by J. Edward Cornelius (2018 and 2021, Respectively )

Memoirs of an A.'.A.'. Initiate by J. Edward Cornelius
Aleister Crowley and the Ouija Board, Or How I Haunted My House by J. Edward Cornelius Image of the red cover embossed in gold with a planchette

Review by Dusan Trajkovic, Oct. 2, 2021 e.v.

I can say openly that reading all these decades of Jerry’s works, and his authentic current of thought, affects my own way of thinking and direct my path in this wonderful jungle of Selfhood. I spent hours and days as a teenager reading his website, gazing into his articles. I remember well, at that time I had a very weak computer with Windows 3.11 system installed, and the whole neighborhood I lived in had catastrophically slow internet, although I had a 14400 modem which was a pretty fast device at the time. I went to a nearby internet cafe where I would download texts from Jerry’s site, excluding images in the Netscape Navigator browser, to speed-up downloading time and allow the maximum number of texts to be saved to my 5.25-inch floppy disks. I would come home, discovering that most of these floppy disks could no longer be used, which was quite often the case with 5.25-inch disks, so I rushed to the same cafe again to download the same documents. Because of that, I often carried a couple of floppy disks (which weren’t that cheap at all at the time) and made backups from backups, just in case. And that was such an adventure. I would then wait for the evening hours to slowly read the texts, fully entering the world of a very moving spirituality – so far from the one I already knew quite well from books – that was frozen in some time and space, impersonal, written or rather transcribed from somewhere else ….


These two books on which I am leaving my review are just the embodiment of all that magical feeling I had as a teenager, staring for hours at his words and lyrics. And now, as I just think I have grown up, I am seeing these beautiful books as a time machine — both into the past and the future. The past – when I surely meet that younger Self; striving and working hard every day for hours, reading and reading and reading usually 10 books in the same time, remembering and evoking that nice and warm time of childhood — the most sublime magick that exist. And the future — meeting the same Selfhood, naked and ready to accept things as they are, as Jerry’s words exactly like that. Jerry and Erica’s books are like vaccines. They will inflict a small dosage of a virus into your thought system, making you rise your own immunity. Rising your own system of thinking. It will shake you without touching, it will move you without traveling. It will take you to reach the light, by radiating the same light from your own heart, motivating you, and pushing you to do this sacred step on your own. Jerry is just all out of everything. He conveys living history but is not a historian. He teaches but is not a teacher. In fact, the more ready and open you are, the more you will get. Sometimes these truths will be painful, sometimes shocking, but this brilliant self-regulatory transfer will always give you as much as you can handle. And then, just for a little bit, to add a little more. I’m not going to say too much about the books, not even Jerry, but about how much those books mean to me. I am my own greatest book, and Jerry is a universal translator who translates the intricate words of that book into crystal clear messages and lessons. I thought about what I would write as a review of Jerry’s books, which would be as stimulating as it is simple, without falling under the clichés of classic Western commercials and flattering hymns. Certainly, that would be just one sentence: “dare to read his book.” The “Memoirs of the AA Initiate” perhaps speak more than anywhere about all of us, as much as about the AA. As much as we are all mortal and limited souls, child souls who suffer from the same mental and soul illnesses and shortcomings, and in fact, we are all just as desperately looking for that same, shouted and worn-out love. Will you accept that Love, probably yes. Will you accept the truth … depends on you.

The book about Ouija [Aleister Crowley and the Ouija Board, or How I Haunted My House] is such a phenomenal desert that it is an instruction and magnificent example how writing about some so ordinary and simple as Ouija can cover so deep regions of our mind. I have been thinking for a long time whether to write a critique of his books that do not have a richly prepared press or embellished text or a cover page. But I realized that this is also part of a “test” of a more intelligent reader that consists of simple and easy instruction — that is, do you prefer what the letters look like or what the letters mean? All that simple design always and in the same way brings back the thought to the same statement —  it’s Jerry’s book! At 10 meters, no matter how much it is set aside, his book is easy to spot, with its design, conceptual cover, and size. Not to lengthen, Jerry thank you for everything. On my beautiful childhood and wide-open eyes, on the aha and wow effect that inhabited the butterflies in my chest forever. Thank you, my true and sincere Brother.

Editor’s Note: Although Memoirs of an A.’.A.’. Initiate is out of print, an expanded version is now available, titled The Cult of Aleister Crowley.