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Court Of Appeal

Rosicrucian Mysteries

Attempt to stop their publication, Mr. Aleister Crowley, the defendant in the case of MacGregor. Crowley appealed an order of Mr. Justice Buckmill at chambers.

Mr. Whately with him, Mr. A. Neilson for the defendant, said that the order appealed from granted an injunction restraining the publication in the third number tomorrow (March 22) of a magazine called the “Equinox” of any matter relating to the secret forms, rituals or transactions of magic order known as the Rosicrucian, of which the plaintiff Comte Liddell MacGregor claimed to be the head or chief.

The defendant was the proprietor of the “Equinox”. No.2 was published in September and there was commenced in it a series of articles entitled “The Temple Of Solomon The King” and the articles were intended to be continued in No.3 which was due to be published tomorrow (March 22nd). Counsel submitted that the injunction should be dissolved, because on the writ and affidavit by the plaintiff, it was plain that there was no cause of action disclosed. His next point was that he could satisfy the court that the plaintiff knew all about the matter of which complaint was made on November 11, and the writ was not issued until March 11, only ten days before the day the magazine was about to be published.

Lord Justice Moulton asked what were the tenets of the order. Mr. Whately replied that it was instituted for the study of the mysteries of philosophy and antiquity.

Lord justice Farwell asked Sir Frederick Lawrence, who with Mr. P. RoseInnes appeared for the plaintiff, what harm would be likely to be done with the publication of the matter in question.

Sir Lawrence replied that it would do irreparable harm “ for the cat would be out of the bag” {laughter}.

Sir Frederick - “Perhaps there is a second cat in the bag, my lord” {laughter}, and added that it was because the defendant had threatened to publish “a perfect account of the initiation of this ritual” that the application for an interim interruption was made. Lord Justice Vaughan Williams, in giving judgement, said that the injunction must be dissolved as the application made as it was on the eve of the publication of this number of the magazine, was made too late.

The Lord Justice Moulton and Farwell considered.

Solicitors for the defendant Messrs Steadman, Van Prague, and Gaylor, for the plaintiff Mr. Frederick Lawrence.

 

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