In the early 1970's, at the height of the occult craze, we're supposed
to believe two orthodox monks just happen to show up at an occult book
publisher with the long lost manuscript of the Necronomicon. They
weren't sure if it was worth anything, so we're told. The introduction
to the Necronomicon says:
"This exotic individual, Simon by name, appeared suddenly one day in
the living quarters of L.K. Barnes attired in a beret, a suit of some
dark, fibrous material, and a attache case which contained - besides
correspondence from various Balkan embassies and a photograph of the
F-104 fighter being crated up for shipment to Luxembourg - additional
material on the NECRONOMICON which proved his bona fides. "
Here's the problems with
1. Monks aren't into stealing rare books from private collections.
The insertion of Russian Orthodox monks into the tale was obviously
inspired from stories about Rasputin. In reality, the vast majority of
monks live pious, uneventful lives cloistered inside monasteries who
never dream of rare book heists. Bishops go through years of training,
and there would be a record of Simon's admission into a seminary
somehwere. [Rasputin, even though he may have been tempted by worldly
pleasures, wasn't an occultist either, by the way. ]
Trying to pin down when this rare book hiest occured is also a problem.
Rare book thefts invovling hundreds of books as the one the Necronmicon
was supposedly invovled in just don't happen every day. I managed to
find two such incidents:
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1969 -A thief hid in a men's room on the top
floor of Harvard's Widener Library to steal an antique Bible. One
problem: he didn't realize that the 2-volume Bible weighed 70 pounds.
He couldn't climb down his rope with his ill gotten booty in his
backpack, and the rope was too short to reach the courtyard six floors
down. He hung there for a while, then eventually fell, landing on the
bible injuring himself. He was caught shortly thereafter. EPIC FAIL
So obviously that's not our heist. Then there's this one:
Iowa, 1970s-1980s For about twenty years, Steven Blumberg, of Ottumwa,
Iowa, stole 30,000 books valued at about $20 million from libraries
across the U.S. and Canada before he was caught in 1990. He'd been a
clever thief, sometimes crawling through heating ducts in the middle of
the night to get into locked rare book rooms. Living on an independent
annual income of about $70,000, Blumberg was intent on protecting the
books he felt librarians were neglecting. He was sentenced to 71 months
in prison and fined $200,000.
Since the robber was more interested in owning the books than selling
them, this isn't our guy either. In Gates of The Necronomicon
Lavenda claims the rare book theft ring of his fable ripped the books
apart and sold the maps and illustrations of some of the
books...obviously not the work of someone who wanted to preserve rare
books. Also the ficticious monks got caught before the Necronomicon was
even published allegedly, not in 1990. Blumberg sounds more like a
Robin Hood for rare books if anything. So again, this isn't the heist!
Yes, rare book thefts
happened, but nothing like the one described by Slater and company.
2. Why did they steal the "Necronomicon" of all things?
There were rare book hiests in the early
1970's, that much is true, but the Necronomicon was never among one of
the stolen books. The monks who stole it supposedly gave it
to Simon, who showed it to Slater and claimed they didn't know if the
codex is worth anything. Why would they steal something they weren't
sure was worth any money in the first place ??? Being Russian Orthodox
monks, they would have probably been familiar with Greek, once they
read the book and realized what it was (it has a Greek name, so it must
have been written in Greek), why would they have kept such a horrible
book? But i guess if they'd decided to give up Monkery for book theft,
they probably didn't care.
3. Why would they give it to an occult book publisher?
Being Christians, this certainly wouldn't be something they would have
done (along with being theives). Russian monks don't traffic with
occultists. Again, this more of Rasputin's legend than reality.
4. Why didn't the authorities take the manuscript away from him?
Here's the most glaring error of all! Since Herman Slater, despite all
his blather about how Wiccans and Neopagans should have morals, bought
a stolen manuscript (an allegedly rare valuable one at that), this made
him a reciever of stolen goods! Kids, in real life when valuables
things are stolen from rich people, the owners of said goods will
try to get them back. In fact, since they have money,
connections, and power, it's not all that hard for them to try!
Let's supposes for a momonet the Necronomicon manuscript was real....
If such a manuscript as the Necronomicon existed, and had it been
stolen from a private collection (or even the non-existent Miskatonik
University), the police would have certainly paid a visit to Mr.
Slater's establishment! He and his friends would have been thrown in
jail and forced to return the codex. But Slater and company never went
to jail, nor were they forced to return the codex. Why? Because no one
was missing a copy of the Necronomicon, since the whole thing was a lie
from start to finish! Lavenda later came up with an explanation for
this in later books, which you'll read about further down.
5. Why does this whole thing sound so familliar?
We've seen it before. Joseph Smith Jr., creating his own gnostic
"polyamorous" goddess cult, claims to find a long lost set of gold
plates with "Reformed Egyptian" writing, which oddly enough were
written by American Indians in Hebrew language (sort of like an Arabic
book with a Greek title?). When people ask to see said book, Smith hems
and haws, and finally it's claimed an angel took them to Heaven. (Yeah,
yeah, that's the ticket!). A few decades later Godfrey Leland acquires
the mysterious "Gospel of Aradia" manuscript, claiming to be the
writings of Roman goddess worshippers who made it into the 15th century
and beyond (complete with 19th century Itallian and grammatical errors
common to English speakers!). When people asked to see this miraculous
document, well, um, er, Leland seems to have misplaced it. Uh huh.
Later Leland claimed someone stole the only known copy ever allegedly
found and oops, he forgot to make copies.
Slater used a similar cop-out liars of his type do. He stated in the
introduction to the Necronomicon that it was "too dangerous" to
actually show the original manuscript to anyone...and yet it seems safe
enough to have it mass produced in paperback!
The Necronomicon reads in the introduction "First, our thanks go to
that nameless monk who presented us with the originals, who has since
disappeared." The "nameless monk", known as "Simon" does have a name.
His name is Peter Levenda. Peter has written other books on the occult
as well, including Unholy
Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement With the Occult.
In fact, Levenda is mentioned in the dedication to The Necronomicon as
well! He also isn't missing, he lives in Miami, Florida. Right now he's
probably on South Beach laughing at the people who bought his books and
thought they were real.
Eventually Peter Lavenda authored a book
titled Gates of The
Necronomicon, in which he embellishes upon the story the
book hiest. Now it seems three monks were involved. One monk turned the
other two in and helped the books get returned (convieniently
explaining how Simon didn't go to jail), but made sure the Necronomicon
manuscript got translated. With the amount of hostility
"Brother Simon" has towards Christians and Christianity in the book,
it's laughable to think anyone could believe he is really a Greek
Orthodox Monk and is obviously an occultist!
Not to mention Simon still says
"Necronomicon" means "Book of Dead Names". Actually, it means "Image of
Necro = gr. Dead
Nomos = gr.
Icon = gr.
You would think being a Greek Monk, he would realize all this.
But even in Gates of
The Necronomicon, Lavenda/Simon still doesn't mention the
names of the monks invovled, where the book hiest took place...not even
what country. No date is given of the robbery, not even a year. Other
than the fabled Necronomicon
manucript (which has also mysteriously dissapeared!) no other rare
books are mentioned. Why, after 30 years have passed, will he not give
any other details?
The artist who illustrated The
Necronomicon, Khem Caigan, has stated: "James Wasserman asked me if I
was interested,and he then introduced me to Larry Barnes, whose dad
owned Barnes Graphics on Spring Street in Manhattan, and they
introduced me to Peter Levenda, aka 'Simon', the author of
'Simonomicon' [the Necronomicon]...And, yes, the 'Simonomicon' is a
hoax." [email to me from Khem Caigan dated
Slater's friend Alan Cabal has
also stated that the book was widely known as a hoax among
occultists of the day. It's also been said that he told Slater he
thought no one would really believe his forgery was the real
Necronomicon , to which Slater grinned and assured him they would.
Slater was right, and his forgery made him several thousand dollars,
and continues to make money for Avon Books long after his death from
A.I.D.S. The Necronomicon page gets the most his of any page
on this website, showing his hoax got a lot of milage.
Peter Levenda is most assuredly not a
Russian Orthodox monk nor Bishop in any traditonal sense of the word.
He has also written another book pretending to be Simon, titled Dead
Names: A History of The Necronomicon. I've seen Unholy Alliance cited a
source in an article in a Christian magazine. Please keep Mr. Levenda's
occult background in mind before you believe his other books. Unholy
Alliance claims the Roman Catholic Church helped the Nazis during WWII.
While I'm not a Roman Catholic, I don't support untruths, either.
There's a reason Levenda slants his book that way : occultists hate
Christians in general and Roman Catholics in particular.
Ironically, Slater was considered somewhat of a "party
pooper" among the Wiccans of NYC who watched his cable access show and
heard him rant how Wiccans needed to be more moral, particularly when
it came to sex. He apparently did not follow his own advice and died of
AIDS in 1992. Nor is authoring a fake book claiming it to be a magic
spell book moral either.
Of course, Slater apparently thought it was perfectly alright to lie to
people and sell them bogus books on magic! This is selective morality.
This is what happens when you have no "moral compass", and you live by
a rule of doing what ever you please. This is an example of
Wiccan morals. Slater deliberately created a fake book and sold it to
his fellow Wiccans, Neopagans, and occultists of all types. Slater only
cared about making money. I doubt Slater would like it very much if
someone had lied to him and took his money. Would you?
This is the reason all the
world's major religions...not only Christianity...have commandments to
live by. There has to be a common point of reference as to what is
right and what is wrong. Without, a society would eventually descend
Of course, some people point out that when they got the book,
Poltergiest activity began in their house. I personally knoe one person
who purchased a copy of the book, and the first day while driving home
with it in their car, they were involved in a mimor traffic accident.
That was the only car accident they'd ever had, and that was enough to
scare them out of owning the book. So are these really the things you
want to have happening in your life?
I realize some occultists out there will say it doesn't
matter if the book is "authentic" as long as the magic works. Face it,
the book doesn't "work". No one can really accomplish anything remotely
magical by using it. Magic doesn't exist...welcome to the 21st century.
The Necronomicon is as "authentic" as other books of magic when you
consider King Solomon didn't write any of the "Keys of Solomon"
attributed to him, nor did Moses write the 6th and 7th books of Moses,
or any of the other magic books with his name. Niether did Abertus
Magus write a sorcery book, nor did Saint Cirpiano nor Pope Honorius.
There is an unwritten tradition in magic of attributing the authorship
to a historic figure to make it seem more authentic. The Necronomicon
is no exception!
And so the paperback
Necronomicon story is perhaps even more bizarre than anything Lovecraft
himself could have dreamt up!
I'm going to repeat what Lovecraft has said: There is no real
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE HONORARY (and fake) DOCTOR OF DEMONOLOGY
DEGREE FROM MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY!
Download Honarary Doctor of Demonology Degree from Miskatonic
Yes, probably everyone has
encountered at least one person pretentious person boasting to have a
(worthless) Doctor of Divinity degree from the Universal Life
Church...well, now you can go one better! This fake, faux, and funny
degree is totally worthless, making it of the same value as a ULC
degree. It has fake signatures from two dead borschtbelt
comedians, Ish Kabibble and Henny Youngman, for no particular
There is no Miskatnic University, of course. It was just another
invention by H.P. Lovecraft. You get this degree on the "honor system".
Just read every page on this website, and you pass.
(c) Uncommon Sense
part of this website may be reproduced by any means in any way shape or
form without express written consent of the owner. Some
of the materials on this web site are copyrighted by others, and are
made available here for educational purposes such as
teaching, scholarship, and research FREE OF CHARGE. Title 17,
the US Copyright law states that such Fair Use "is not an infringement
of copyright"(click here to read
do not necessarily constitute endorsements, but are provided
aids to research. NONE OF THESE MATERIALS ARE TO BE SOLD. All
HTML is Copyrighted by Uncommon Sense Media. .
You may live in an imperfect world but the frontiers are not closed and
the doors are not all shut. - Dr. Maxwell Maltz