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The Unlikely Story of the Monk and the Warlock

"An' It Harm None Do What Ye Will"...does that include creating a fraudulent book to make money?


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. Slater claimed that a Russian Orthodox Bishop simply named "Simon" got a copy of the book from two monks who stole it in a rare book heist during the 1970's. Such a book heist did take place, but the Necronomicon was not one of the books among those stolen. Slater never allowed the Necronomicon script to be examined or seen by the public, claiming it was too dangerous. But if the book is so "dangerous" why has been mass produced in paperback?

 Something's not adding up here.

 The real reason is, The Necronomicon is a fake. There is no "real" Necronomicon. Period.

Herman Slater was a very prominent figure in Wicca/Neopaganism and the occult in general. Slater ran an occult bookstore located at a building on Broadway in New York City that had previously been the location for the notorious sex club called "Plato's Retreat". Slater's store, The Warlock Shop, later moved to Manhattan and was renamed The Magickal Childe because Wiccans and Neopagans whined to Slater that the word "warlock" had a negative connotation. Oddly enough, the equivalent to the English word "witch" has a negative meaning in every language on earth, but they defend it. Go figure.

"Schlangekraft" (German for "Serpent Power" or "Serpent Strength")was started by L.K. Barnes, a friend of Slater's. The most famous book created by Slater (and  a few friends) was The Necronomicon. The limited hardback 1st edition of 666 sold out at $75 a pop in 1975. The second edition of 3,333 a year later also sold out. Eventually the rights were sold to Avon Publishing-- the company that prints the paperback edition for around seven bucks. Since 1975 the book has not gone out of print. Slater later started his own publishing company also called "Magickal Childe" which published many occult titles like the Vodoun Gnostic Workbook, Slater’s Book of Formulas, and others, including The Necronomicon Spellbook.

Slater has been described as a bookish type who spent hours in his NYC occult bookstore reading and re-reading various tomes on sorcery. The Simon Necronomicon bears more than a passing resemblence to an earlier book on Black magic, The Goetia (also called, The Lesser Key of Solomon, the Lemegenton, etc.,). Both The Simon Necronomicon and The Goetia have an Invocation to The Fire God. The Gates of calling in the Simon Necronomicon are laid out as their corresponding Sephiroth would appear on the Tree of Life.

It appears Slater is the real author of the Necronomicon, and that he wrote it as a tribute to his idol the  late Aleister Crowley in honor of his 100th birthday. 

Slater and his friend Peter Lavenda are the two who really wrote The Necronomicon. The whole thing seems to have been a tribute to Aleister Crowley, because it's dedicated to him, and there's a lot of mention of Crowley in the book, and it was published in 1975 on the 100th aniversary of his birth. While Peter Lavenda is listed as the author of the Necronomicon at the U.S. Copywrite office,  it seems Herman Slater may have been the real writer. A sequel to The Necronomicon - - titled Gates of The Necronomicon - -was scheduled for release in the 1980's, until the death of Slater. After Slater's demise, the project was scrapped, suggesting Slater was the real author of the Necronomicon all along, if not at least a major contributor to the project.

The word "Necronomicon" is actually a Greek word, not Arabic.  Lovecraft said the word Necronomicon meant "Book of Dead Names", but it actually means "An Image of Dead Laws". (Necro= Gr. Dead, Nomos= Gr. Laws, Icon= Gr. Image) Lovecraft was not an occutlist and certainly not a Greek scholar, and for the work he was doing, he didn't have to be. He was simply a writer of short horror fiction stories...period.  Necronomicon was simply a word he made up and it sounded good to him. Being an atheist as he was, anything mystical was a load of camel droppings in his view!

The Necronomicon was first mentioned in the short stories of horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft (in one story he calls it "Al Azif"). Lovecraft wrote many short stories published in pulp magazines like Weird Tales, usually about people fooling around with sorcery found in said Necronomicon and getting some horrible fate as their reward. Despite the infamous reputation of the Necronomicon, the characters in Lovecraft's stories could not resist checking it out at the library of the fictitious Miskatonic University. Like most people who mess with things they shouldn’t, the characters always wind up having some horrible fate. Lovecraft was a very good writer, but went undiscovered during his time.

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