A specter is haunting Western culture: the specter of the alt-guru.In the wake of alt-culture, the ‘alt’ (alternative) has now perforated the mainstream, and the alt-guru is a manifestation of societies changing perspectives on who or what is a ‘spiritual leader.’ James O’Meara examines this from a wide variety of different perspectives, including well-known figures such as William Burroughs, Aleister Crowley, Colin Wilson, Alan Watts, Neville Goddard, and Julius Evola. O’Meara also shows us how alternative culture and thinking has filtered through into Emericus Durden’s Philosophical Fight Club, chaos magick, and even the bizarre phenomena of ‘meme magic.’The steady decay of traditional culture has been counter-balanced by a rise in what was previously called the subculture, which is now described as ‘alt’ by a variety of different organizations. The alt-guru represents a distinct development on the fringes of Western civilization and “popular culture,” where a new kind of spiritual teacher or “guru” that is more interested in results than in dogmas or institutions has emerged. Could it be that those who have looked in vain for a revival of traditional spirituality, have been looking in the wrong place? Perhaps it has been here all along, but in a new form, more appropriate for the modern era.