In no other civilised country in the world are weird and unseemly practices more freely indulged in than in Great Britain.
This situation, startling as the statement may seem to a public so little aware of the life of certain sections of under-society, no doubt is due to the extraordinary freedom of speech action, and behaviour which residents in this country enjoy before reaching a stage when contact with the law is made.
Secret orders, with one of which, having world-wide connections, Aleister Crowley has admitted association, perform all manner of queer rites, most of which are at least inimical to Church and State.
These rites, carried on in great secrecy, have been known to be the cause of insanity and in some cases suicide of the "disciples."
Devotees of these underground creeds prey upon society for their own gain.
Young men and women, often touching the fringe of under-society for the first time by way of a "rag" or jaunt, have been led to drink, drugs, and perverted practices until they reach the uttermost depths.
Only recently it was revealed that young and impressionable visitors to one of these so-called temples had been led into profound studies with an apparent honest endeavour to read the hidden mysteries of the Universe. These soon degenerated into erotic orgies. This happened in the Earl’s Court district.
Certain London cults practise the Black Mass, where black bread, black wine, and black candles are used, worshippers confess every good deed as a sin, and do penance.
Dr. Halliday Sutherland, a well-known lecturer, stated recently that he had seen a copy of the Book of the "Black Mass."
These ceremonies have a demoralising effect on the witnesses. Lights are lowered, incense is burned in large quantities on a species of altar from behind which hidden "disciples" chant. English, Latin, gibberish are chanted by the Heirophant (or "priest") as he demonstrates the "sacred" mysteries.
Often the effect is added to by the whirling of what is known in Australia as a "bull-roarer" - an instrument which emits a low, moaning drone, the continuous vibrations of which are calculated to provoke nervous hysteria. Unseemly prayers are offered to "Lord Satan, Asmodeus, Beelzebub, lord of the world." What follows the climax of the ceremony is too abominable for description.
Alchemy, while comparatively harmless in itself, is nevertheless definitely linked with the evil practices of sorcery. Today, just as fervently as it was in the Dark Ages, alchemy is practised in London.
One of it’s devotees is a well-known scientist who has, in West London, a well-equipped laboratory in which he practices this branch of Black Art, mingling the scientific knowledge of the twentieth century with the sinister superstitions of the Middle Ages.
Charms and incantations are employed for the transmutation of the baser metals into gold. Science, of course, has long discountenanced the barest possibility of this, and the invocations of such aid as supernatural forces are irreligious and harmful to the mental and moral outlook of the devotees.
A year or two ago the police of Helsingfors, the capital of Finland, appealed to Scotland Yard for help in tracing the origin of a book believed to form part of the activities of a society of devil-worshippers scattered all over Europe with the "high-priest" in London.
Several heads, arms, and legs had been discovered in a well. A search in the neighbouring wood revealed more limbs, and it was found that a number of graves in a cemetery had been opened and 40 bodies mutilated. The cemetery caretaker was arrested, and in his house was found literature dealing with the black arts. one book described a method of "healing" with parts of the bodies of persons who have not long been dead. It had been printed in London.
Mr. Harry Price, founder and director of the National Library for Psychical Research, has stated that there are hundreds of well-educated men and women in this country who are constantly practising the worship of the devil.
Mr. Price based his assertions on encounters with those who had at one time been initiated.
PAYMENT FOR "SPELLS"
The prevalence of mediaeval superstitions in some parts of South West England, Northern Scotland and the West of Ireland would be laughable if it were not sad.
Here again comes the opportunity of the charlatan who, through employing milder methods than his brother of the Black Mass and animal sacrifices finds profit from the superstitious man or woman who will pay him to "guard" his or her sons who are in a distant country, or cast a spell over cattle or sheep.
The leaders or "high-priests" of the black magic cults have no success with a normal person in the light of day and in ordinary surroundings.