The Bellerophon Society

Nature: Awakened Organization, now-defunct, in size between cabal and order. Spanned several continents
Founder: Sir James Owsley-Palmer
First mentioned: P1.1 "Treasure of the Lost Stradivarius"
Plots they've been notable part of: 2.3: "A Plague on Both Your Houses!"

Info from freely available public records (read: directly from ''secrets of the ruined temple'' sourcebook)

«Edmond Halley had proposed that a comet’s passage caused the Biblical Flood, and in 1788 one Count Giovanni Rinaldo Carli first proposed that a comet had destroyed Atlantis. The thesis lay relatively dormant even on the Sleeper fringe until 1883, when Minnesota politician and polemicist Ignatius Donnelly published the sequel to his bestseller ''Atlantis: The Antediluvian World'' as ''Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel''. Donnelly’s first book placed Atlantis in the mid-Atlantic (where Athanasius Kircher had, 200 years before), and Donnelley’s second argued that a comet destroyed Atlantis and left a layer of gravel in drift patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, wrongly ascribed to the glaciers of the Ice Ages.»

«Even in 1883, Donnelly’s science was considered ludicrous, but his book caught the attention of a cabal of mages headed by Sir James Owsley-Palmer, the Astronomer Royal for Capetown. Sir James recognized that a comet, in classical astrology, represented exactly what Donnelly had implied: a disruptive change completely outside the system of the world. Furthermore, a large number of anomalous astronomical and astrological readings could be explained by just such an immense perturbation. Sir James’ 1885 report to the Astrological Consilium at Edinburgh laid out a strong case for the cometary theory, and other cabals in America, Japan and Germany joined the search for further confirmation. But that mathematical work, and further astronomical observations of Mars and the Moon, led to a revised theory and a great deal of practical activity.»

«By 1893, the new kabbalist and gravitational calculations demonstrated that a single Earth impact was insufficient to explain the anomalies in the data. Again, Sir James came up with the crucial insight. Atlantis, he realized, was the original fifth planet of the solar system, orbiting between Jupiter (representing Heaven, kingship and the Supernal Realm) and Mars (representing war, struggle, base emotion and the Material Realm). The planet Atlantis, struck by a comet, exploded, leaving the asteroid belt (the Abyss) and a few survivors who fled, as best they could, to the lower planets where the Atlanteans may have planted colonies. Earth, Sir James theorized, might well have been a howling super-tropical wilderness full of monsters and spirits until the rain of fragments from doomed Atlantis shot up immense dust-clouds that cooled the world and caused the Ice Age. A similar rain may have started the inexorable growth of the Martian desert, dooming the Atlantean colony there to slow desiccation and death.»

«The core mages in Owsley-Palmer’s study group eventually grew in numbers until they formed their own extended cabal, the Bellerophon Society. Named for the legendary rider of the winged horse Pegasus, the cabal’s announced purpose was to “improve the understanding of the Heavens”; the cabal recruited members among Awakened astronomers and navigators throughout the world. One open priority of Bellerophon Society investigators was the hunt for meteorite fragments. If Atlantis exploded in outer space, shards of the Heavenly City might still litter the waste places of the Earth. Bellerophontes trekked across the Siberian taiga, plunged deep into the Matto Grasso and climbed the Mountains of the Moon in central Africa following up historical (and sorcerous) records of fallen stars, anomalous craters and “thunder stones”.»

«Other Bellerophon Society teams researched possible meteorites of legend, from the Holy Grail (the “stone fallen from Heaven” of Parzival) to the Kaaba in Mecca to Chintamani, the Black Stone of the Mongols. Some Bellerophontes dove into the Temenos, seeking the mythical craters left behind by such stones, from the Lia Fail in Ireland to the Stones of Niobe dropped across Anatolia by the tears of the goddess Cybele.»

«But as Arcane as this research became, rumors filtered out to the Consilii that the Bellerophon Society was up to something even stranger. Cargoes of worked brass and crystal arrived at Capetown and disappeared into the interior. Parchments containing immensely powerful Space and Forces rotes became items much sought by Owsley-Palmer’s correspondents. Dreamers heard vast rumbles above the Astral Planes when Mars was in close opposition.»

«The Paris caucus of the Guardians of the Veil investigated every story, no matter how wild. A Japanese Bellerophonte was fingered as instrumental in Percival Lowell’s rapid shift of interest from esoteric Buddhism to mapping Mars. The Guardians even sifted the channeled reports of Swedenborg and Hélène Smith concerning masked (and French-speaking) initiates on Mars and other worlds, trying to work backwards through the Astral. But Sir James’ paranoid security precautions (and possibly the Bellerophontes’ obsessive desire to monopolize their extraterrestrial Atlantis) left the Guardians with nothing more solid than the tissue of rumors and hints with which they began.»

«Before they could build further, the Bellerophon Society splintered in the chaos of the First World War, and its member cabals turtled up and added yet another layer of secrecy to hide their salvaged pieces of the puzzle from each other. If a grand conspiracy to seek Atlantis in space had ever existed, it had sunk without a trace.»

«After World War I, Sir James’ pronouncements changed tenor yet again. He still theorized that Atlantis lay in outer space, but increasingly questioned the overarching narrative of the Celestial Ladder and the War in Heaven. Atlantis may, he admitted, have secured a passageway into the Supernal — but his meteorite research, he claimed, indicated Atlantean exposure not merely to Supernal but to Abyssal, or even trans–Supernal forces. Atlantis had been destroyed, he argued, not by internal dissension and struggle, but by a previously unsuspected race of godlike entities he called the Outsiders. In Owsley-Palmer’s 1922 book on the subject, ''Cheiron’s Arrow'', he argued that the trans–Supernal Outsiders had smashed the planet Atlantis with “an arrow of Abyssal energy perceptible in the Material as a comet” out of fear once the Atlanteans had opened the ways to the Supernal.»

«In 1926, reduced to a single coterie of fellow paranoids, Sir James Owsley-Palmer and his followers vanished forever — self-exiled in an etheric space Ark, removed to some isolated sanctum in the African wilderness or encysted within an Astral oubliette, no one could say for certain. He left behind a final manuscript, published in 1927 as ''The Oracle of Typhon'', which presented the final version of his theory.»

«The Outsiders, he wrote, were the “higher acamoth,” beings actually native to a Realm under the Abyss, which predated, surrounded and transcended the “fragile bubble of the Supernal” built by the planet Atlantis. The Outsiders smashed Atlantis not out of fear, but out of idle malice or, worse yet, as casually and unknowingly as a man steps on an ant. Once their Abyssal energies leaked “up into our perception,” humankind was doomed.»

«Owsley-Palmer identified hundreds of anomalous happenings, mysterious deaths and occult rumors as stemming from the activities of “acamothic cults,” formed by the “wisest of the wise,” whose greater perceptions forcibly realigned their sympathies toward the Outsiders. The more Awakenings, the more tunnels the Outsiders potentially possess into our Realm and the weaker reality becomes. The Fall of Atlantis, Sir James wrote, is happening all around us right now, inescapable and implacable.»

See also

Known Members

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