by 'Prof. Wolf von Archensbak'
of Cthulhu by Andy J. Bradbury
from White Dwarf
November 1985, #71
“Cults of the Dark
(Andy Bradbury, pp 16-17)
actual cults and groups in historical terms, interpreting them 'a la Cthulhu.'
This material is a translation of a part of the researches of
'Professor von Archensbak' related to certain cults, or
quasi-religions, believed to be connected with the plans of the
Great Old Ones to resume their domination of our planet.
The Professor had
originally intended to withhold this information until he had
completed his major work on
the recent death of the great Bulgarian scholar, 'Dr. Philius
Sadowsky,' whilst he was preparing a definitive commentary on
the Necronomicon, however, von
Archensbak has asked me to prepare a synopsis of his findings for
THE VICTORY OF
Following the publication of my monograph on the Sigsand, or Sussex,
Manuscript I have received a number of letters from self-styled
In many cases these communicants were mere
cranks of one persuasion or another. Yet in the midst of this
nonsense certain information has been drawn to my attention, by one
who wishes to remain anonymous, which has both confirmed certain
data already in my possession and more importantly, has fleshed out
certain portions of that data which were hitherto sketchy and
As I stated in my earlier work, there can be little doubt that
the Sigsand Manuscript is either
wholly derived from some Arabic source, or at least depends upon
such work for its central thesis. What was unclear to me when I
wrote those words, however, was the identity of that original
Let me state, quite
categorically, that the document to which I refer is still unknown
to me. Nevertheless I am at least able to indicate the probable
source of the Sigsand material, together with a list of the
main groups, or cults, through which that teaching has been
disseminated down the ages, even unto the present day.
As the American writer,
Lovecraft, has so often
observed, the time of
the Great Old Ones' rule on Earth
most surely preceded our own times by many millennia. Yet the
knowledge of their being and of their power, together with the
loathsome and blasphemous rites inspired by that knowledge, has
persisted within isolated groups like some dreadful canker upon the
soul and body of the human race.
Thus far had my
researches led before new information was laid before me. A simple
belief that such 'lost' peoples as the dreaded
the Tsang plateau, the
Abominable Snowmen of Mi-Go and the
of Ponape (also spelled Pohnpei and earlier
Bonabee), were the scattered remnants of the Old Ones'
worshippers on Earth.
How little I knew!.
In tracing the history of that infamous and terrible cult of the Hashishim more commonly called
the Assassins, we must look to the
deviant groupings of the Muslim faith.
The first, and most important schism within Islam was based upon
different attitudes regarding him whom they call The Prophet (i.e.
Mohammed). On the one hand we have the Sunni's, who accept the Koran
(as presented by The Prophet) as the source of religious
authority. The main opposition group is that of the Shi'ite
persuasion, which holds that every
age has its own divinely inspired leader or Imam who has absolute,
God-given authority over all men.
According to the Shi'ites each Imam has positively superhuman powers
- handed down from age to age since Adam. To the Shi'ites, each Imam
is, quite literally, the voice of God on earth.
As the Shi'ite sect begun to emerge, being in the minority, it
protected itself by resorting to secrecy. And when Shi'ism itself
began to fragment this led to the formation of a whole range of new
secret societies - most notably the Ishmaelites.
The Ishmaelites are distinguished by their belief that Ishmael son
of Ja'far was the seventh Imam and heir to the power and
authority of Adam - all other Sunni's and Shi'ites believe Ishmael
to have been an evil man legally deprived of the Imamate by his
father. The Ishmaelite sect also gave rise to yet another sub-group,
a secret society within a secret society.! I refer, of course, to the
So far as modern scholars, including my own source, have been able
to ascertain the facts in this matter, the cult of the Assassins was
established by Hassan ibn Sabah - the Old Man of the Mountains - in
about 1,090 AD.
Ibn Sabah's nickname allegedly accorded him by the Crusaders, tells
us much about both parties. The term 'old man' could be derived from
the idea of a wise man or sage, since Ibn Sabah himself was
certainly not 'old' in years. It is quite possible, on the other
hand, that 'old' was meant to refer to the alleged antiquity of Ibn
Sabah's authority, which implies that some of the Crusaders at least
were prepared to recognize that authority.
The 'mountains' referred
to, are in northern Iraq, where Ibn Sabah had his personal
stronghold at Alamut - The Eagle's Nest - from which he and his
successors directed a reign of terror which reached throughout the
Arab world, and beyond.
But what was the real purpose behind the formation of this sect?
Certainly Hassan ibn Sabah and the later Grand Masters of the sect
were interested in power, indeed there was a time, before their
ambitions were temporarily thwarted by the arrival of Genghis Khan
and the Mongol hordes, when it looked as though the Assassins might
take control of the entire Muslim world.
The influence of the Assassins, as their name implies, was based
primarily upon the practice of executing anyone who incurred the
Master's displeasure or who offered a threat to the cult, either
real or imagined. These executions were earned out by carefully
trained and utterly dedicated killers called the Fidavis. The
training is of particular interest since it involved certain mind
I have already mentioned that the Assassins were also known as the
Hashishim. This alternative title relates to the practice of
drugging initiates with hashish and then introducing them into a
purpose-built 'heaven on earth' — a luxurious palace surrounded by
beautiful gardens and inhabited by throngs of lovely women who
attended to the initiate's every desire during his brief stay. After
a suitable period of time the initiate was drugged again, returned
to the Eagle's Nest, and told that he could only return to Paradise
if the Master willed it, that is, if he unhesitatingly obeyed the
Master's every command. The results of this process were remarkably
The 'uniform' of the Assassins, who most certainly remain to
existence even today, consisted of a white robe, a red belt and
black or red boots.
It should be noted, however, that just as they
are skilled in the many means of killing so are they well trained in
every aspect of the art of disguise. Their absolute obedience to the
will of their masters is unparalleled, even by the deadly Ninjas of
the East, since they have no fear of death but rather welcome it as
the one road back to that paradise they have already experienced!
In the 13th century the invading Mongols, led by Genghis Khan's
liutenant, Halaku, seemed to have wiped out the Assassins as part of
their drive to exterminate Islam. Yet when the Mongols were finally
forced back by the Sultan of Egypt the Assassins reemerged as strong
as ever, not only in Syria (where their power had remained largely
intact), but also in Persia, Afghanistan (where they called
the Roshaniya - the 'illuminated ones') and
But the Assassins were no longer operating only in the Middle-East
and India. By indirect means they had penetrated into the very heart
of Christendom itself, thus providing the basis for every subsequent
secret society of any note throughout the length and breadth of
The exact date for the foundation of the Knights Templar, like many
other aspects of this ambiguous organization, is almost impossible
to fix with absolute precision.
Some writers suggest 1118 or 1120AD,
whilst others place it up to ten years earlier. What we can be sure
of, however, is that by 1120AD at the latest, the first nine members
of the order were securely installed in that part of the (Christian)
King of Jerusalem's palace - that part which stood on the site of
what had once been King Solomon's Temple.
Even at this early part of the history of the Templars we come
across a series of intriguing paradoxes.
Firstly, it Is alleged that
Hugues de Payen, the first Master of the
Order, and all his colleagues were 'poor' knights. Yet within a very
short space of time following the foundation of the Order the
knights began to send large sums of money back to France,
specifically to the Abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux -
Saint Bernard. This was extremely fortunate, from the monk's point
of view, since it lifted them from being on the verge of bankruptcy
to a position as one of the most influential orders in the Western
Secondly, there is the question of the seemingly instant acceptance
of the founder knights by King Baudouin I. By what means were the
nine, able to gain such immediate and extensive favours?
Thirdly, we must examine the Templars' declared objective - to make
the roads of Palestine safe for pilgrims and other travellers. Yet
how could they hope to succeed in such a massive task?. Their seal
emphasized their alleged poverty by showing two knights upon a
single horse. Even with e horse apiece, how could nine men police
such a large area simple handed? And lastly, who were they guarding
the roads against?
In 1127 a majority of the Templars, including
Hugues de Payen,
returned to France where they were welcomed as "the epitome and
apotheosis of Christian values"! De Payen was officially proclaimed
the Grand Master (!) of the Knights of the Order of the Temple, a
semi-religious order of warrior-monks. It was also at this time that
they were granted the exclusive tight to wear white mantles over
their armour adorned with a red cross on the left side.
One hundred and eighty
years later, the Templars were so rich that they had become the
bankers of Europe, so powerful that they recognized allegiance to no
one, not even the Pope, yet at the same time they were reviled on
all sides as despotic, degenerate devil-worshippers.
I can hardly think that I need to impress upon my readers the many
on the one side, and
on the other. Indeed, many of those who came into contact with the
Templars quickly learnt that the sect had adopted many of the
Assassins' ideas and methods.
At this point Professor Archensbak's notes become totally
fragmentary. In essence he merely outlines the conflict which arose
between Phillipe IV - Phillipe le Bel - and the Templars, which
Archensbak attributes primarily to the Templars' growing arrogance
towards everyone, from the Pope downwards, and more importantly to
the fact that Phillipe was heavily in debt to the Templars with
little or no hope of being able to pay that debt.]
When two Popes in succession refused to help Phillips in his plan to
suppress the Templars, both died under suspicious circumstances.
Phillipe was thus able to have his own candidate elected to the
office, and in less than two years a list of charges of blasphemy
had been drawn up, and the Templars' strongholds had been
Amongst the charges drawn up against the Templars two, in
particular, are worthy of note.
In the first it was alleged that all
Templars, on entering the order, were required to reject Jesus
Christ as a false prophet and to spit and trample upon a crucifix
placed on the floor for this purpose.
The second charge concerns
something, possibly a sculpture of a bearded head, which was called
Bafomet, said to have been held in the highest reverence.
On the subject of the renunciation of
Christ by the members of what
was apparently a Christian order I will have more to say later. For
the moment let me merely suggest a parallel between this practice
and the Assassins' effective rejection of Mohammed.
The matter of Bafomet may be dealt with immediately - since there can
be little doubt as to its true significance.
Many scholars have worried over the name Bafomet, not only because
of the uncertainty as to what it was, but also because this
Arabic-sounding word is not found in that language in that exact
form. Yet we hardly need to look far for en explanation, for there is indeed a
very similar word in Arabic, namely abufihamet - which breaks down
as abu, meaning 'father of' or 'source of,' and fihamet
(from the root word fehm), meaning 'wisdom' or 'understanding.'
If we then take Bafomet to mean 'father of wisdom' are we not led
inexorably back to the Assassins yet again, at their belief in the
Imam of the age - their own Grand Master - as the only true source
of all knowledge.
Moreover, despite the praise heaped upon them as the defenders of
the Holy Land, the Templars actually fought only when it suited them
to do so, and even then it was not always only on behalf of their
So, now, we have seen the Assassins as a cult dedicated to the
pursuit of power, though not averse to the accumulation of wealth -
through murder, kidnapping and blackmail - when the opportunity
The Templars, on the other hand seem to have had little interest in
power for its own sake, except as a means of protecting their own
interests. Their dedication to the pursuit of wealth in all its
forms, however, was legendary, almost obsessive.
So what happened to the
Templars, and to their vast wealth?
As an organization they were broken up by the raids staged by
Philippe IV in 1307. In 1312 the Order was officially disbanded by
papal decree, and in 1314 the last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay,
was burned at the stake by command of Phillipe.
Yet this was hardly the end of the Templars. In the first place
their treasure was never found, nor has it been discovered up to the
time at which I write. As for the individual members. comparatively
few were seized, and even fewer put to death. The survivors
undoubtedly found 'new' allegiances elsewhere.
Some knights simply moved from France to Prussia where they would
undoubtedly have been welcomed by highly sympathetic knights of the
Teutonic Order. Others, taking advantage of the war which was in
progress between Scotland and England took the road to the
Highlands, where the papal decree had been totally ignored. In both
cases the exiles did not simply rest on the memories of their past.
Rather they began to build the foundations of new orders.
society, created by the exiles in Scotland, became what we now know
Freemasonry. Those in Germany, with a far greater dedication to
secrecy, borrowed their new title from the Afghans.