and creative reality shows why all single volume biographies of Crowley (including the author’s own) have been inadequate to do full justice to Crowley’s quite exceptional life and adventures in practically every field of human progress. It is Churton’s biggest single literary undertaking, and sets new standards in the art of accessible biography. The book is packed with previously unpublished material and contains many astonishing revelations about the activities of the Man who became a Magus in America during the tempestuous agonies of World War One.

Publication marks the Centenary anniversary of the United States joining Great Britain as Allies in the “Great War” against tyranny and barbarity.

The following account is from Inner Traditions Fall-Winter 2017 catalogue: ALEISTER CROWLEY IN AMERICA: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World


Over 700 pages

Over 93 illustrations

Published by Inner Traditions International December 2017

An exploration of Crowley's relationship with the United States:

• Details Crowley’s travels, passions, literary and artistic endeavors, sex magick, and psychedelic experimentation

• Investigates Crowley’s undercover intelligence adventures that actively promoted U.S. involvement in WWI

• Includes an abundance of previously unpublished letters and diaries


Occultist, magician, poet, painter, and writer Aleister Crowley’s three sojourns in America sealed both his notoriety and his lasting influence. Using previously unpublished diaries and letters, Tobias Churton traces Crowley’s extensive travels through America and his quest to implant a new magical and spiritual consciousness in the United States, while working to undermine Germany’s propaganda campaign to keep the United States out of World War I.

Masterfully recreating turn-of-the-century America in all its startling strangeness, Churton explains how Crowley arrived in New York amid dramatic circumstances in 1900. After other travels, in 1914 Crowley returned to the U.S. and stayed for five years: turbulent years that changed him, the world, and the face of occultism forever. Diving deeply into Crowley’s 5-year stay, we meet artists, writers, spies, and government agents as we uncover Crowley’s complex work for British and U.S. intelligence agencies. Exploring Crowley’s involvement with the birth of the Greenwich Village radical art scene, we discover his relations with writers and artists, such as Theodore Dreiser, Louis Wilkinson, John Butler Yeats, Leon Engers Kennedy, and Robert Winthrop Chanler while living and lecturing on now-vanished “Genius Row.” We experience his love affairs and share Crowley’s hard times in New Orleans and his return to health, magical dynamism, and the most colorful sex life in America. We examine his controversial political stunts, his role in propaganda (including controversy over the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania), his making of the “Elixir of Life” in 1916, his psychedelic experimentation, his prolific literary achievements, and his run-in with Detroit Freemasonry, as well as an analysis of Crowley’s serious critique of Christianity, and especially the “Christian Socialism” of GB Shaw. Investigations of Crowley undertaken by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation are examined in detail for the first time, drawing on declassified documents.

We also witness Crowley’s influence on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and rocket fuel genius Jack Parsons. We learn why J. Edgar Hoover wouldn’t let Crowley back in the country and why the FBI raided Crowley’s organization in LA.

Offering a 20th-century history of the occult movement in the United States, Churton shows how Crowley’s U.S. visits laid the groundwork for the establishment of his syncretic “religion” of Thelema and the now flourishing O.T.O., as well as how Crowley’s final wish was to have his ashes buried in America.




Aleister Crowley in America will be published in December 2017, and while readers await that event, they are invited to enjoy not only Deconstructing Gurdjieff, but also Tobias’s major study in Western Esoteric history. OCCULT PARISThe Lost Magic of the Belle Époque.

occult paris

OCCULT PARIS is the first fully comprehensive account of the French Occult Revival and clarifies a great many issues that have long lain obscure and undervalued. It represents a major contribution to history and to the discipline of Western Esotericism. We discover through many previously unpublished sources precisely how the French embrace of esotericism made the 20th century magical revival (including the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley) possible, and philosophically cohesive. Ground-breaking studies of composers Debussy and Erik Satie will make the book enormously exciting for lovers of 19th and 20th century French music, while figures that have become legendary or misty, such as Papus, Péladan and de Guaita, are revealed in all their moving humanity and prescient brilliance. The book is a beautiful, enriching trove of knowledge, magic, colour and deep insight.






COMING SOON

BRAND NEW BOOK FOR 2018!

Tobias is just now putting the finishing touches to the editing of his latest commissioned work, a mighty epic whose working title is: THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE 1960s.

This promises to be the “Sixties” book of all time. It is not another doe-eyed celebration of the relatively fringe reality of the psychedelic movement linked to pop music, but a complete attempt to understand the decade as a whole, globally, in terms of the question of whether or not the decade was vivified by a spiritual movement of the first order. What was the Sixties really all about; why the persistent fascination, when viewed at depth?

The idea for the book came about from Tobias observing his daughter’s generation’s response to inherited myths about the Sixties, combined with her friends’ immediate sense of the poignant qualities of the music they had heard produced in that era. Churton put to himself the immensely difficult question: What was the spiritual meaning of the Sixties? That doesn’t mean just an account of the “spiritual content” of the decade, but what was its meaning, spiritually speaking. “Spiritual things are spiritually discerned,” said St Paul, and Churton has called on all of his resources to give life and voice to a question his daughter—and she told him, many others too—wanted an answer for. What was the Sixties, at depth, really all about? It is a mysterious something Tobias has thought about at sundry times since the decade ended. Tobias has drawn on his childhood memories and perceptions, offering a unique insight into the period from a unique experience: the child’s eye does not lie.

The Spiritual Meaning of the Sixties is a major work dealing with ideas of progress and change, technological developments (the “plastic-fantastic space-age” as Tobias calls it), psychology; apocalyptic expectation and prophecy; contemporary Theology; literature and scholarship; education; the film industry; consumerism and advertising; Civil Rights; Sex and morality; modern and avant-garde Art; classical, jazz and film music; popular music in all its varieties; new cinema; the role of women; psychedelics; health; San Francisco and the West Coast hippy movement; New Left politics; fantasies about the Sixties; The Beatles (of course!); the impact of Indian philosophies and teachers; the heady life within the most creative capitals in the world (you know what they were); Magick; UFOs and science fiction; philosophy; the beginnings of ecology and a mysticism of the earth; political upheavals and war; television and mass media; the arms and space race; paranoia and reaction; fashion and popular idealism; the class system and the individual. All of these areas are examined exclusively in terms of the question of spiritual meaning. The discourse is therefore not the usual, now somewhat tired sociological and political-cultural analysis that we are so used to, but a truly original vector into the mystery of humanity in time.

The Spiritual Meaning of the 1960s will be published in 2018.



BLAKE BIOGRAPHY (2015)

Tobias Churton’s brilliant biography of visionary artist WILLIAM BLAKE, published by Watkins Publishing in April 2015, continues to gain new readers and fans. Designed to be the definitive Blake biography, Churton includes the very latest research into Blake’s origins and esoteric philosophies, bringing Blake’s extraordinary lifetime into full historical perspective, including previously unpublished authentic, contemporary sources that shed a wholly new light on the true nature of Blake’s opposition.

The book’s success has led to invitations for Churton to speak to the Blake Society at Waterstones, St James’s, London, to Rachel Searle’s Big Blake Project at Felpham church, West Sussex, (close to Blake’s cottage where he wrote “Jerusalem”), to the Petworth Literary Festival, the Atlantis Bookshop, Bloomsbury, Watkins Bookshop, Cecil Court, to the Woolger Institute, and to Sky Arts.



THRILLER - LATEST

Babylon Gene cover

click image for full-size

Published in the UK and the US by Head of Zeus, under his middle name (‘Alex Churton’), Tobias Churton’s exciting thriller, THE BABYLON GENE (2012), featuring British Government agent, TOBY ASHE, has been published in 2014

- in Turkish by Epsilon as KANA YAZILAN SIR – BABIL’IN GENI

- in Italian by Newton Compton Editori as LA MAPPA SEGRETA DELLA MASSONERIA

- and in Dutch by Boekerij as BABYLON.

A Spanish translation is on its way in 2016.


TOBIAS CHURTON IN TV DOCUMENTARIES
Bruce Burgess

In November 2013 Tobias Churton appeared as an expert on the philosophy of Alchemy when the UK’s YESTERDAY TV channel broadcast Bruce Burgess’s popular series, FORBIDDEN HISTORIES. The Secrets of the Alchemists was one of six one-hour documentaries produced and directed by Bruce Burgess and presented by Jamie Theakston.

Bruce Burgess

Tobias has recently been extensively interviewed for a prestigious quality documentary series for Norwegian Television based on the research of Petter Amundsen into alleged esoteric codes in the First Folio of Shakespeare. The series has proved very popular in Norway and deserves widespread broadcast.

Independent Producer-Director Jérôme de Missolz (noted for his WILD THING French TV series on rock n roll history, and for his documentary on Sufi musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) included exciting filmed interviews with Tobias Churton in his daring ARTE TV series on the fascinating historical links between psychostimulants and artists.

Jerome de Missolz

Acclaimed filmmaker Jérôme de Missolz brought his crew over from Paris to capture Churton’s authoritative contribution to the series, fielding a wide range of searching questions on the use of psychostimulants by romantic poets from the 18th century through to Aleister Crowley and the psychedelic pop scene of the 1960s.

The two part series was shown across Europe on ARTE on 7 January 2015 at 9.30pm.

Jerome de Missolz


PLANS FOR NEW WILLIAM BLAKE FEATURE FILM AND MUSIC
Bruce Burgess

Mindful of the success of his and John Myatt’s musical about Nancy Cunard – YOU ME AND YESTERDAY – performed to a capacity audience at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre in Spring 2011, Tobias has completed orchestrating his 1984 piano score on the life of William Blake (1757-1827). Tobias began work on a musical Blake project as long ago as 1982 when living in Rodenhausen, Germany. He has recently completed a major FEATURE FILM SCRIPT on the life of William Blake, as seen in Blake’s inner eye: a visionary masterpiece for a broad, family audience. Tobias is seeking backing to turn his complete shooting script and magical music into what ought to become a cinema classic, complementing his fabulous, new William Blake biography. Composers John Myatt and Tobias Churton receiving plaudits at last night of You Me and Yesterday, Lichfield Garrick, March 2011.

Composers John Myatt and Tobias Churton receiving plaudits at last night of You Me and Yesterday, Lichfield Garrick, March 2011.


RADIO SESSIONS 2014-2017

Youtube now has a large selection of radio and filmed interviews with Tobias Churton on subjects such as Aleister Crowley The Beast in Berlin (published in July 2014) and Jerusalem! The Real Life of William Blake published in April 2015. In the US, Tobias has been interviewed about Crowley the artist by Rose Fox at the Publishers Weekly podcast site, by Dr Rita Louise at Energy Radio and with Frater Puck at THELEMA NOW, as well as interviews for Fade to Black, Legalize Freedom (Greg Moffatt), Jason Louv at Ultraculture, Rense Radio Network, Inception Radio Network, and John Gibbons at Alchemy Radio. With four major new books out 2016-2018 even more listeners will find themselves drawn to the Churton flame of energy and inspiration.