Dennis Wheatley – The Devil Rides Out

The mysterious world of Dennis Wheatley…

David Fox explores

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‘Should any of my readers incline to a serious study of the subject (Occult) and thus come into contact with a man or woman of Power, I feel that is is only right to urge them, most strongly, to refrain from being drawn into any practice of the Secret Art in any way.’

Dennis Wheatley (1897 – 1977) was one of the most prolific, widely-read, and successful authors of the twentieth century. Throughout his colourful career, Wheatley penned over 50 novels, a multitude of short stories, and produced a variety of non-fiction texts. His association with the British military is well documented, and he contributed to the war effort during the 1940s. Indeed, his involvement with the War Office, and the planning of the Allied invasion of northern France, would provided the basis for much of his future fictional work.

Wheatley’s character: Gregory Sallust (the protagonist of several of his best-selling thriller novels) is now regarded as a fore-runner to Ian Flemming’s James Bond. Both authors came from a similar background and naturally shared both the dominant values and world-view of their generation. These are evidently reflected within their works of fiction. However, despite only producing several novels of an Occult orientation, Dennis Wheatley has become synonymous with the supernatural and Black Magic. Why has a man who sold over 50 million books in his lifetime gained such a mysterious reputation?

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‘In every age there have been secret societies, and the greater part of them have been brotherhoods concerned, to a greater or lesser degree, with magic.’

It could be said that Wheatley’s association with matters of a preternatural nature began during his time at prep-school in the early 1900s when he was convinced that he had seen a ghost. As he states in one of his works of non-fiction ‘The Devil and All His Works’ (Hutchinson 1971): ‘It has long been maintained by many thinkers of many nations that Homo Sapiens is endowed with a sixth sense.’ Clearly Wheatley appreciated that such matters resonate strongly within the collective consciousness of mankind, and in the 1930s he had the opportunity to draw upon this fascination to cement his reputation as a highly engaging and readable author.

‘The Devil Rides Out’ was published in 1934 and became an instant success. Wheatley’s inter-war readership were evidently mesmerised by the exotic themes of black magic, ritual, sacrifice and secret malevolent societies. Indeed, he always researched the background of every novel meticulously prior to producing a first draft. Notable occultists of this era such as Aleister Crowley, Rollo Ahmed and Montague Summers were all consulted by Wheatley on matters of the ‘Old Wisdom’.

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‘None of us can hope to lead perfect lives. But, if we follow the Right-hand Path, we shall be armoured against the temptation to do evil.’

Wheatley’s detailed descriptions of occult ceremony, practice and philosophy within his novels have lead many to speculate whether or not he was a practitioner of the ancient arts himself. Although he denied ever having been involved with a secret society during his life-time, it is patently obvious that he possessed a profound understanding, appreciation and respect for the Occult. For example, ‘Strange Conflict’ (published in 1941) describes the curious ability of adepts to wage combat upon the astral plane against the backdrop of the Second World War.

Sceptics would of course scoff at Wheatley’s suggestions, but it must be borne in mind that many of the leading Nazis were deeply influenced by the dark arts. The so-called ‘Magical Battle of Britain’ has been discussed in Dion Fortune’s fascinating work of the same name. It should also be remembered that governments old and new (from King Saul’s dealings with the Witch of Endor in the Book of Samuel, to Queen Elizabeth’s reliance on the magick of John Dee, and Margaret Thatcher’s government’s consultation with astrologers prior to the Falklands Conflict) have called upon the powers of the unseen during times of national crisis.

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‘Today the world is threatened with a new age of Darkness.’ 

A fitting testimony to the enduring appeal of Dennis Wheatley’s work is his perennially increasing cult following. His novels remain very popular, and the Hammer Horror productions of his Occult stories are much revered by Horror fanatics. Wheatley’s geo-political stance and seemingly unswerving loyalty to Queen and country may be antiquated and somewhat ridiculous to some, but there is much within his works of great value to contemporary readers and those who approach them with an open mind.

To find out more about the author David Fox, visit his website: David Fox Magician.

Aleister Crowley – The Beast 666 – MI6 Agent?

Title: ‘Secret Agent 666’  Author: Richard B. Spence  Year of Publication: 2008

The name Aleister Crowley is always certain to exacerbate an intriguing myriad of reactions from both dedicated Occultists and those with merely a casual acquaintance with the arcane alike. The self-styled ‘Great Beast 666’ continues to cast his influence over the contemporary New Age movement, as well as the artistic world, many years after his death in 1947. Mysterious, eccentric and with talent in abundance, Crowley is both revered and detested in equal measure. Indeed, such a complex personality always makes for ‘good copy’ and it is small wonder that numerous texts have been produced over the past sixty years focusing primarily on Crowley’s colourful lifestyle and his profound interest in Occultism (or Magick as he preferred to call it: ‘the Art and Science of causing Change to occur in conformity with the Will’).

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I have been fortunate to have read several biographies of this mythical figure, as well as Crowley’s ‘Confessions’. All these offerings have been most illuminating, but in my opinion Lawrence Sutin’s ‘Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley’ offers the most objective, balanced and well researched piece of investigative work to date. The purpose of this article is certainly not for me to expound a character reference of Crowley (there is ample opportunity for those interested to formulate their own opinion in the local library or bookshop) but to draw attention to a refreshing and insightful piece of investigative work by Richard B Spence.

Several years ago Channel Four ran a series of documentaries entitled ‘Masters of Darkness’. These focused upon the familiar rogues gallery of historical ‘villains’ one is likely to encounter in any compendium of the weird and the wonderful: the Marquis de Sade, Dr John Dee and, of course, Aleister Crowley all featured. I was amazed that Crowley was branded a ‘traitor to the British people’ by the narrator having been made aware of his involvement within the secret services of Her Majesty’s realm during a conversation with a prominent occultist many years ago. Thus, I was most intrigued to learn of the publication of a text dedicated entirely to his activities within the world of espionage and counter-espionage.

Meticulously researched and engaging, Spence sets out his intentions from the onset: ‘this book is not intended as a general biography of Crowley nor in any way a treatise on his writings and thought, and it takes no position on the reality of magic and the supernatural’. Furthermore, Spence very correctly deduces that ‘the same magical retreat may be both essential to the health of the spirit and useful as a cover for spying’. This was most certainly the case for Dr John Dee during Elizabethan times and Crowley who, as a student of Cambridge University and as a member of the Golden Dawn, had access to many of the most influential artistic and political figures of his generation. In essence, it would have been extremely foolish for the British secret services not to have utilised someone of Crowley’s pedigree and caliber during the turbulent times of World War One, the uncertain inter war years, and the calamity of the Second World War.

Spence’s research into Crowley’s activities in New York during the First World War is captivating, and he invites us to appreciate how instrumental Crowley was in influencing the emerging super power to support the British war effort against the Kaiser. American sympathies very much hung in the balance between British and anti-imperialist (primarily Irish and German interests against Britannia) during this critical period. Spence also sheds light upon Crowley’s involvement with the Lusitania disaster, which will be of great interest to conspiracy theorists; the sinking of which ultimately drew the Americans into the conflict on the side of the British Empire.

The reasons for Crowley’s seemingly bizarre decision to establish an occult commune on the island of Sicily are also addressed. Spence puts forward strong evidence to suggest that he was in fact spying for the British government on both the French military and the Italian fascists. Indeed, such a strategic position in the Mediterranean would have rendered Crowley an excellent accessory for the British security services. This section of Spence’s work also compliments the account provided to me by the gentleman I spoke to several years ago. Mussolini’s decision to expel Crowley may have not been solely for his much publicised occult practices and more so on account of his involvement with the shadowy embryonic machinations of MI6.

Crowley’s influence and involvement within various German occult groups during WWII would most certainly have been appreciated by MI5 and MI6 alike. Indeed, Spence notes that on the outbreak of hostilities, Crowley ‘completed form for NID’ (British Naval Intelligence Division) and raises questions on his involvement with the Rudolf Hess affair. This episode has been previously visited by Amado Crowley in his work ‘The Riddles of Aleister Crowley’ and once again parallels the account I was provided with by a prominent occultist. Whatever the truth, we can rest assured that Crowley would most certainly have been considered a useful appurtenance in the fight against Nazism by the British security services. Indeed, Crowley himself did take credit in suggesting the famous ‘V for victory’ sign which was famously used by Churchill during the early 1940s.

Spence deserves a considerable amount of credit for producing such a well-researched and captivating text. One might say that it is a thankless task to paint a figure of notoriety such as Crowley in a more positive light, but this is an essential piece of academic study which will doubtless draw much more critical acclaim. The author has clearly spent a substantial amount of time researching British and French governmental archives, as well as a diverse range of extraneous sources, to provide an incredible profile of Aleister Crowley which has, until now, remained hidden from the public gaze.

For anyone with an interest in Aleister Crowley, ‘Secret Agent 666’ is essential reading and will not only expand one’s awareness of this extraordinary colossus of occultism, but greatly extend the reader’s appreciation of history and the shadowy political underworld during the tumultuous period of the early twentieth century.

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional magician and freelance writer based in Nottingham, England. Visit his website at: http://www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk

Telly Savalas’s Ghostly Encounter…

The Man Who Immortalised ‘Kojak’

Magician David Fox explores…

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The late, great Telly Savalas is most certainly not the type of personality one would associate with anything of a supernatural nature. Charismatic, straight-talking and with talent in abundance, Savalas became a household name from the 1970s onwards for his masterful portrayal of the indefatigable New York detective Kojak. Revered throughout Hollywood and beyond, the world-famous actor, singer and celebrity passed on in January 1994. However, it is a curious tale from the late 1950s which caught my attention several years ago…

A Stranded Motorist

 

The story involves Savalas’s bizarre experience when driving home from a social event in Long Island during the small hours. Accounts vary as to where he had been, but Savalas became stranded on a lonely stretch of highway after his car ran out of petrol. Pondering his rueful situation, he decided to leave his vehicle and seek out a service station.

A fortuitous encounter?

Eventually, after travelling on foot for some time, a passing motorist spotted the lonesome pedestrian, stopped his vehicle, and kindly offered Savalas a ride. The actor recounted how the driver of the car appeared to be rather unusual and spoke in a curiously high pitched and unnerving tone. Nonetheless he persevered with this rather eccentric nocturnal Samaritan, collected petrol at the station, and accepted a ride back to his abandoned vehicle. The mysterious driver even lent Savalas a few dollars to pay for the fuel and, feeling very embarrassed, the actor requested his name and telephone number so that he could return the funds to him in due course. Savalas also remembered the driver speaking suddenly about a relatively obscure baseball player. The sudden change in conversational topic had been rather unsettling to say the least. On arriving back at his car, Savalas duly thanked the man for all his help and bid him goodnight.

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Strange news…

Savalas returned to work the next day and quickly forgot about the events of the previous evening until he happened to notice a headline on the front page of a local newspaper. The story was about the sudden death of an up-and-coming baseball star. Bizarrely it was the very sportsman who the driver had spoken of during their journey together. Savalas decided to call the telephone number he had been given in order to return the borrowed money and put closure on the event. However, on telephoning, matters took an even more mysterious and disturbing twist….

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Who was the strange driver who gave Telly a ride?

The man from nowhere…

On phoning the hand-written number, Savalas was greeted by a woman’s voice. He promptly requested to speak to the gentleman who had assisted him the previous night. In no uncertain terms, the actor was informed that the man he asked for had been dead for some time. It eventually transpired that the woman at the end of the line was the ‘late’ driver’s widow and, after some deliberation, Savalas eventually managed to arrange a meeting with the lady.

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Tough guy. The only type of spirit we would usually associate with Telly would be found in a bar.

Fact or fiction?

Savalas showed the woman the scrap of paper which bore the telephone number and name of the spectral driver. The handwriting appeared to match with that of the deceased. He also discovered that the gentleman had shot himself through the throat which may have explained why his ‘ghost’ spoke with such a high-pitched accent.

Watch Telly Savalas’s accont on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axdkv0_kJZQ

Want to know more about the author? Visit David Fox Magic for more details.

David Fox Magician

David Fox is a professional magician who is based in the Midlands, UK, and travels throughout the world performing his unique brand of prestidigitation. He specialises in close-up magic, parlour magic and stage magic. Magician David Fox creates many of his own incredible effects and sensational illusions.

Intersted in the performing arts? For music, art and inspiration, check out my friend’s new blog: BarbaraCalvertBenner

Is the earth hollow? Are their worlds within our world? Was Jules Verne privy to spectacular occult knowledge?

Title: ‘This Hollow Earth’  Author: Warren Smith  Year of Publication: 1972

Product Details

Like some veiled demon conjured up by a black magician, the belief in a hollow earth is one of the most intriguing of the various occult mysteries.

The hollow earth theory is a mind-shattering proposal that there are gigantic holes at the north and south poles. These polar openings lead to a vast, unknown world inside the center of the earth. Some believers also claim the earth is honeycombed with a vast network of subterranean tunnels that lead down into an inner world.

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Hollow earth theory has drifted out of the occult mainstream in recent years and, understandably, is often scoffed at or just simply ignored, by both sceptics and advocates of the paranormal alike. The notion that the inner realms of our planet may in fact be domicile to large cities populated by hitherto undiscovered beings is just simply too ridiculous for many to even consider. Indeed, the scientific axiom of the layered earth, from crust to mantle to inner and outer core, is one of the first theories any curious child will learn about when reading even the most rudimentary of encyclopedias.

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However, is it not always interesting and exciting to challenge accepted mainstream knowledge, even if our rational selves may oppose this impulse? Why is it that many cultures throughout the ages have espoused some sort of belief or body of folklore which speaks of a curious world within our world? Does this elusive shadowy zone simply exist in a metaphysical sense, or is it something entirely tangible which the intrepid may care to visit?

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It is very interesting to note that recent scientific studies regarding the composition of the earth’s core remain inconclusive and we are constantly reviewing our rather limited understanding of the structure of our planet. In truth, it would appear that we know more about the surface of the moon, than the deepest, darkest recesses of our own world. With this in mind, I was intrigued to chance upon a copy of ‘This Hollow Earth’ by Warren Smith. I had read about this theory in the past and it has always interested me.

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Smith certainly provides food for thought and this text will stimulate anyone who wants to learn more about this rather outlandish of theories. The opening chapter whets the reader’s appetite as secret tunnels under the pyramids, UFOs from within the earth, the curious tale of Olaf Jansen (a Scandinavian sailor who claimed to have met the ‘Under-People’ within the earth), and stories of explorers’ bizarre experiences in polar regions are highlighted.

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However, it was the weird tale of labourers tunnelling beneath the River Thames in the 1960s which caught my attention. As Smith recounts:

the construction crewmen were spooked by a ‘thing’ which haunted the construction project

He further adds after one of the men was frightened away for good:

Whatever O’Brien saw in the tunnel must have been a frightening spectre. He was earning $312 a week when he walked away from the job…

Were the men simply hallucinating or does this account raise interesting questions regarding the existence of sinister subterranean beings?

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Smith’s discussion of Oriental beliefs in this area is certainly enlightening. Indeed, the Buddhist doctrine of the inner world is one that I was not aware of until reading ‘This Hollow Earth’:

Agharta is a subterranean land located deep within the centre of our planet. The Buddhists believe there are millions of people living in this underworld paradise.

He speaks eloquently of the romantic travels of western explorers into the Orient and of their encounters with holy men who spoke guardedly of the earth’s inner sanctum. Curious tales of a tunnel network from remote monasteries in Tibet are addressed:

These Tibetan tunnels are just part of a honeycomb of tunnels linking many parts of the world.

The mysterious lure of the Orient and the prospect of a revelation of truth has enticed many western mystics, occult scholars and religious groups for centuries.

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Indeed, the Nazi’s fascination with a possible pathway to an inner world via the Himalayas or North Pole is also addressed by Smith. Hitler’s occult beliefs are well documented, and there are accounts of several expeditions which were sent to explore Hollow Earth theory and find hidden tunnels during the period of the Third Reich. The Luminous Lodge of the Vril society drew inspiration from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s work entitled ‘The Coming Race’ which was published in 1871. The prospect of establishing contact with a powerful race of supernatural beings within the inner earth, whose beliefs and social structure appeared to compliment those of Nazi ideology, clearly struck a chord within the German high command. Increased occult knowledge and power would surely provide the Nazis with an advantage over their enemies and they were clearly prepared to explore a variety of options (no matter how tenuous) to obtain this.

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‘This Hollow Earth’ may not be a classic of occult literature, but it can most certainly be appreciated and enjoyed by anyone who is curious about this peculiar theory. It raises some interesting questions and invites the reader to continue study within this fascinating area. Since its publication in 1972, there have been a variety of texts and articles written about the possibility of a world within our world. Notable contemporary writers who espouse this idea include the English author David Icke. This text is readily available on Amazon and vends for around £4. For more information about the author, visit David’s magical website: Magic and Illusion.

Voodoo, Black Magic and Sorcery in Deepest Darkest Africa…

Title: ‘Jungle Magic’ Author: James H. Neal Year of publication: 1966
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A fascinating biographical account of supernatural occurrences.

A thick black powder spread across a car seat… The European thought nothing of it. But to his African companion it was a sign, a deadly sign of a Ju-ju attack. A curse so potent that its victim was helpless -and doomed.
 
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‘Jungle Magic’ is a fascinating text which will be of great interest to anyone with an interest in Voodoo, the Occult, and matters cognate. This startling biographical account of James H Neale’s first-hand experiences of the Voodoo religion in Ghana during British rule in the 1950s will make even the most sceptical of souls consider the power and potency of this ancient faith.
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Neal arrived on the Gold Coast in 1952 having been appointed to the position of Chief Finance and Supplies Officer by the High Commissioner in London. He was responsible for cracking down on numerous criminal gangs which were involved in activities such as fraud, extortion and the large scale theft of building materials. Neal’s investigative work lead to the convictions of many powerful figures who were operating in the West African underworld. Loyal friendships and alliances were forged during his dangerous missions but, inevitably, bitter and sinister disenfranchised enemies became commonplace and were more than willing to use black magic to kill…
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Initially Neal scoffed at the notion of Voodoo and sinister forces from unseen realms. Like many Europeans of the time he believed it was mere hocus pocus and superstition. In the introduction he recounts his first impressions on the subject whilst listening to the terrible stories of other government officials in the European Club in Accra:
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‘This was fascinating – intelligent men, level-headed and highly qualified in their professions, giving credence to a lot of mumbo-jumbo.’
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However, after witnessing the power of Voodoo on several occasions, Neal’s point-of-view is radically altered. Indeed, an almost fatal attack from a black Ju-ju man is the penultimate stage in his process of conversion. It is only after the intervention of a white Ju-ju man (his colleague’s uncle) that he is able to make a full recovery:
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‘I made up my mind there and then that Ju-ju was far more than the harmless hocus-pocus I had thought it to be.’
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The startling accounts of Neale’s experiences in this exciting environment ensure that ‘Jungle Magic’ is a real page turner. But perhaps it is the consistency of his objective and rational narrative voice which make the preternatural occurrences all the more believable and frightening. He appears to deliver his anecdotes in an unassuming fashion calmly inviting the reader to make up his or her own mind about the veracity of Voodoo. Neale’s strength as a writer is most certainly his sobriety when faced with with such a controversial, sensitive and unworldly subject.
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Sympathetic magic, as well as the usage of amulets, potions and ritual, are all evident within this seemingly unknown classic. Neal’s detailed and engaging accounts will be of great interest to anyone with even just a passing interest in the Occult. At the finale of the sensational final chapter, Neal concludes:
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‘I came more than ever to the conclusion that many of these African Ju-ju men had powerful secrets of which very little was known in the West, and that it has been passed down from generation to generation.’
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I am amazed that ‘Jungle Magic’ is currently not in print and hardback copies vend for around £25 on Amazon. I was very fortunate to pick up a paperback edition in a local bookshop for £5. Hopefully you will be able to procure a copy if this subject is of interest to you. Why not visit my website for more things magical? Magical David Fox.
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