The Devil is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley (Dark Masters)
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One of the giants of popular fiction, with total sales of around fifty million books, Dennis Wheatley held twentieth-century Britain spellbound. His Black Magic novels like The Devil Rides Out created an oddly seductive and luxurious vision of Satanism, but in reality he was as interested in politics as occultism. Wheatley was closely involved with the secret intelligence community, and this powerfully researched study shows just how directly this drove his work, from his unlikely warnings about the menace of Satanic Trade Unionism to his role in a British scheme to engineer a revival of Islam. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material, Phil Baker examines Wheatley’s key friendship with a fraudster named Eric Gordon Tombe, and uncovers the full story of his sensational 1922 murder. Baker also explores Wheatley’s relationships with occult figures such as Rollo Ahmed, Aleister Crowley, and the Reverend Montague Summers, the shady priest and demonologist who inspired the memorably evil character of Canon Copely-Syle, in To The Devil – A Daughter.
swastika appeared on the books of Kipling (and, perhaps less innocently, it was given away as a lucky watch fob by Coca-Cola, who later sponsored the Berlin Olympics). The Duke’s comments are not pro-Nazi: he says that although “the Nazis bring discredit on the Swastika, as the Spanish inquisition did upon the cross, that could have no effect upon its true meaning” (and Wheatley later propagates the idea that Nazi swastikas go “the wrong way”, like the Christian cross inverted; this is not very
the FBI. The British Israelites were very interested in Pyramidology, which may be how Wheatley encountered them: he owned a number of books on this, but he also owned books about British Israelitism itself, and books by prominent British Israelites on other subjects, suggesting he may have known them socially. It seems unlikely that Wheatley believed in British Israelitism, although he may have found it intellectually entertaining. The belief that the Anglo-Saxons were God’s Chosen People was
whose no-nonsense Slavic brutishness grants Kem the sex that he is unable to have with Carmen; and Harsbach, a former Nazi who is now a Communist, and who harbours a fanatical hatred of the British that goes back to the Boer War. The humans cause mutiny on Mars among the “loutish lower-race people” and succeed in flying a spaceship all the way back to earth. By now they are split into two polarised camps of good and bad, living on opposite sides of the ship. Harsbach has the upper hand, and he
topical: the CND was founded in 1957, the year after the book was published (Wheatley was not in favour of the CND, and probably regarded it as Russian-funded). He wanted to see Great Britain armed to the teeth, because without nuclear status, “Britain will be as much a thing of the past within ten years as Greece or Rome.” The crux is that Britain must reduce her conventional weapons, the ‘Old Look’ and in particular her expensive conventional navy, in order to afford the ‘New Look’ of nuclear
but really for either play.” When it came to Hearing Secret Harmonies, a late volume in The Dance to The Music Of Time which involves a Crowleyish cult in the late Sixties, Powell wrote “I fear I rather trespass on your own territory here”. Powell sought Wheatley’s help with A Dance To The Music of Time, not on some point of occult esoterica, but with the plot. Powell was stuck with his plotting, and wrote to Wheatley in January 1972, Briefly, the situation is this; the new book opens with