Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
This is a follow up on several different posts, I have written about H.P. Lovecraft. It was triggered by Blogger Bear’s post, Check your sources. I want to thank him because since I don’t usually frequent right wing conspiracy blogs (unless they are talking about UFOs then I am all over that), I probably wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for him.
He was referencing the concretive Blog The New Jovian Thunderbolt.
The NJT talks about a raid in 1928 of a Massachusetts port town by the US government. How jackbooted federals attacked the city and unconscionably held the townsfolk prisoners. Then of course compare it to actions of the modern government in Waco. The thing is that the raid was fictitious. As phony as the Nerconomicon itself.
The raid took place in the short story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, it has the government attacking a colony and sea city of hybrid fish men. At least one commentor on the NJT post links it with the story. But he assumes that it is a real event that might have inspired HPL. Now I don’t doubt that there were coastal raids by Revenuers during probation, but I can’t find a real raid of that level.
In many ways I feel that The Shadow Over Innsmouth is the lynchpin of the fictitious history of the Cthulhu Mythos. To me more than the Miskatonic expedition to the South Pole, more than the son Yog-Sogoth ravaging Dunwich or even Captain Johansen sighting of the resurfacing of the island of R’yleh, this is the pentacle event of world that Lovecraft created.
As the story unravels events where the government could not deny the existence of occult world, and that it is a threat to the surface world. The feds destroy one of the Deep Ones’ city and arrest their kin. But in true Lovecraftian style, the humans win a battle in a war they can only loose. The Old One’s plans may be temporarily defeated but they will be victorious once the stars are right. It is a Punic victory at best.
I also want to update you on a blog that I posted last year. When I found that the history buck Covert Affair, by Janette Conant. Said that OSS agents were supplied by the forerunner of a covert parapsychological team called Delta Green. A covert ops team created for the Call of Cthulhu role playing game.
Last spring at Cthulhu Con. I asked Delta Green co-creator Adam Scott Glancy about what happened after I reported it to him. He said that not much actually. Other than the book getting a few one-star reviews, nothing. He said that he pretty much concluded, that this misinformation probably came from some unpaid research intern who just didn’t do his homework.
Another detail that I have come upon since I published my blog on whether or not the Cuthlhu Mythos was based on truth.
It is rumor that either Lovecraft or his wife Sonia was an acquaintance of at least in contact with legendary occultist Allister Crowley. That he actually inspired the occult background of HPL’s stories. But I can find no indication or any scholar who believes this is true.
Could it be that the reason that some people feel that Lovecraft was writing about real things is that was the way Lovecraft wanted it to be. I came across this quote when I was at Cthulhu-Con.
“My own rule is that no weird story can truly produce terror unless it is devised with all the care and verisimilitude of an actual hoax. The author must forget all about “short story technique” and build up a stark simple account, full of homely corroborative details, just as if he were actually trying to “put across” a deception in real life…as carefully as a crooked witness prepares a line of testimony with cross-examining lawyers in his mind. I take the place of the lawyers now and then-finding false spots in the original testimony, and thereupon rearranging details and motivations with a greater care for probability.”
Now there is a lot debate on just how much Lovecraft himself was responsible for the formation of The Cthulhu Mythos. He never used the term himself, though he did refer his and others stories set in this world as “Yog-Sogathory”. Obviously Lovecraft wasn’t like August Derleth, who actually classified the creatures of the mythos, in a vast dogma that based on the medieval concept of elementals. But I do see him smirking to himself and thinking how gullible the masses can be when they read about the Necornomicon in both his and Robert E. Howard’s work, as well as others. So in the end it may be that we only have the Old Man from Providence to blame when people think his stories are true.