Aleister Crowley is best known today as a founding father of modern occultism. His wide, hypnotic eyes peer at us from the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and his influence can be found everywhere in popular culture. Crowley, also known as the Great Beast, has been the subject of several biographies, some painting him as a misunderstood genius, others as a manipulative charlatan. None of them have looked seriously at his career as an agent of British Intelligence. Using documents gleaned from British, American, French, and Italian archives, Secret Agent 666 sensationally reveals that Crowley played a major role in the sinking of the Lusitania, a plot to overthrow the government of Spain, the thwarting of Irish and Indian nationalist conspiracies, and the 1941 flight of Rudolf Hess.
" Spence is a full professor of History. He specializes in Russian, intelligence and military history, and his course offerings include Modern Espionage, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, History of Secret Societies and the Occult in History.
" Spence received his doctorate in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981. He has taught at the University of Idaho since 1986, and he is a tenured full professor of history. He specializes in Russian intelligence and military history, and his course offerings include Modern Espionage, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, History of Secret Societies and the Occult in History.
Spence's published works include "Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left
" (East European Monographs/Columbia Univ. Press, 1991
), "Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly
" (Feral House, 2002
) and "Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult
" (Feral House, 2008
). He is also the author of numerous articles in Revolutionary Russia, Intelligence and National Security, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, The Historian, New Dawn and other publications. He has served as a commentator/consultant for the History Channel and the International Spy Museum and was a key consultant-interviewee for the Russian Cultural Foundation's 2007 documentary film, "Leon Trotsky: The Secret of World Revolution,
" and its subsequent "Trap for the Tsar."
" Spence Selected Publications:
- Wall Street and the Russian Revolution Reconsidered (Forthcoming)
- American Spies in Revolutionary Russia (Forthcoming)
- Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2008)
- Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2002)
- Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left (Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 1991
), Distributed by Columbia University Press
Richard Spence Articles:
- "The Tsarina's Necklace: Montifiore G. Kahn, Russian Jewels and the Hellig Olav Affair, 1918"
- "Death in the Adirondacks: The Dubious Demise of Isai Khurgin and Efraim Skliansky, August 1925"
- "The Utah Airship Mystery of 1917
- "My Real Name is Fabian Lloyd: The Secret Lives of Arthur Cravan"
- "The Mysteries of Trebitsch Lincoln: Con-Man, Spy, Counter-Initiate?,
" New Dawn, #116 (2009)
- "Green Dragon: The Myth and Reality of an Asian Secret Society,
" New Dawn, #112 (2009)
- "Hidden Agendas: Spies, Lies and Intrigue Surrounding Trotsky's American Visit, January-April, 1917,
" Revolutionary Russia, Vol. 21, #1 (2008
- "Red Star over Shambhala: Soviet, British and American Intelligence and the Search for Lost Civilization in Central Asia,
" New Dawn, #109 (2008)
- "Iskusstvo zadavat' voprosy,
" Pravye mysli, Pravaya.ru (6 Feb. 2008)
- "The 'Bloody Baron' von Ungern-Sternberg: Madman or Mystic,
" New Dawn, #108 (2008)
- "The Magus Was a Spy: Aleister Crowley and the Curious Connections between Intelligence and the Occult,
" New Dawn, #105 (2007)
- "Senator William E. Borah: Target of Soviet and Anti-Soviet Intrigue, 1922-29, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, Vol. 19,#1 (Spring 2006)
- "Englishmen in New York: The SIS American Station, 1915-21,"Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 19, #3 (Autumn 2004)
Richard Spence Recent Publications:
- 2014, "John Reed, American Spy?: Reed, American Intelligence and Weston Estes' 1920 Mission to Russia,
" American Communist History, Vol. 13, Issue 1 (April 2014
- 2014, "Donald McCormick: 2+2=5,
" in Robert Leeson (ed.
), Hayek: A Collaborative Biography,Pt. 3, Fraud, Fascism and Free Market Religion, Palgrave McMillan, 2014
- 2014, "Jan Erik Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Psychic,
" New Dawn, Special Issue 8, #3 (May 2014)
- 2013, "The Tsar's Other Lieutenant: The Anti-Semitic Activities of Boris L'vovich Brasol, 1910-1960, Pt. II, White Russians, Nazis and the Blue Lamoo,
" Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, Dec. 2012
- 2012, "Basil Zaharoff: Man of Mystery,
" New Dawn, (Sept.-Oct. 2012
), pp. 65-72
- 2012, "Searching for James Shelby Downard,
" League of Western Fortean Intermediatists, April 2
- 2012, "The Tsar's Other Lieutenant: The Anti-Semitic Activities of Boris L'vovich Brasol, 1910-1960, Pt. I, Beilis, the Protocols and Henry Ford,
" Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, June
- 2011, "Why There? The Origins, Evolution and Historical Significance of the Gaza Strip,
" in Thomas E. Copeland (ed.
), Drawing a Line in the Sea: The 2010 Gaza Flotilla Incident and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Lexington Books, 2011)
- 2011, "Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust at the University of Idaho,
" Genocide Prevention Now, #8 (Winter 2011
- 2010, "Perfidious Albion: An Introduction to the Secret History of the British Empire,
" New Dawn, Special Issue #11 (2010
), pp. 21-34
- 2010, "Catching Louis Fraina: Loyal Communist, U.S. Government Informant or British Agent?
" American Communist History, Vol. 11, #1 (April 2012
- 2009, "Aleister Crowley, Sidney Reilly, Basil Zaharoff: Their Influence on the Creation of James Bond and His World,
" in Jack Becker, Freedonia Paschall and Robert
), James Bond and Popular Culture: The Films Are Not Enough (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010)
- 2009, "The Mysteries of Trebitsch Lincoln: Con-Man, Spy, Counter-Initiate?
" New Dawn, #116 (Sept.-Oct. 2009
), pp. 65-72
Richard Spence Outreach Projects:
- Presenter, "Aleister Crowley, Sidney Reilly, Basil Zaharoff: Their Influence on the Creation of James Bond and His World,
" 30th Annual Meeting of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association, February 2009, Albuquerque, NM.
- "On the Trail of the Beast: Uncovering Aleister Crowley's Intelligence Connections,
" University of Idaho Interdisciplinary Colloquium presentation, September 2008.
- Panelist, public forum on Middle East, University of Idaho, April 2008.
- Commentator, Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, April 2008.
- Public reading from Secret Agent 666, University of Idaho Library, April 2008.
- Address, discussion (with Gen. Oleg Kalugin
). "Tea with Reilly
", International Spy Museum, Washington, DC, February 2007.
- Panelist, public forum on Iraq, September 2006.
OFFICE: 305B Admin., PHONE: 208-885-6228, EMAIL: [email protected]
, MAILING ADDRESS: History Department University of Idaho, P.O. Box 443175, Moscow, Idaho 83844-3175