Panic in Detroit

Revised & Expanded
Equinox Centennial Edition

Richard Kaczynski

Signed copies available (see below)

When wealthy Detroit bookman Albert Winslow Ryerson agreed to distribute Aleister Crowley’s latest volume of The Equinox, he got way more than he bargained for, as a moral panic over Detroit’s “love cult” left the Motor City clutching its pearls. Marking the centennial of this controversial book’s fateful publication, Panic in Detroit chronicles a fascinating and lurid slice of Detroit’s weird history involving British author, occultist and polymath Aleister Crowley; his heir apparent, Charles Stansfeld Jones; and up-and-coming devotee W. T. Smith.

“Is Detroit heaven?” Aleister Crowley asked his field organizer, Charles Stansfeld Jones. It certainly seemed so at the time: Bookman Albert W. Ryerson was selling Crowley’s books and distributing the latest installment of The Equinox. Several prominent Masons were interested in establishing the Lakes Region of Ordo Templi Orientis. Jones was in high demand teaching classes on magick and Thelema. But things turned suddenly sour. When slow sales dragged the Universal Book Stores into bankruptcy, the activities of the O.T.O. were luridly thrust onto the front pages of the daily news. The Equinox was declared obscene and all copies impounded. The O.T.O. “love cult” was blamed for everything from broken homes and Hollywood’s wild parties to the mysterious murder of film director William Desmond Taylor.


o stage magic historian Robert Lund
o John P. Kowal, Frater Achad’s successor as Universal Brotherhood Mahaguru
o O.T.O.’s outer head Karl Germer
o Crowley friend, patron, and collector Gerald Yorke
o Cleveland-born artist Philip Kaplan.

Originally issued in 2006 in a limited edition of 250 copies running 165 pages, this revised and significantly expanded blue Equinox centennial edition of Panic in Detroit tips the scales at 400 pages (394 + x). Illustrated. Available through bookstores everywhere. ISBN 978-1076972835 (paperback), 979-8549998865 (hardcover).

Signed Copies

Signed paperback copies are available directly from the author at cover price ($20), plus $4.21 for media mail postage (within the United States only).

Note: If you would like the book signed to you (or to another recipient), please add that information on the “instructions to merchant” box on the PayPal order page. Otherwise, the book will be signed without a “To…” inscription. If you don’t get an “instructions to merchant” box, then email me at rk at richard-kaczynski dot com; I generally ship within 24 hours, so if you’d like a personalized inscription, please email me as soon as you order. Thanks!

$20 + $4.21 shipping = $24.21 total, U.S. addresses only.