And now that I’ve been relatively quiet about it for a decade or more, I guess it’s time to finally talk about the Dragon Court again.
A while back, this was the website where I talked about my experiences with various Occult groups and subcultures - until it wasn’t.
I hung onto this domain for a while even though I haven’t really done anything with it for a long time. In 2012 (ten years ago, LOL) I’d planned to do a major site revamp, but other than experimenting with new CSS3 features, and then trying to use it as a blog for a few months in 2018, it stayed static for years. I was that burnt out. I had been burnt out for a long time.
Discovering neocities dot org got me back into website building as a hobby. I’d learned how to make a site that didn’t look like it belonged on Geocities anymore - but frankly, where’s the fun in that? I wasn’t trying to sell anything, be it books, noble titles, or access to articles from a paywalled subscription-only website. I wasn't trying to promote an Online Secret Society. I was just talking about my experiences with the people who were trying to do that, or had tried to do that in the past. If anything, *not* looking like it was trying to be any of those things was one of the (only) things my old website had going for it.
It's not possible for me to be objective about a lot of the things I'm going to be talking about here, because I was too close to the events as they happened. If some of my rhetoric here sounds kind of “salty” (as The Kids are saying now) it’s because I’ll be writing about things that I was “salty” about in the past, and it’s had this long to sit unexpressed in my subconscious. Some of this is stuff I’ll probably always be “salty” about to some extent. I’ve had to learn to be okay with that.
I also acknowledge that a lot of the people I’m still salty about have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and as such are not around anymore to offer a rebuttal of their own; and are survived by friends and family who still love and care for them. Please know that I’m trying to proceed with consideration for them, despite the ill feelings left over from things that admittedly happened 20 years or so ago.
This isn’t intended to be a judgemental hatchet job. A lot of what happened was down to the fact that things were a bit more chaotic on the Old Internet circa the early 2000s. We were all still figuring out how (and how not) to interact on what was still a massive uncharted digital space. In many ways, it was a lot like the Wild West. With cat pictures. And animated gifs. My purpose for posting this here is not to cause more strife, but because none of this should ever be forgotten. But an alternate title for this essay could be: "I read Tracy Twyman's book Clock Shavings after avoiding it since it was released, and I Have Some Thoughts."
Back in 2012 on an older version of this site, I quoted what felt like a truism at the time: “The Internet Never Forgets.” Except that it does. So much content from that time has been lost. Maybe in some cases that’s a good thing, but there are some things that should be remembered, so that the same mistakes aren’t made in the future.
If the Internet Gods brought you to this site today, you may or may not be familiar with Nicholas de Vere and his essays (From Transylvania To Tunbridge Wells, and The Origin Of The Dragon Lords Of The Rings) or his book The Dragon Legacy. Or you might be familiar with Laurence Gardner and the books Bloodline Of The Holy Grail, Genesis Of The Grail Kings, Realm Of The Ring Lords, etc. Or you may just be wondering what the eff this all is about.
I first heard of the Dragon Court, and the “Dragon” or “Grail” Witch bloodlines by name in the summer of 1999 when I found Laurence Gardner’s Nexus articles online, but I’d been familiar with the concepts it encompassed since my teens. I didn't even encounter the book Holy Blood, holy Grail by by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln until much later, during my 20s. But the concept of the "Grail Bloodlines" was already kind of a meme that was in the process of disseminating itself, and it had already gotten to me in other various forms before I'd heard of "The Dragon Court."
I believed in Magic(k) as a child, but living in the Bible Belt and growing up during the Satanic Panic, I was indoctrinated to fear what was basically my own heritage. But it kept calling to me, regardless. My family was one of those that "Supernaturally Interesting" stuff happened to on occasion. It made me wonder if there was something to the phenomenon of "Witch Blood." My Dad's family are Scots-Irish and Welsh originally, and had settled in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas; my Mom's family are Swiss-German, Scots-Irish, and English. (So: Texan, in other words.)
But we were in Texas, and it was the 1980s. My Mom was raised Episcopalian, but her family also had a long tradition of men being Freemasons and women being in the Order of the Eastern Star. As a young adult she had rebelled against both Protestantism and Masonic practice to become a Hippie and a "New Age" type occult practitioner, afflicted by occasional flashes of very strong (and as she describes it, often very unsettling and inconvenient) precognition. She had returned to the bosom of the Church during the Jesus Movement (The "Jesus People, aka "Jesus Freaks") after a frightening experience which had left her badly shaken. My father and my mother had split by the time I was four.
We had Mike Warnke’s cassette tapes on constant rotation in the family car, because at the time he was kind of the Pope of Jesus Freak Ex Occultists - even if he was lying through his teeth about the latter. (Yes I've heard The Last Podcast On The Left's podcast about him - and if you haven't, go listen; it's so cathartic.)
We were taught to fear and avoid popular Rock & Roll music, trick or treating on Halloween, fantasy fiction, Dungeons and Dragons, our friends who were LGBTIQ+/ourselves if we were LGBTIQ+, and our friends who smoked brickweed and dropped weak blotter acid behind the bleachers after school. Chick Tracts were foisted upon us after every church service.
We were told to watch out for "stranger danger," i.e. devil worshippers and drug pushers and child molesters, even as we (or people we knew) were being victimized by grownups we knew from church who were trusted family friends. People talked a great deal about God's love for humanity. But the actual message was one of constant terror and abject submission to authority, demanding constant hypervigilance on our part because "Satan" was out to get us - and that God would send us straight to Hell for all eternity if we put a foot out of line.
I know there are plenty of good people who are Christians out there who sincerely follow Jesus’s teachings of compassion and mercy, but in my opinion the institution of the Church itself - Catholic or Protestant - is corrupted and toxic. We spent so much time between different churches when I was growing up (“maybe THIS one won’t have toxic people! Maybe it’ll be okay this time!”) Then, my Mom finally decided this was wack, and let us do our own thing. That was when I met other people trying to recover from religious trauma with varying success. For many people, it’s a lifelong process.
I got into a Teen Witch Otherkin coven in the fall of 1993, but after about nine months the group fell apart; partially due to religious trauma, and partially for other reasons that I'll go into shortly. And in the midst of all this, the Dragon Court as a memetic concept was seeping our consciousness, if indeed it wasn’t there already.
Here’s the first thing I disagree with Nicholas de Vere/Weir about: Wicca and “New Age” Magickal practice. Back in the 1990s, if you came from “Witch Blood” or were even just curious about the occult in an oppressive environment where exploration of one’s heritage or interests are not only discouraged but actively suppressed, "New Age" stuff or “fluffy bunny Wicca” as it is commonly called, was often the first and only kind of practice you had access to - particularly when the internet was in its infancy. No one was going to tell you anything. You had to be careful about asking anyone anything. You had to hope you just happened on the right person or the right book - or maybe find the one occult bookstore in your town, if there was one. And everything I have seen leads me to believe that "fluffy bunnyism" in general developed almost entirely as a reaction to the "Satanic Panic."
Gerald Gardner himself and other early Wiccan practitioners like Doreen Valiente knew, or eventually came to the realization (in Doreen Valiente's case) that they were not practicing "Witchcraft" like people in ancient times and the Medieval period had done, no matter what Gerald Gardner claimed; and that Wicca is a modern phenomenon that takes inspiration from ancient belief systems.
The backlash against the claim or the idea that Wicca was an unbroken tradition going back hundreds of years was mostly already in the progress at the same time Nicholas de Vere was writing his essays lambasting it. But as right-wing reactionary attitudes surged in the 1980s and 90s (particularly in America) it was probably safer to try to divorce the idea of Witchcraft from the Christian paradigm entirely - instead of lean hard into it, like Nicholas de Vere and a lot of "Left Hand Path" people did.
Wicca does project a friendly, sanitized image compared with Traditional Witchcraft - and when you’re a traumatized teen from the Bible Belt, that might be what you want, if you don’t gravitate towards Theatrical Gothic Heavy Metal Satanism instead. Which is what seems to have happened with Nicholas de Vere’s associate Tracy Twyman. According to her associate Sean Alger, who says:
"She was raised as a christian and it was the ‘satanic panic’ of the 80s-90s that fired her up to take the path she did. Because she was what we’d now call “Goth/depressive” she felt personally attacked and misunderstood when the Satanic Panic thing was in full swing."
We were personally attacked and misunderstood though. That was not anyone's imagination. If you were a "goth/depressive" or any other type of outsider, it was kind of a bad time. That's what led so many of us to act out in the kinds of ways that Tracy Twyman appeared to be acting out in. The satanic panic ruined innocent lives. The fact that the it seems to be coming back is really concerning to a lot of us.
Scapegoating of social outcasts as a form of authoritarian social control is the goal of the Satanic Panic any time it re-emerges. It creates in-group/out-group dynamics: "be afraid of those strange outsiders who are not like us, and ignore the toxic elements in your own community" as a way of manipulating people into not resisting those toxic elements. It's a tactic of browbeating people into accepting forms of abuse or control by claiming the alternative or the "other side" is "worse."
People in the "out-group" are typically demonized through accusations of 1. blood-drinking or cannibalism, and 2. the sexual predation and the victimization of children. (Qanon, anyone?)
But seriously: the Christian Church (Catholic AND Protestant) is guilty of both. Seriously, think about it. The "Satanic Panic" is and always has been a form of projection.
The scandal over sexual abuse in the Catholic Church broke out on the heels of the 1980s Satanic Panic, and I don't think that was an accident. It's happening again just as an epidemic of sex pests are being exposed within the rank and file of the Protestant church denominations, and people are falling for the same exact bullshit artistry as before. Steve Bannon or another Trumpist bad actor probably covertly started the Qanon conspiracy back in 2016 as a smokescreen to muddy the waters regarding the very credible accounts of Donald Trump's association with Jeffrey Epstein, and all of the women and girls that he'd victimized. Authoritarians and reactionaries have been using these types of disinfo tactics for centuries to target "social undesirables" and shield the predators within their own ranks, because people are still falling for them and they still work.
I knew plenty of people who rebelled against the Satanic Panic by actually becoming Luciferians or Anton LaVey-style Satanists, but that wasn’t my jam. As a kid recovering from religious trauma and the imgagined Hellfire and Brimstone of the Satanic Panic, I wanted to hear that the Goddess loves everyone and doesn’t send anyone to Hell, and that the Devil doesn't exist because he's a boogeyman invented by the Church. Some people need that paradigm. And when the “Fluffy Bunny” reconstructionist Witchcraft/New Age paradigm is all you’ve got, it’s all you’ve got.
Before the Teen Otherkin/Witch coven I was a part of imploded, We had been studying Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick, which is kind of like Golden Dawn-style ritual Magick for Absolute Beginners. And it’s great. I recommend it. But before that, I was just...doing things. Things that my intuition told me were correct.
I called it "Chaos Magick." No one told me that this was what I was doing. In 1994 I hadn’t read any of the literature that existed about Chaos Magick yet. I was a fan of Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga, and that’s probably how the phrase kind of just popped into my brain. Later, I of course read Peter J. Carroll, Phil Hine, Stephen Mace, Jaq Hawkins, etc. But before that I was just flying by the seat of my pants, so to speak.
Basically, our Teenage Otherkin Coven had belived that "Elves" of ancient myth and legend had started out as spiritual beings incarnated in human bodies. "Vampires" were really the same species; ones that were maybe not as kindly disposed to regular humans as their "Elven" siblings, sort of like the Seelie/Unseelie dichotomy of Scottish folklore. Their human-hybrid descenants were the old Royal Families created and appointed by the "Bornless One" to be the stewards of Earth and mankind. They were natural magicians due to their partially-divine origins. The Davidic bloodline, including Jesus, had been among their descendants. Jesus and Lucifer were more like contentious brothers than enemies; in fact, they WERE brothers according to our cosmology. The Grail Maiden was the Bride of Christ, not the Church.
After centuries of persecution by the Church, and most recently the Nazis (who'd misapproproated "Elven" and "Grail" symbolism even as they were killing the descendants of the Elves who were still in Europe in the death camps along with other "social undesirables") they were hidden and lost and scattered; and in many cases had entirely forgotten or barely remembered who they were. Our group consisted of some of the ones who remembered.
Our goals were to 1. study Magick and energy-working and 2. find others. There was no long-term goal or master plan beyond that; but the implication was that once Elves' descendants remembered their true identities and "woke up," we would be the catalyst for the human race to remeber that everyone theoretically had access to magic and ESP, we were all connected, and people would start to reject both modern-day neoliberal consumer capitalism and the type of authoritarian "red communism" which had plagued much of the world until the fall of the USSR, and look for something better. Some kind of "Grail Code," maybe. The phenomenon would eventually hit critical mass and be enough of a disruption of status-quo society that change would be inevitable.
Obviously, the roleplaying games by White Wolf (VAMPIRE: The Masquerade, WEREWOLF: The Apocalypse, CHANGELING: The Dreaming, etc.) which were being published around this time were hugely influential (though the first edition of Changeling came out a whole year or so after our group had fallen apart) but we took them as a sign that other people were aware that things like Elves and Werewolves and Vampires really existed in a sense, and people were trying to "seed" the concept out there among the masses.
With the benefit of almost 30 years' hindsight and maturity (I hope) I would instead like to suggest that perhaps all of these concepts were "having a moment of cultural significance" in that current zeitgeist, and we were pulled right along with it.
Yes, this seems obviously dorky and credulous now, ("cringe" as the kids today would say) but we were teenagers, and we were desperate for something like this to actually be true. Because the idea of "growing up" to enter the workforce as complacent serfs - the same workforce that we as kids had watched grind our working class parents into a fine powder all throughout our childhoods - was abhorrent to us, even back during a time when people could still afford things like food and house payments or rent on a regular paycheck.
At the time, there was no discussion of ever going public about any of this stuff because it was assumed that there were still "government agencies" watching for us who would shut us down just like they'd tried to shut down the countercultural and civil rights movements of the 60s if we attracted attention to ourselves. We had to rebel, but we felt the need to be discrete about it. Our conversations were peppered with "coded language." Outwardly, we looked like a bunch of weird goths and Renaissance Festival enthusiasts, but we were clandestine about what it was that we were actually doing after school and at slumber parties.
After several months, the group imploded as we started to experience a chain reaction of weird psychological breakdowns, like every disorder or trigger or trauma or hangup we'd ever experienced suddenly went off at once - for all of us, all within the same time period.
This implosion, when it happened, resulted in one of the worst "friend breakups" I ever experienced, and caused a legitimate nervous breakdown that ended up with me being sent to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed me with Purely Obessional ("Pure O") OCD.
But due to the fact that the pagan and conspiracy theorist circles kind of overlapped, my sister had already read about and talked about things like MK Ultra and Project Stargate, and The X Files was a hot new show on the TV that we all watched every week. Influenced by these factors, I became convinced that we had been discovered and were being "taken care of" by whatver shadowy government agency had been set up to deal with people like us.
Now I wonder if we weren't just all succumbing to a kind of "subliminal social programming" for what was "supposed to happen" to kids like us who "played around with magic" if that makes sense. (This seems to be a real phenomenon - occult writer Paul Huson even attempts deprogram readers of it early on in his book Mastering Witchcraft.)
One possible issue was maybe that we had been playing around with a tactic or a concept similar to one that Grant Morrison would later describe in his comic book The Invisibles in Volume 7 The Invisible Kingdom. Basically, each one of us in the group were creating and employing a number of "Fiction Suits." We called them "Shards."
[Note: this volume of the comic wasn't yet published in 1994, and I didn't see it until years after all of this was taking place. So...yeah.]
Looking back, it's easy to see why that could have caused us all to be under psychological distress. Because: the "Fiction Suits" were an attempt to check completely out of our current consensus reality. This was what we were really doing when we were trying to "do Magick" in our group. To unplug from The Matrix entirely, so to speak. We were taking "Turn On, Tune In, And Drop Out" maybe a little bit too literally. The idea of an "Isekai" was really what we were going for. If we could have bodily checked out at the time, or gone to Faerie, we would have. As it was, we managed it at least on a spiritual/psycological level - until everything fell apart.
So: maybe that was the reason we all blew a gasket around the same time and our group fell apart. Or heck, maybe it really was some kind of psychic attack from some shadowy government black ops team, who knows.
Why is any of this important? Well, beyond all of the "LOL we're so random!!!" teen whimsicality and drama, there was a shared group mythos which would correspond with a lot of the stuff I would read in Laurence Gardner's and Nicholas de Vere's works five years later.
But way back then in the early 1990s, the aesthetics and the spirit of the 1960s were enjoying a sort of resurgence. it had seemed like my Mother’s generation had been on the verge of a magnificent breakthrough, a resurgence of transcendent thought and art and creativity and personal freedom and expression. But then the 80s happened, Ronald Reagan happened, things got really hairy for a while with the Cold War, and the AIDS epidemic happened. This was the oppressive and often horrific reality that I had grown up in.
But I kept hearing stories of the glorious cultural revolution of the 1960s, Height-Ashbury, Woodstock, Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, Timothy Leary, the Merry Pranksters, all of it. And my whole life, I was asking “what happened? Why did the cultural revolution fail?” What had caused the Boomer generation to betray everything that they had claimed to believe in, and go right back to being obedient reactionary consumer-serfs? It really did seem like there had been a backlash of hatred, bigotry, superstition, religious fundamentalism, and right-wing authoritarianism disguised as “American Freedom,” (two words which are diametrically opposed to one another) that was equal or greater to the very brief flash of true freedom which had just come before it.
The films of Panos Cosmatos (Beyond The Black Rainbow and Mandy) depict the failure of the "Boomer Cultural Revolution" as an ongoing theme. Reading Hunter S. Thompson and Philip K. Dick and Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test) answered some of those questions for me. Learning about The War On Drugs answered even more. Hippie burnouts described the disillusionment of being come down on hard by The Man for the crimes of free love and smoking dope, then seeing the symbols of their rebellion misappropriated and marketed back to them by consumer capitalism ("I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.")
It had seemed like the thing to do was to try and jumpstart a new cultural revolution to pick up where the other one had left off - but when it came down to it, we were just a handful of psychologically damaged teenage weirdos in Texas in the early 1990s. The eschaton was not going to be so easily immanetized by the likes of us. I entered my twenties with a crushing sense of disillusionment, and a need to prove that what we had experienced was somehow valid, nonetheless.
"I think you screwed up, Case. I showed up and you just fit me right into your reality picture.".- from Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Five years after this, I found Laurence Gardner’s Nexus articles and Mediaquest” website online, including a much-abridged version of Nicholas de Vere’s Dragon Court essays, which would later appear on his own website.
And it was close enough to what we had believed as a part of the "Teen Otherkin Coven" that it immediately clicked and felt like the validation and vindication of everything that my friends and I had been trying to express, or had been on the verge of bringing to the forefront of our consciousness, back in the early 1990s. For a long time I had wondered if we had just experienced some kind of group hallucination. Then I read this:
"Many books talk about the hermetic school of Tuthmosis III of Egypt, who reigned about 1450 BC. But it is not generally known that the school he originally inherited was the Royal Court of the Dragon. This had been founded by the priests of Mendes in about 2200 BC and was subsequently ratified by the 12th dynasty Queen Sobeknefru.
This sovereign and priestly Order passed from Egypt to the Kings of Jerusalem; to the Black Sea Princes of Scythia and into the Balkans - notably to the Royal House of Hungary, whose King Sigismund reconstituted the Court just 600 years ago. Today it exists as the Imperial and Royal Court of the Dragon Sovereignty, and after some 4,000 years it is the oldest sovereign Court in the world.
But what were the earliest aims and ambitions of the Order back in Pharaonic times? They were to perpetuate and advance the alchemical strength of the Royal Bloodline from Lord Enki, the Archetype.
The kings of the early succession (who reigned in Sumer and Egypt before becoming Kings of Israel) were anointed upon coronation with the fat of the Dragon (the sacred crocodile). This noble beast was referred to in Egypt as the Messeh (from which derived the Hebrew verb 'to anoint'), and the kings of this dynastic succession were always referred to as 'Dragons', or 'Messiahs' (meaning 'Anointed Ones').
In times of battle, when the armies of different kingdoms were conjoined, an overall leader was chosen and he was called the 'Great Dragon' (the 'King of Kings') - or, as we better know the name in its old Celtic form, the 'Pendragon'.
One of the interesting items from the archives of the Dragon Court is the origin of the word 'kingship'. It derives from the very earliest of Sumerian culture, wherein 'kingship' was identical with 'kinship' - and 'kin' means 'blood relative'. In its original form, 'kinship' was 'kainship'. And the first King of the Messianic Dragon succession was the biblical Cain (Kain), head of the Sumerian House of Kish.
On recognising this, one can immediately see the first anomaly in the traditional Genesis story, for the historical line to David and Jesus was not from Adam and Eve's son Seth at all. It was from Eve's son Cain, whose recorded successors (although given little space in the Old Testament) were the first great Kings (or Kains) of Mesopotamia and Egypt."
This was supposedly the "real story" behind the Nephilim from the Old Testament, extradimensional beings who mixed with humanity somehow or influenced our development. Maybe the "the veil between worlds" was thinner than it used to be - or as some have suggested, we didn't percieve a difference or any kind of seperation between the physical waking "real" world and the "Spirit World" or "Otherworld" at all. OR: maybe someone ate acid (or its stone age equivalent, probably mushrooms) and talked to God and got some lousy Chaos Magic.
But whatever happened, the "Witch Blood," the "Dragon Blood," or "Grail Bloodlines" or "The Bloodline of Cain" had resulted, and mankind got the spiritual fire that was Magick.
In ancient times, it was common for the crowned heads of the ancient world to claim some kind of descent from their pantheon of gods or Genii Locorum. The memory of these “Real Gods and Goddesses” had been preserved in their peoples’ mythology, their symbolism and stories becoming part of the Collective Unconscious.
Nicholas de Vere claimed they still exist as “Forces” or “Godforms” and can be channeled by their direct descendants (and ONLY their direct descendants!) via genetic memory. He says their original descendants were the Priest-Kings and Priestess-Queens of the first civilizations, and became the basis for the Sumerian legends of the Anunnaki - and that they eventually became the inspiration for legends of the "Elves" and "Vampires" of European folklore.
Nicholas de Vere and Laurence Gardner went on to claim that the original Witches were descended from them, and their practices influenced the type of Traditional Witchcraft practiced by Witches during the Middle Ages, and the Nine Covens, the Regency and the Windsor Coven, and the Cochrane Tradition in modern times.
"Vampirism" is claimed by them to be a cultural ceremonial practice originating with the Anunnaki/Nephilim/Elves, but here's the kicker - is apparently only "works" with blood that is freely donated by consenting "victims" or the magical aspect of it doesn't even function. And all the claims of predatory Vampires (and everyone else targeted by claims of blood-drinking) were victims of Church propaganda designed to target social undesirables.
(This was what Jesus was supposedly doing, by the way, when He said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. But ingesting blood in any context is expressly forbidden in the Torah, which is why it would have freaked the Disciples out so much - and why the Blood Libel was so insidious. The Jewish people were being accused of Vampirism by the people who were ritually committing it at Church every Sunday.)
According to de vere and Gardner, the story of the conflict between Jehovah and “Satan” originated as the Sumerian story of the conflict over the M.E. (sacred tablets of wisdom that conferred sovereignty on the holder) between Enlil and Enki, the sons of Anu. “Enki” was literally demonized by his brother via a propaganda campaign, and this is where the idea of Satan came from. But Enki was really benevolent and loved humanity, and he tried to help them when he could. Enlil was the vengeful, wrathful God of the Old Testament. Jesus was descended from Enki, and the inheritor of his wisdom. Enki was remembered by later peoples as the "Devil" or Horned God or Witch Lord revered by Satanists and Traditional Witches - syncretically correspondant with Azazel, the scapegoat of Hebrew lore.
So, Annunaki = Nephilim = "Dragons" = "Elves" = Witches by their estimation. Or as Nicholas de Vere called them, "Derkesthai."
The thing is, one of the main points that Nicholas de Vere made in his essays and the books which resulted from them is that only "Dragon-Blooded" (essentially, Witch-Blooded) people can actually perform magic(k.) Everyone else (ESPECIALLY the Wiccans) are all just doing a form of "Witchcraft aesthetic as a lifestyle" and cultural appropriation.
This is sort of a spin on an argument that Traditional/Hereditary Witches have been making for decades. The backlash against "fluffy bunny wicca" was just hitting its stride around this time when I was diving into this stuff. The idea that there had been a "Real Original Traditional Witchcraft Practice" and that Wicca was just a cheap imitation was running rampant through local pagan groups and online newsgroups (these were the days of Usenet, IRC and early AOL.)
The idea that the "Witch Blood" is somehow descended from the Elves somehow, and that the Elves were a real people who existed, is also not a new or uncommon belief. According to Paul Huson in his book Mastering Witchcraft:
The indigenous Britons, or Prytani as they then were called, were a strange people, who buried their dead in great burial mounds, or barrows, used bronze as their only metal, and relied for weapons chiefly upon slender arrows with delicate elder-leaf-shaped flint tips. Their religion, which was connected in some way with the moon and stars, was conducted amidst stone circles, surrounded by a bank and ditch (the original witch circle, in fact). The Prytani appear to have kept very much to themselves, isolating themselves within raths, or large circular encampments, the only contact between the two races being made by the Celtic shamans, or Druids, a word probably signifying wise ones, or wizards. Much or all of the Druidic lore would appear to have been drawn from contact with the Prytani. Indeed many druids were probably born of Prytanic fathers to Celtic mothers. The legendary Merlin was maybe one such as this, born of "mortal" mother and fathered by a "devil" or "elf." In fact elves were but the Teutonic names bestowed upon the remaining Prytani five centuries later by the Germanic invaders of Britain.
By the eleventh century A.D., subsequent to successive invasions of Britain, as it was now called, by Teutonic Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, and lastly Normans, Prytanic lore had been completely overlaid by a conglomeration of Celtic, Roman, Saxon, and finally Christian beliefs, gnostic and otherwise. The Prytani themselves, now referred to by either their Saxon epithet, Elvenfolk, or simply as People of the Heath or heathens, were rapidly dwindling into legend. The elven king and queen in their enchanted hill which opened up on the ancient holy festivals of Halloween and Beltane were fast passing out of public memory, recalled only by the wise, or as they were known in the old English tongue, the Wicce and Wicca, Wizards and Witches. The legend of the Elvenfolk's ancestry still survived, however, in heavily Christianized form. They were the remaining offspring of the fallen angels. Neither devils, like Satan and his cohorts, nor angels, but somewhere between the two. Neither good nor bad, merely indifferent.
Anyway, it has been suggested by many de Vere supporters that Laurence Gardner's master plan had been to approproate the "Dragon Court" paradigm in order to promote Michel Lafosse, aka "Prince Michael Stewart Of Albany" as the head of it. But I had no inkling about that at all in 1999 when I was first reading this stuff on the Nexus website.
But Nicholas de Vere claimed that a person has to be descended from the "Kings and Queens of the Elvenfolk," (and therefore, from the Anunnaki or original Witch-people) to Do The Thing. And it seems that a lot of people who read his essays wanted to be told they were descended from "the Elvenfolk," presumably so that they could also Do The Thing.
This is not what most modern "Reconstructionist" or "Revivalist" Witches are after. In the last few centuries since The Enlightenment, people have been slowly waking up from Churchianity. A lot of them are asking questions about whatever it was that Churchianity usurped or replaced, and if it would be possible to go back to that.
And thousands of people are out there doing magic (or Magick) for all sorts of different reasons anyway and getting results, whether Nicholas de Vere approved of it or thought they should be able to or not.
One thing I found myself asking was "how did Mesopotamian and Levantine deities or entities end up being part of English and/or Scottish Traditional Witchcraft if these were "Pre Christian" traditions, along with or instead of Celtic or Anglo Saxon gods and goddesses? How did The Horned God become associated with “the Devil” in Traditional Witchcraft?” (I mean, by the Trad Witches themselves; I understood why The Church made that accusation.)
I mean, the obvious answer was "Medieval-era Luciferian Witchcraft and many Medieval Gnostic sects were inversions of Christianity. It was the reaction of people who were terrorized by the Medieval Church, and who fought back by inverting the Church's entire message." (In the Gnostics' case, it was more like "We're the ones doing Christianity right - the rest of you are a bunch of misguided weirdos.")
But of course I wasn't satisfied with that answer at the time, I had to go look for something more complicated than that.
I started reading up on the origins of Traditional Witchcraft in much the same way that people had started to question the supposed origins of Wicca as the "revival of the Old Religion." If it isn't the preserved remnants of the pre-Christian "Witch Cult" ala Margaret Murray, then how and when did it start?
This question which was seemingly answered in several books I read; like The Roots Of Witchcraft by Michael Harrison (who suggests a connection with the Basque people and Basque Traditional Witchcraft) and by E.W. Liddell, in the book The Pickingill Papers;and in Michael Howard’s book The Children Of Cain, which references E.W. Liddell aka "Lugh" who was responsible for the series of collected letters known as The Pickingill Papers, and George Pickingill himself.
A word on The Pickingill Papers: in From Transylvania To Tunbridge Wells, Nicholas de Vere references something called "The Marshmallow papers." An associate from the old dragoncourt dot org site told me that this oblique reference was kind of a hidden code for The Pickingill Papers, which were a series of letters written by E.W. Liddell under the pen name “Lugh” to the Cauldron Magazine and other occult publications in the 1970s. These letters cover the topic of the origins of Witchcraft in Europe (according to Liddell) and Liddell’s claims that Traditional Witchcraft was an influence on both Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner and their respective esoteric movements. The book itself is very difficult to find these days, but there's a condensed version you can read here.
According to the above linked article "Secrets Of the Nine Covens:"
"Some traditional covens honour Lucifer as the First Cause, the true saviour and redeemer.
Lucifer is viewed by the several surviving 'cunning' lodges as the indwelling divinity in the human mechanism. Only the sacred marriage between' Lucifer and Ishtar, themselves personifications of the Morning Star (i.e. the planet Venus) can implement the alchemy when the human unit is transformed into a self-perfected god. Ishtar, who is both Lucifer and the Path to Heaven, was worshipped as the goddess who confers illumination. "
Writers like Doreen Valiente, Isaac Bonewits and Adrian Bott have taken issue with E.W. Liddell and his claims; and they set the record straight about the role of Aleister Crowley and the OTO as having influenced the development of Wicca, instead of the other way around.
If modern "Revivalist Witchcraft" traditions are ripped off from Thelema and OTO practices as certain Thelamists and other people have asserted (and in Gerald Gardner's case they're right, it's pretty obvious that he tried to rip off Aleister Crowley at certain points) then it makes sense to study Thelema and OTO practices. If Thelema and OTO practices were ripped off from “Traditional Witchcraft," as certain Trad Witches claim, then again it just makes sense to study Thelema and OTO practices. It just gets you to the same place. (Really, it makes senses to study everything you can get your hands on, but yeah.)
But even if Wicca and "Traditional Witchcraft" aren't unbroken traditions which survived from antiquity, it doesn't make them invalid. They're both expressions of a desire to get away from or subvert the paradigm of Churchianity. And whatever else I would come to think of Nicholas de Vere, Laurence Gardner, and their claims over time, the idea that the Evangelical Churchian narrative was patently false came as a massive relief to me as somone who was still dealing with religious trauma and a neurotic mental disorder that was worsened by it.
Regardless: when I was first reading their material, I liked the idea proposed by Nicholas de Vere and Laurence Gardner that "Satan" as such was not an evil rival of "God" who was "out to get me," but a disinherited prince who had actually lived, and who had been the victim of bad press. I liked their theory that the historical Jesus was Enki's descendant and the heir to his wisdom. So I ignored the aspects of Nicholas de Vere and Laurence Gardner's narrative that seemed problematic, or that troubled me at the time, and incorporated the things that I jived with into the overall framework of my own personal paradigm.
Nicholas de Vere also frequently references the medieval Gnostic sect known as the Cathars as being a "Dragon" or "Fairy" tradition. My own exploration into Gnotisicsm led me to the works of Philip K. Dick. He takes the view that we are trapped in a decaying retrograde timeline, and entities outside our current spacetime continnum have noticed the shitty situation we are in and are actively trying to assist us. (I could go into this further, but the Philip K. Dick angle is a whole other rabbit hole which will need its own article.)
Anyway: sometime in 2000, I checked back on Laurence Gardner’s Mediaquest website to find Nicholas de Vere’s essay missing, replaced by this notice, which appeared on his own website as of September 5 of that year as per this capture from the Wayback Machine:
"NOTICE: From Sir Laurence Gardner, Chevalier de Saint Germain and Attaché to the Grand Protectorate of The Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order - Ordo Dragonis, Sárkány Rend, 1408.
When publishing my book 'Genesis of the Grail Kings' early in 1999, I asked a certain Nicholas de Vere to write the Foreword to that work on the understanding that he was Magister Templi of the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court in Britain by virtue of a warrant issued by the ducal House of Habsburg-Tuscany.
It subsequently came to my attention, however, that this was not the case and I learned that Nicholas de Vere's said warrant was in no way valid since the House of Habsburg-Tuscany was not at liberty, under any legal right or consideration, to issue such a document.
On behalf of the Grand Protectorate of The Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order, I therefore now confirm that, despite his Internet protestations and various messages to all and sundry, Nicholas de Vere is not recognized in any capacity as being attached in any manner, formally or informally, to the Hungarian establishment of Sárkány Rend. Neither is he attached or affiliated to any of its priories in other lands. His name is not recorded in the Court's registration at the High Court of Budapest, nor in any other authentic document of the Court in Britain or any other country.
In November 1999 I was required to publicly sever my association with Nicholas de Vere, while still acknowledging the help he had afforded me with certain matters of research and reimbursing him for these services. In that same month MediaQuest, who had hosted de Vere's Web site on this current page, was similarly obliged to cease all further professional association, terminating the site. At that same time, the Webmaster, Sir Adrian Wagner (Knight of the Swan by grant and ratification of the Royal House of Stewart) duly resigned from all and any de Vere affiliation.
As detailed within the main body of this current site, the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court ceremony held at the Mansion House, York, on 21 March 2000 (with Chev. Dr. Gyorgy von varhegyi Lehr, Count of Oberberg, Chancellor of the Court, in attendance) established the truth of the matter once and for all in Britain. Also present, among various officers of the Court and Order, were Chev. Dr. Andrew von Zsigmond, Baron de Lemhény, of the Hungarian Consulate, Grand Prior of the Order in Britain, and HRH Prince Michael of Albany, the Order's Protector in the English speaking world. The City of York was formally represented by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, while the Sheriff of York attended to represent HM Queen Elizabeth II."Laurence Gardner, July 2000
Nicholas de Vere retaliated with the accusation that Laurence Gardner stole his work, and that his books Genesis Of The Grail Kings and Realm Of The Ring Lords had basically been his own material which Laurence Gardner had ripped off and published as his own works. Nicholas de Vere slammed the the Hungarian Dragon Court organization that Gardner was now affiliated with as a far right wing nationalist/white supremacist organization. (One wonders if they had any influence on Hungary's current political situation.)
By 2001, Nicholas de Vere had a new website, dragoncourt dot org. The thing was, dragoncourt dot org was itself the work of one Bill Barckley - who had not only coded the whole thing including a webforum from the ground up for Nicholas de Vere, but who had also edited and uploaded de Vere’s essays a hundred percent for free. He paid for the whole thing out of his own pocket as a labor of love, and a desire to see Nicholas de Vere’s work reach its intended audience.
(oh wE’LL GET TO THAT. TRUST ME.)
I finally found the Dragoncourt Dot Org site in late 2002, and plowed straight into the parts of Nicholas de Vere's essays that I hadn’t yet seen.
According to his own biography, Nicholas de Vere’s own father "taught him of the family’s royal Scottish origins and of its involvement with royal witchcraft within the dragon tradition, which had been passed down to Nicholas’ father by his own parents."
Apparently it wasn't enough for Nicholas de vere to be the heir to a surviving Faerie/Traditional Witch bloodline: the Dragons were framed as the the literal God-Kings of the ancient world.
Nicholas de Vere was touting his Witch Blood and connection to “Royal Witch Families” almost to the point of it being some kind of “Magickal Eugenics.” The Witch-blooded people or “Dragons” were the rightful stewards and overlords of humanity - and that basically everything in the world had started to go wrong when humanity’s Rightful Rulers were deposed in favor of rulers appointed by the Church during the Middle Ages.
While he called for an end to modern-day neoliberal consumer-capitalism and for people to seek personal sovereignty, several times he seems to just come out and say that the bulk of humanity is incapable of higher-level consciousness at all, or even basic self-governance; which is why they needed the naturally spiritually enlightened "Elven" or "Dragon" Grail Overlords to lead them in the distant past. I'm not even kidding about this. Tracy Twyman seemed to echo this opinion over on the part of Dagobert’s Revenge in a public section of the website that I was able to read without shelling out a subscription fee.
But anyway, I figured that those were his own personal opinions, and it didn't mean that the whole Dragon/Elf/Witch/Grail narrative thing wasn't real - just that he had inserted his own biases into the narrative.
Another thing, which flew over the head of my naive younger self: Nicholas de Vere claimed that the Anunnaki, and their descendants the Elves/Dragon Bloodlines were the "Real Aryan Race." According to his beliefs, the Nazis, modern-day Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists couldn't possibly be "Aryan" because "Aryans" were the otherdimensional alien/human hybrids, and anyone else claiming to be "the Aryan Race" is lying, mistaken, or deluded. He called Adolph Hitler and the WWII-era Nazis "descendants of potato farmers" and mocked their claims of being the "Aryan Race."
Regardless, the whole "Aryan Race" thing proved to be very attractive to the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who stumbled across his essays.
Those assholes will try to appropriate anything that's not nailed down in order to substantiate their own sick, murderous reactionary fantasies; because they know their own pseudohistorical claims are bullshit and their whole movement is just a facade to conceal their hysterical, childish fear of "the other."
The problem is: if one proclaims that the only “Real Actual Witches” are descended from the “Real Actual Royalty” who are also the “Real Actual Aryan Race,” and that only they can do “Real Actual Magic” - and that nobody else can do it, because the literal rest of the human race are dumb unenlightened saps who lack even the physical, intellectual, or neurological capability to do it - then one should maybe not be surprised when neo nazi white supremacists show up who want to join your group, desperate to prove their descent from these so called "Real Aryans." Who would not even have been considered "white" by their standards.
But whatever other issues I had with Nicholas de Vere or claims or his opinions - or what happened later - at least he was anti-Nazi?
On the other side of that: one should also not be surprised when people read a manifesto about "the Aryan Race, who are somehow genetically superior to other people" and naturally assume the worst about you and your organization.
However, over the past century we've been delving into the archeological record, and it's telling us a more complex story. A story of the Proto Indo Europeans - the true people behind the stories of the so-called "Aryans," and the peoples they intersected with during their migrations. Paul Huson and E.W. Liddell tell a story of cultural fusion. The actual archeological record is starting to show a narrative of migration and trade and cultural exchange, of myths and memes spreading along with the new technology called bronze at the end of the Neolithic period.
If people from the Neolithic Vinča Culture migrated south to Meospotamia to become the Ubaid Culture - who were then immortalized in myth as the Anunnaki, as Nicholas de Vere theorizes in his books and essays, those would probably not have been "Aryans" or Proto Indo Europeans at all, but more likely the Goddess-worshipping, megalith-building Early European Farmers, who spread out across the ancient world from Anatolia around 8000 or so years ago. They arrived in Britain around 4000BC, built Stonehenge, and were possibly who Paul Huson called the "Prytani." E.W. Liddell's "Old Race."
Their predominant genetic pateral haplogroup was G2, which occurs frequently amongst the descendants of the Sarmation people who have survived to the modern day in Ossetia, as well as much of the Balkan region and Southeastern Europe - and several members of the Plantagenet Dynasty.
The idea that the "Aryan Race" invented and organized all the most influential ancient civilizations and institutions was popularized during the latter part of the 19th century, for the same reason that the "Ancient Aliens" phenomenon is so prevalent today. It served the same function, and it sprang from exactly the same biases.
The thing is, everyone who has touted the "Elves/Faeries were an aboriginal people who physically lived on the Earth, and might even have descendents amongst the general populace" has a theory about who they were and where they came from. Nicholas de Vere was just one of them. And none of these theories rules out the existence of Faeries from Faerie, either. Faerie is here - just slightly out of phase with the reality we know, or that can percieve with our regular five senses.
So why should anyone read Nicholas de Vere's essays, or his book The Dragon Legacy? Well, as one Amazon commenter puts it, it's a Witch Primer.
I was actually going to post a review in a similar vein right around this time, but Amazon reviewer "Serpent" hits all the points I was going to make.
Anyway - In late 2002, I finally logged onto the dragoncourt dot org web forum for the very first time after reading his essays, curious to know more about whatever this was. Instead, I walked right into what looked like A Situation.
“Nick,” as the other forum users called him, was already long gone, his own essays were going to be published in book form by Tracy Twyman, a writer in the whole "Grail Bloodlines/Priory Of Sion" conspiracy theory genre, who had her own zine and website, Dagobert’s Revenge.
This had caused quite the firestorm on the forum. People were split between cautious optimism, and concern that Tracy Twyman and her Ordo Lapsit Exillis (OLE) outfit had orchestrated some sort of coup, as Nick hadn't responded to any attempts to contact him in some time. In fact, due to Nicholas de Vere's sudden absence, the consensus on the forum overwhelmingly leaned toward the belief that some sort of coup or attempted takeover had occurred. People were, in a word, Not Happy Campers about the situation.
I checked out the Dagobert’s Revenge website (now archived on the wayback machine) and it seemed odd to me that most of the articles and blog posts that I was interested in were paywalled; something that not even major news outlets online were doing yet. Anyway, I was a broke computer tech support call center employee in 2002, and laid off for the first half of 2003, and I wasn’t about to shell out for a subscription to her webzine. Nicholas de Vere was totally incommunicado with his own webmaster. Rumors about what was going on with him were flying.
Then, some months later in September 2003, his articles disappeared from Dragoncourt Dot Org entirely. They eventually replaced by two new documents: an open letter to Queen Elizabeth II from someone named Richard Dufton, and someone else’s account of Dragon descent which was never expanded upon. (Seen here at the wayback machine.)
This led to speculation that Richard Dufton had assumed control in Nick’s absence - an assumption I later echoed to people when they emailed me asking what was going on with the website during the brief time I served as a forum mod in 2005, because he was the only one related to Nick's original group who had not seemingly "defected to the enemy" or was not dead (see below.) That's another thing that's weird about this whole time: most of the people associated with Nick or around Nick fucking died.
I want to state for the record that for a great deal of these goings-on, members of the dragoncourt dot org forum had no idea what was going on behind the scenes other than what we were told, and we weren't being told a lot. So much of the time, the general vibe was like:
For many of the longtime members of the forum, the situation was like being startled out of a dream. The rug had been pulled out from under them in a very nasty way. For some of them it was not even the first time this had happened - the last time being when Laurence Gardner suddenly cut ties with Nicholas de Vere. There were still a lot of rumors flying around regarding the reasons behind the breakdown of Nicholas de Vere and Laurence Gardner's partnership. And by this time, some of them were questioning if it hadn't all been a scam from the beginning.
The general feeling that a lot of people seemed to be trying to express was, "if this was a scam - and I'm not saying it was, but just hear me out here - is there anything in it worth salvaging?"
Attempts were already being made to determine if there was any way Nick's claims from his essays could be corroborated with historical data, an initiative I jumped into. This was complicated by the fact that as of the time when all of this was going on in 2003-2004, the original articles were gone from the site and the book hadn't yet been released. No one had thought to copy them or make a big PDF or something because I don't think anyone expected them to vanish so suddenly.
Eventually Nick's essays popped up on the wayback machine in 2004 - but Tracy Twyman's devoted followers, whom I like to call "Twymanistas," tended to snitch to her when people tried linking to them on their own websites or on Livejournal or MySpace, and her publisher (Book Tree, the Dragon Key Press) would email the offending linker suggesting that litigation might follow if they didn't take down the links. This happened to me in the summer of 2004, for the heinous crime of linking to Nick's old articles from the Wayback Machine on my own website.
But the initiative to see if any of Nick's claims could be independently verified was actually a major driving force of the people on the old dragoncourt dot org forum after Nick left. We had a feeling that the "Dragon Narrative" or "Dragon Curent" was "real" in some way. But after the fallout between Nick and Tracy and Richard and Bill, people wanted proof that this thing that they had invested their time and energy and belief in was real.
Some of this desire was self-serving; people wanted to know what the bona fides were so they could prove their own bona fides. Apparently there actually were actual genetic tests for a "Grail gene" and there was data - but those results were never made public, and no one who was involved with that back in the day knows who has that data now. Which means that someone somewhere may have access to people's private genetic data that they probably shouldn't have.
Finding proof that could be verified outside of anything written by Laurence Gardner, Nicholas de Vere, or Tracy Twyman would be a way of redeeming the "Dragon Court" from the people we felt had tried to appropriate it or manipulate it for their own agenda. And if what we found out didn't back up Nick's claims, then maybe we could all go forward and learn what the truth actually was. But it all just seemed to circle back on itself in a self-referential way, ultimately deriving from the theories presented in Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, and Richard Leigh.
Nicholas de Vere did cite or name drop several authors in his essays: Professor Margaret Murray, Sir James Frazier, Kenneth Grant, Jules Michelet, Austin Osman Spare, Jack Parsons, and of course the man behind The
Marshmallow Pickingill Papers; E.W. Liddell, aka "Lugh." I spent quite a while reading up on them. I became a fan of Parsons, Spare, and Grant in particular as a result. Their works are required reading in order to understand this "Dragon Current," really.
Anyway, on the "Table of Contents" page was a new message from Bill:
“While we await the wheels which grind exceedingly fine . . .
From the cowardice that dare not face new truths, From the laziness that is contented with half truth, From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, Good Lord, deliver me.”
Bill himself posted on the forum to explain that Nick had finally contacted him after months of silence, and had demanded the immediate removal of his essays and threatening litigation. Bill expressed the hurt and betrayal he felt after literally years of shelling out his own time and money to make Nick’s essays available to the public. These threats were being made just as Bill was dealing with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. He had removed the articles down as Nick had demanded. He wasn't happy about it, but he'd removed them all the same.
In 2014, Tracy Twyman would go on to tell her own side of the story in her memoirs, Clock Shavings:
I was even more impressed when, a few days after that last séance, I received a letter out of the blue from Nicholas de Vere, whom I had not talked to in many months. In it he made two amazing requests: (1) That I accept ownership of the copyright for his book From Transylvania to Tunbridge Wells, and seek to have it published right away, and (2) That I accept, at least temporarily, the title of "Grand Master" of the Dragon Court. He would retain ultimate control by elevating himself to a different title: "Sovereign Head." But I would be the official leader of record.
All of this made no sense because, of course, I was barely involved in the Dragon Court or any of Nick's projects at all. Also, why would he want to give away the copyright to his own book, especially after Laurence Gardner had already stolen it from him? Wasn't he afraid that I would screw him over too?
Furthermore, for what reason did he suddenly want me of all people to run his Dragon operation, when I still had yet to prove or even claim any connection to Dragon blood? Why did he not want to run his own order anymore? But Baphomet had predicted it.”
I need to clarify here that throughout her account of this entire time she describes being in contact with several entities who claimed to be Cain, Baphomet, Lucifer and Satan, via ouija board.
Actually, she claimed she had reached out to the spirit of filmmaker Jean Cocteau first, who then put her in touch with Cain. After several sessions, Cain put her in touch with Baphomet. The two spirits were connected somehow, to the extent that they were basically incarnations of the same person. There are some theories that the “Baphomet” that the Knights Templar was worshiping was actually the Biblical Cain (along with a host of other possible candidates) and it’s possible that the connection happened via syncretism. Baphomet seemed super mad about it during one seance.
Anyway, Baphomet had informed her that there was a curse on her, which would not be removed until she got Nick’s book published and sold at least 1000 copies:
I called up De Vere to ask him what he meant by all of this. He said that, for reasons he couldn't explain, he no longer wanted the burden of being the Dragon Court Grand Master. He asked me to take it "just for symbolic purposes," and said that if I chose to do absolutely nothing with the Court, that would be fine. It would remain in an "occulted" position until we decided to resurrect it. I thought there was something fishy about this, like he was trying to make me the "HEAD" of the court, and since it supposedly required no sacrifice on my part, I agreed to take the title.
I felt the same way about the book. Again, was he setting me up to take the fall for something? But he said that his friend was editing it now (something that I had told him would need to be done before his crazy manuscript was ready for public consumption). So all I needed to do was find a publisher. Considering that my crushing financial problems were supposedly caused by a curse from Baphomet, all because I had so far failed to do this one thing, how could I possibly refuse?
Back in the early 2000s, Tracy Twyman and Boyd Rice had worked together as paranormal investigators, before they parted on bad terms. His own statement regarding their flameout was posted to the dragoncourt dot org forum by one of his supporters.
Tracy referred to Baphomet as the true “Outer Head” of the order. The ouija board sessions with Baphomet became the primary moving force behind the Ordo Lapsit Exillis after that. That was how they got all their marching orders, via a literal party game that was created by Parker Brothers.
Ok, ok, fuck it. As a Chaote, I know pretty much any object can become an occult implement if you want it to be badly enough. People have done so much weird shit to try and tell the future or talk to spirits. Edward Kelly used a rock to talk to Angels. You’re reading this right now because scientists tricked a rock into thinking. But isn't it weird how Tracy basically became the very image of the ouija board-using "Heavy Metal Satanist" that entered our cultural mindset as a result of the Satanic Panic? I mean: Evangelicals, you realize how this is your fault, right?
I also wonder how much of what eventually happned was also Tracy Twyman succumbing to the same "subliminal social programming" about "good Christian kids who turn to Satan and start playing around with Magic" that might have also afflicted me and my group in 1994.
Except: was that actually Cain/Baphomet and Satan? Was there ever an attempt to "vet" who she was actually talking to? Was it just some mischief-makers in the spirit world who were jerking her chain? ("Bro, you told her what? That's hilarious!")
Anyway: eventually they asked Baphomet how to conduct their Magickal ritual practice, and he (Baphomet seemed to identify as male but is physically hermaphroditic or intersex) told them to "call the Points" (Quarters or Watchtowers) and referred them to the Book of Leviathan, a part of Anton Le Vay's Satantic Bible. All of this is in Clock Shavings.
(On a side note: after reading Clock Shavings, I attempted to see if I could finagle a vision of the past out of the Universe to try and get confirmation of any of Tracy's account of the Biblical Cain living in a "giant prism in the center of the Earth." Instead what I saw was a vision of two men whom I understood to be ancient Canaanites, who were about to enter a forbidding desert wasteland. One turned to the other and said, "Pazuzu haunts this desert. We stand a better chance of making it if we split up. He can only go after one of us at a time." then the dream ended.)
After the flameout with Boyd Rice, Tracy and her associates in the OLE were discussing how to handle the situation, when Cain/Baphomet put them in touch with "Satan" himself (again, via ouija board) and that she and the other members of her Ordo Lapsit Exillis group were ordered by Satan to curse Boyd Rice, Bill Barckley and Richard Dufton.
Or, to put it another way: the Devil made her do it.
The thing is: 19th century Occultist Eliphas Levi, who popularized the image of Baphomet as as the Mendes Goat, saw Baphomet as a symbol for the Alchemical Union Of Opposites. To him, Baphomet was a benign figure, not a Satanic entity.
Aleister Crowley has this to say about Baphomet: (From Magick Book 4)
"The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God… ‘The Devil’ is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes… This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade ‘Know Thyself!’ and taught Initiation. He is ‘The Devil’ of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection… He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty.”
Sounds like Enki again, doesn't it? But then he goes on to say elsewhere:
"I had taken the name Baphomet as my motto in the O.T.O. For six years and more I had tried to discover the proper way to spell this name. I knew that it must have eight letters, and also that the numerical and literal correspondences must be such as to express the meaning of the name in such a way as to confirm what scholarship had found out about it, and also to clear up those problems which archaeologists had so far failed to solve ... One theory of the name is that it represents the words βαφὴ μήτεος, the baptism of wisdom; another, that it is a corruption of a title meaning "Father Mithras". Needless to say, the suffix R supported the latter theory. I added up the word as spelt by the Wizard. It totalled 729. This number had never appeared in my Cabbalistic working and therefore meant nothing to me. It however justified itself as being the cube of nine. The word κηφας, the mystic title given by Christ to Peter as the cornerstone of the Church, has this same value. So far, the Wizard had shown great qualities! He had cleared up the etymological problem and shown why the Templars should have given the name Baphomet to their so-called idol. Baphomet was Father Mithras, the cubical stone which was the corner of the Temple."
You know, it makes sense that the Knights Templar, a martial order, might pick up Mithras worship in the Holy Land. (Maybe a recurrence of the Sol Invictus/Christianity syncretic fusion which Emperor Constantine might have practiced?) Nicholas de Vere himself referred to Baphomet as "Father Mithras" in The Origin Of The Dragon Lord Of The Rings:
"In Draconian Tradition (see Kenneth Grant) Baphomet is translated as Bapho Mitra or Father Mithras. Baphomet is also rendered as Head or source of wisdom. If Baphomet is rendered Father (or Source) Mithras and Mithras is identified as Samael the Dragon, then one has the Source or Head Dragon, the origin of Pendragon.
Baphomet, the "Deity" of the Templars was described as being both the Head of Wisdom, which has Celtic and Galatian origins; and the Sabbatical Goat. As the Sabbatical Goat, the Templar glyph also used by the Cathars, the medieval witches and later generally by satanists and left hand path occultists, was more complex than the simple pentagram."
I've had spirit guides confirm the whole "Mithras-Baphomet-Templar Connection" to my own satisfaction; but I understand and respect the fact that the world of acedemic scholarship requires more concrete proof than just anecdotes from weird mystics.
And I can't proceed without invoking the image of Baphomet the Baptizer, from Clive Barker's film Nightbreed:
Anyhow: in November 2003, the two new, unrelated articles which had appeared on dragoncourt dot org back in September (the open letter by Richard Dufton and the essay from another third party) were replaced by a Dragon Court Notice: "WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO LIBERATE THE DRAGON.”
In December 2003, this changed to “THE DRAGON HAS BEEN LIBERATED!”
Then, right around the New Year 2004, the site was the target of a massive forum raid; inflicted by someone who apparently didn’t take too kindly to the idea of liberation.
Anyway, this is the part where I once again repost the words of the late Gregory Ellison, who took over as webmaster in 2004 after Bill was no longer able to do so (in the flesh. He will always be webmaster in my heart.)
"Since this website began its life primarily as a vehicle for the (free) presentation of the works of Nicholas de Vere, I suppose I should state our "official" position with regard to Mr. de Vere and his works at this time ... especially since the commercial publication of de Vere's book has re-stimulated some controversy about him and this issue.
When Dragoncourt.org was founded, Mr. de Vere had no publisher, nor any resources to make his book and ideas available to the public. Our original webmaster, Bill Barckley, kindly offered to create this site for the purpose of freely sharing these writings with anyone interested, as was Mr. de Vere's stated intention.
Accordingly, Bill, entirely at his own considerable expense in both money and work, created this domain and prepared Mr. de Vere's works for web presentation. This was a labor of love, with no commercial motivation and no compensation asked or expected, both as a personal favor to Nick and because he believed that the history of the dragon court and ideas of dragon consciousness were interesting and valuable ideas that deserved greater awareness.
The only condition Bill imposed on this work was that the works would remain free to the public rather than being sold as a commercial venture. This is not because Bill believed there is anything "wrong" with earning a fair profit on books that an author has worked hard to produce, but simply a recognition of the joint aim and agreement at the outset ... it would hardly have been fair for Bill to donate hundreds of dollars (by now thousands) of his own money, along with many hundreds of hours of his own work in paginating and producing Nick's books to be easily readable and navigable on the site, if Mr. de Vere intended to use that goodwill donation as a springboard for a commercial venture rather than the public sharing that he represented to Bill when Bill volunteered his assistance.
However, all things change, and in time Mr. de Vere found a publisher as well as other individuals (i.e., Tracy Twyman) interested in helping him promote it commercially. But since he had already agreed to make his works permanently available on this site at no charge, he thought he had a problem, believing that the FREE availability of the works here would hurt the commercial sale of his published book. (Actually, I believe that was an error in judgment ... the new book is updated and revised, and the presence of a free earlier version on the web would probably NOT have hurt its sales ... if anything it would likely have stimulated sales of the published book, as his ideas would have reached and interested more folks, many of whom would wish to own the most recent versions. However, that kind of marketing wisdom is rare, and Mr. de Vere did not take that position.)
The breaking point came when Mr. de Vere, rather than cordially speaking with Bill (who had, after all, been a great benefactor to him) about the situation, instead made other arrangements to be represented on other websites and then served Bill with legal notices DEMANDING that his works be removed from this site. Not a very friendly repayment for a great favor!
Now as it happens, under the Digital Millennium Copyright act, once permission for royalty-free web publication of a work has been given, it cannot legally be revoked. So Bill would have been perfectly within his rights to keep Mr. de Vere's books available here according to the original agreement. However, rather than go through an ugly battle about it, when the whole point to begin with had been free goodwill sharing, Bill removed Nick's works ... and that is why they are no longer on this site."
Had that been the end of the story it wouldn't be so unusual ... disagreements happen, and people change their minds, that's just life. But it wasn't the end of the story. Shortly thereafter, it became known that Bill was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and someone in Mr. de Vere's new "camp" -- I don't know for sure if it was Nick's own idea or one of his followers - apparently decided that in his weakened condition Bill would be a helpless target for aggressive action. Through Tracy Twyman, Mr. de Vere instigated legal action to seize this website and take its ownership away from Bill, on the harebrained legal theory that since it was originally intended to highlight Mr. de Vere's works and his version of the Dragon Court, it was therefore legally his property (even though it had been ENTIRELY paid for and developed by Bill). Needless to say, this claim had no legal merit and failed utterly.
Not to be undone by mere legalities, however, Mr. de Vere's supporters (and honestly I do not know whether with or without his blessings) undertook an aggressive attack on this website in an attempt to shut it down. This consisted of a concerted campaign to register under dozens of new fake usernames and post literally HUNDREDS of "garbage" messages to drown out any meaningful discussion. Most of these messages were simply irrelevant text, long copy-and-paste passages from other threads and third-party sources with no relevant purpose or content, and many of them were bitingly critical of this site while strongly supportive of Mr. de Vere and Ms. Twyman; but a large number of them were genuinely vile insults directed toward Bill personally ... calling him "Cancer-bag Barckley," for example, and referring to his "miserable sputum-filled existence."
That's when we were forced to make moderator approval of registration a requirement for posting on the site, thereby making it harder to use and less accessible to the general public ... but it was the only way to prevent it from being totally destroyed by aggressive "pro-de Vere" attackers."
Right away, we knew that the attack on the site had been Tracy and the Twymanistas, and she owned up to it in Clock Shavings:
"We spent the evening loading down the Dragon Court forums on the site with garbage messages. This included lists of funeral homes in Berkley's home town, and anything else we could think of to hasten the course of nature in the old man's cancerous brain. They had to take the site down for a while, which we took as a temporary victory."
Greg served as webmaster after Bill's death, from early 2004-2005, when he too departed the physical realm. Despite what Tracy Twyman claims in Clock Shavings, he was not a "disgruntled former de Vere supporter," but a personal friend of Bill's who took on the task of managing the dragoncourt dot org site in addition to his own astrology-themed website and forum. During this time the website underwent a site redesign that a lot of people grumbled about at the time (an aesthetic more in keeping with the aforementioned astrology site's New Age themes) but frankly we were lucky to still have the site.
Greg passed away about a year later. Then Webmaster Maria took over webmaster duties for both websites, until she ran out of funds and time to maintain the dragoncourt dot org site. From there the Dragon Court forum refugees scattered; either to Tracy Twyman and Martin Lunn’s Dragon Society site (until Martin Lunn passed) and a site set up at dragoncourt dot net by forum user Crystalsinger aka Taur Alpheus, which is still online but has not been active since the early 2010s. The dragoncourt dot org domain has changed hands several times since then. No one affiliated with the old site and forum has been able to pick it up as of the end of 2022.
Tracy Twyman accused Bill and Richard Dufton (she uses pseudonyms for them in her book, but yeah) of being the ones who were attempting a coup, and claimed they were egged on by a former assoicate of Nick's who went by the online handle "Star Of The Sea," whom she accused of stalking her.
"Star Of The Sea" was rather outspokenly denouncing Nick as a fraud on other forums; but aside from this, none of Tracy's accusations ring true. I was there. I can't answer for Richard Dufton, but Bill wasn't "attempting a coup." If anything, he was refusing to "bend the knee" because he felt betrayed. He didn't approve of the way Nick seemed to be handing everything over to someone whom he distrusted as an unserious person, after he'd done all the work of editing Nick's manuscripts and publishing them on the website.
And by the way: the website itself was Bill's. He'd paid for it and coded it himself and edited and uploaded all of Nick's essays, and then served as Webmaster. As Greg Ellison said, he did this as a favor to Nick, because he believed in Nick's work. He wasn't about to just hand it all over to someone else on command.
The book The Dragon Legacy is basically the same essays, with a few paragraphs tweaked here and there. Whole sections of esoterica which the essays had contained were completely hacked out.
As for Tracy's speculation that Bill's "cancer-riddled brain" had caused him to behave erratically and turn against Nick: I can confirm that he was lucid and aware of what was going on up until my last interaction with him, which was the night of the forum raid - when he told me to not engage with the forum raiders, and that he would handle it. It was the last I heard from him.
The thing is...if the timeline that Tracy Twyman provides in Clock Shavings is accurate, Bill had already removed Nick's articles from the site well before the curse (which was cast Halloween 2003) and the attack on the site (sometime in January 2004) took place. They'd already been gone for weeks by that point. Bill had complied with the request (or demand) to remove those essays, and was attacked anyway.
It might make sense if she felt that Tracy Twyman was doing all of this to defend a friend who had been wronged (up to the point where you're trying to "speed up" someone's death from cancer, over control of a goddamn website!) But all of this seems strange and contradictory in light of her frequent statements calling Nick "crazy" more than once (as well as an alcoholic, a narcissist, and a sociopath, in Clock Shavings) and in many cases trying to invalidate him and his claims (like the Alexander Rivera quotes below, and on podcasts like Night Visions with Renee Barnett.) She clearly had no problem throwing Nick under the entire bus when it served her purposes.
Bill didn't hate Tracy "because she was American," as Tracy claimed. Most of the dragoncourt dot org forum users were American. Actually, most of us were from Texas: specifically, the Dallas/Fort Worth area. And Greg Ellison was American. Webmaster Maria is American.
People on dragoncourt dot org forum back then who'd been around the longest were certain that Tracy had exploited Nick's technophobia and whatever life situations were requiring him to step away from the project, and that she had gone behind his back to try and seize control of the dragoncourt website and shut down anyone else who was trying to dissiminate the original essays. This was definitely an opinion I shared after everything I'd seen and experienced. But by then it was already too late to keep the essays from circulating. They were still on the Wayback Machine, and by early 2005 other conspiracy theory websites had archived copies of them as well.
In 2010, a member of the old dragoncourt dot org forum sent Nicholas de Vere a message on Facebook asking for his side of the story. This was his response:
"Thank you Thomas. This is a load of rubbish. No legal action was ever threatened by me against Bill Barckley. No agreement to keep my work free ever existed. Bill spent virtually nothing on the site financially. No one attacked Bill. I was attacked by someone who tried to take the Dragon Court over. They befriended Bill and persuaded him to shut me out of my own website. Before the situation could be resolved, Bill died. End of story."
The thing is: Bill was very attacked. He was very open about it before his untimely death, and those of us who were there when the forum raid happened saw what we saw. I had no reason to distrust his account of things. And, well, Tracy Twyman has since came out and admitted to attacking him. It's all in her book.
I did get an anoymous email in 2006 stating that Nick had been on an indefinite hiatus from the internet while all of that was going on (seeming to confirm Tracy and the Twymanistas as the instigators of all the strife, which was later confirmed in Clock Shavings.) The one time I spoke with Nicholas de Vere personally via phone in 2011, he claimed that Bill had been manipulated the whole time by Richard Dufton.
The most charitable assumption anyone can make here is the same one that many dragoncourt dot org forum members who remained steadfast in their support of Nick came to: that he must have been totally unaware of what was going on at the time, and Tracy must have been doing everything behind his back.
Also: I was in contact with Webmaster Maria before the site finally shut down in 2006. I still have those emails. The fees for the domain and hosting were quite considerable (upwards of $2000 a year by 2006, equivalent to $167 monthly) and whoever was currently serving as webmaster was having to foot the whole bill. Paypal was still a relatively new thing at this time, and gofundme was another few years out. But to this day, I don't know why we didn't just figure out some way to crowdfund it.
But anyway. So much for the site "costing almost nothing."
And this is all leading to one of the essential mysteries of the Dragon Court: trying to control "the Dragon Court" at all is folly, and nearly always ends in ruin - because the essence of the Dragon is Chaos, by its very nature. As Nicholas de Vere himself eventually learned. As did Tracy Twyman.
I get it: one of the primary archetypal myths of the Proto Indo Europeans (Nick's "Aryan Proto-Scythians") is a great hero managing to slay or subdue a Dragon. Eliphas Levi spoke of the Biblical imagery of "stepping on the serpent's head" as a metaphor for subduing or taming the "Astral Light." But in the case of this particular "Draconic Current," I'm not even sure that's it's possible to be "Grand Master," or "Sovereign Head," or even "King" of something that is fundamentally antithetical to the very idea of control, or of being controlled at all. But people keep on trying, and that's why this bullshit cycle keeps on, well, cycling. It partcularly tends to afflict people with Main Character Syndrome/Chosen One Syndrome.
The whole reason I'd invested so much in this in the first place is because it seemed to validate my earliest Occult experiences, which I'd started to question. Finding the "Dragon Court" and becoming involved with it would be a way of redeeming the situation from my teens which had turned toxic and fell victim to unstable minds, toxic egos, and drama. But before I really had a chance, it too fell apart due to unstable minds, toxic egos, and drama. And it kept on doing so the longer I watched.
As for Nicholas de Vere: I guess like Tracy, I'd wanted to believe a real "Grail King" could actually exist. His claims may have had some historical merit. He may have been the inheritor of a surviving Witch/Faerie tradition. But after what happened with Bill, I didn't feel like I could support or follow him. Actually, the way I felt at the time, I wouldn’t have followed him out of a building if it was on fire: Grail King or no Grail King.
I tried to mend fences later, but it all fell apart when Nick and Charles Johnson were going at it over Facebook in 2012, and he told me to pick a side. I did what any self respecting Chaote would do. I hit my roommate’s bong, got too stoned to function, suggested that the whole conflict was part of a vicious cycle he had trapped himself in (and that I was also trapped in, let's be honest here,) and I asked him if acknowledging him as Prince was a prerequisite to joining his side. He never contacted me again.
Actually, what he'd wanted me to do really was just to Make Charles Stop. But I was so fucking exhausted by it all - and in the back of my mind, I was still angry about what had happened to Bill, and none of the answers I had been given about that situation sounded like anything but excuses or attempts to deflect blame.
To make things worse, some of the turns of phrase that Nick employed in his flamewar with Charles seemed reminicent of text that had been in the "junk posts" during the dragoncourt dot org forum raid in 2004. This could have just been because Twymanistas were copypasting stuff he had written in emails or in private posts on other forums over and over as the "junk posts."
But once and for all, I wanted someone to come out and admit that they were responsible for what had happened back in 2003-2004. Which is why I responded to Nick the way that I did.
But once again, this was a war being fought as if it were a life or death situation over an online platform. I can understand ownership and control of a web domain, but all of this over a Facebook group? No one even owns that but Mark Zuckerberg, and he’s the last person we want involved with any of this.
Seriously, this is an open plea for anyone involved with Drakenberg or Dragon Court or the works of Nicholas de Vere in any way, shape or form to get off of Failbook right now. I’m not telling you to delete the profiles you use to keep in touch with your friends and family and your chums from high school. But the bullshit hit critical mass once Facebook became a factor, and anything you post about Nicholas de Vere or Drakenberg or the Dragon Court is legally Zuck’s property.
Just something to think about. Get it off of the corporate-owned platforms and let’s go back to forums and platforms that are actually owned and controlled by the people involved with it.
On that note, Nick could have just rolled from that situation in 2012 and started over: this time on a site all his own without having to worry about a webmaster or a Twyman or a Johnson or a Dufton. In 2012 he could have gotten his own Wordpress blog or something, and he wouldn't have had to deal with learning to code or anything beyond the basics of logging in and posting. Fuck, in 2012 he could have gotten on Tumblr. Wouldn't that have been something?
But that's not what happened. Instead, Nick died suddenly in his home in 2013. He'd been recently hospitalized for heart trouble, but some believe he was murdered; or maybe Tracy and the OLE's curse is still flying around like a boomerang that just keeps on hitting people. As of 3/5/2023, I did a ritual to remove the curse - so this shouldn't be a problem anymore, if this was indeed the cause.
Tracy Twyman was found dead in 2019, apparently from suicide. Her longtime fans claim she was murdered to prevent her from single-handedly exposing the Satanic adrenochrome-drinking child-sex-trafficking conspiracy.
Suicide is terrible. And no one deserves to have their deaths politicized by a bunch of cynical, bad-faith opportunists trying to push an agenda, nor should it become part of the collective fever dream that the people who have fallen victim to the Qanon memetic virus are currently trapped in.
Tracy’s suicide followed that of her first husband Brian Albert. Statistically, people who have lost a loved one to suicide are at a higher risk of taking their own lives as well. And depression is a hell of a thing to have to live with. I know.
Whatever she did or was party to in life, Tracy Twyman is survived by friends and family who love her and were no doubt devastated by her passing. I actually hope the theory some people are suggesting - that she faked her death and went into hiding - is true. Because the alternative is just awful and sad.
But Bill Barckley was attacked, mocked, and literally cursed while he was suffering from a terminal cancer. And then he died from that cancer knowing his attackers were laughing at him as he suffered. I'll never be able to unread some of the stuff they posted on the forum during the forum raid, before it went offline that night in 2004.
What am I supposed to do with this? How else am I supposed to feel about it? Most of the major players in this drama are dead. But the rage over it still hits me in the gut at odd times when I’m not expecting it, years later.
That's the thing, though: absolutely none of this strife was necessary at all. Absolutely no one deserved to be attacked, or litigated against, or to die over this bullshit.
When I finally read Clock Shavings this past year, it did really seem like Tracy Twyman was trying to come clean about some of the stuff that went on - but then she just capitulated back into the Bible Belt Satanic Panic mindset. The last few chapters of Clock Shavings are full of the same old hysterical paranoid conspiracy theories about the descendants of "the Bloodline Of The Serpent" manipulating themselves into positions of power, and how all of the Occult traditions of the world are all basically just the equivalent of Doordash to the hosts of Demonic entities in the outer darkness.
In short, the same bullshit that has nearly always ended in scapegoating and brutal violence against marginalized peoples and social outsiders over the past two thousand years.
Also, according to Tracy Twyman, the "Right Hand Path" people are just there to provide a veneer of respectibility and plausible deniability, and to keep the Left Hand Path folks from getting too out of hand so they don't "ruin it for everyone else."
I mean, this comes close to describing the the O9A/ToB folks, because they very much serve as the equivalent of Doordash or Grubhub for Archons and Qlippotic entities in exchange for - what, white supremacist edgelord street cred? But the average practicing "Right Hand Path" magus is barely aware of their existence in most cases, much less part of a conspiracy to cover up their bullshit. I would venture to say that even most Left Hand Path people probably want nothing to do with them.
I have talked to other people who knew Nicholas de Vere personally, who say that Tracy Twyman’s assertion in Clock Shavings that he wanted to be a human sacrifice so that Cain/Baphomet could incarnate physically into this world as the Antichrist (dude, what the fuck) to the point of seeking someone else to do it when she backed out ("Fine, I’ll find someone else to sacrifice me to Baphomet!”) sounds crazy. I’ve spoken with people who talked to him in the weeks before his death in 2013. They said that he was rattled by his recent hospitalization from heart disease, and there was no way he was involved with anything like that.
I was never one of the ones sending her harassing emails; before, during, or after the conflict over dragoncourt dot org. I did rant a lot about the shenanigans on the dragoncourt dot org forum and on my own personal website at the time, which angered the Twymanistas. But I wasn’t interested in directly contacting her at all. The spurious Internet C & D attempt after I linked to Nick's old articles on the Wayback Machine in 2004 was the closest that I ever came to having an interaction with Tracy Twyman.
It did kind of hack me off though when she claimed that those of us who were hardcore dragoncourt dot org loyalists had set up a "phony imitation Dragon Court." He split from us, and before that he split from the group he set up in the 1990s which had included Laurence Gardner. He was the one who kept splitting off and starting new "Dragon Courts."
When Nicholas de Vere's book based on his online essays called The Dragon Legacy was finally released in early 2004, I bought a used copy from someone on Amazon Marketplace who claimed it “wasn’t what they thought it would be.” I offered to take it off their hands, and found that most of what I felt were the really important parts, which were mostly in The Origin Of The Dragon Lords Of The Rings, had been cut out entirely.
Also there's a misprint on the front page. ("Deresthai" instead of "Derkesthai.")
*sighs* I'm fine, really.
Also in 2004, Tracy Twyman published an interview with Nicholas de Vere on the website that she and her husband Brian Albert created to promote The Dragon Legacy, (thedragonsociety dot com) called My Kingdom Is Not Of This World. In this interview, he admits to using channeled information. As in, there are things in his narrative that he hadn’t read anywhere, that nobody in his family told to him: at least, not among the living. He was relying on genetic memory like the Bene Gesserit or the character Leto II Atreidies in the Dune series of books by Frank Herbert.
Author Alexander Rivera expands on this in the book he wrote with Tracy Twyman, Baphomet: the Temple Mystery Unveiled:
"While Twyman thought that De Vere’s work on historical and mythological matters had value, she found his claims about himself and his organization to be grandiose and unverifiable. She is also fairly positive that some of the information in his books came from channeling. The family "archives" that Laurence Gardner said he got his information from were, in fact, like the “Akashic records” of New Age western pop Buddhism: they existed on the astral plane, accessible only through the mind of Nicholas de Vere."
Had we really just endured an online flamewar, threats of litigation, and the cruel harassment of a terminally ill man over information that couldn’t be independently or externally verified by any other external source? This seemed a tad sketchy, especially in light of his claims that membership in the Dragon Court relied on genetic testing for "Dragon genes" to confirm blood relationship to “one of the Dragon families” and that scientifc and historical data would bear out his claims, unlike the other various “New Age” sects which he derided as scams selling “cheap crystal and snake oil."
Not to say that channeled information or personal gnosis can't be valid! But I know that if I were making kind of claims that Nicholas de Vere was making and enaging in the kind of name-calling that he was engaging in, I'd want all my own ducks in a row first, so to speak. I'd want as much hard evidence as possible in order to back up all of that channeled information and subjective personal gnosis - if just to confirm it all to myself, before going and putting it all out there for everyone else to see.
There have been previous versions of this website where I lamented past attempts to find any external verification for Nick's claims outside of people who had worked with him or people who were referencing him directly, or crazy conspiracy theory sites fearmongering about 'THE BLOODLINE OF THE SERPENT,' etc.
But seriously: as someone who has been involved with this thing on and off for the past 20 years, I have seen examples of people who "joined the Dragon Court" thinking that it was basically the Illuminati, only to react in shock to find that most of us have day jobs and are struggling to just get by. We're not the "New World Order" by a long stretch. I'm not even sure we were the "old world order."
Alexander Rivera continues:
"After knowing De Vere well and seeing the evidence, she did become convinced, as she still is, that De Vere was the actual author of two of Gardner’s books, and the actual progenitor of the "Dragon Court" that Gardner based his own organization on. She does not believe that it is centuries old. She says it was an informal group of De Vere’s friends who took their inspiration from him and who took on various “royal titles” that he handed out to them, supposedly based on their genealogies.”
It seems weird that Tracy Twyman was willing to proclaim someone who was the head of an “informal group of friends” as the Grail King/Rex Mundi/Antichrist combo platter, and to try and manifest his kingdom on Earth - not just as a UN-recognized micronation but literally the spiritual Kingdom of Drakenberg On Earth.
Fans of the manga and anime Berserk by the late, great, much-missed Kentaro Miura might compare this concept with the Eclipse, leading to the merging of the astral and physical realms into the Global Interstice Of Fantasia. Basically, the Global Interstice of Drakenberg.
And yes this was exactly what Tracy Twyman claims would have gone down if she and the OLE had gone forward with the ritual sacrifice as described in Clock Shavings, which is why she panicked, seemed to have renounced Baphomet and disbanded the OLE, and went on a rehabilitation campaign.
After his falling out with Nicholas de Vere, Laurence Gardner maintained that his own version of the Dragon Court was the legitimate Court. The head of this Court was Michel Lafosse, aka HRH Michael Stewart of Albany, who claimed to be the true hereditary prince of Scotland. Nicholas de Vere lambasted it as being “no more legitimate than a Northern working mens’ drinking club” and mocked them for its ties to Hungarian white supremacists.
Things got worse for Laurence Gardner when Michel Lafosse was definitively exposed as a fraud in 2006. Then Laurence Gardner died in 2010.
The novel Focault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco describes a situation in which three academics invent a fake secret society and conspiracy theory as a joke, only to run into all sorts of trouble when people looking to join the cult and people trying to investigate it start coming out of the woodwork.
Imagine, just as a theoretical exercise: you create a secret society, but you need help getting your message out there to the masses. You find a sympathetic webmaster willing to shell out their own time and money, or an edgelord conspiracy theorist with their own webzine, who was allegedly commanded by Baphomet via ouija board to get your material out there before the public.
But then all sorts of wingnuts you never expected emerge, demanding that you restore titles their family used to have, or that you recognize titles they have already assumed, and that they, not you, should be the “Sovereign Head” or “Grand Master,” or claiming to be your Twin Flame, or trying to win over your people to their faction, or calling you a reptilian and accusing of brainwashing them like in The Manchurian Candidate, or incorporating your message into their white supremacist propaganda due to the fact that a lot of the wording you used in your manifesto was kind of unfortunate, no matter how loudly you put down white supremacists.
Then you go on Facebook, and it gets ever so much worse. All of those problems and all of those wingnuts just multiply exponentially.
I kept looking for information confirming anything like the Dragon Court existed anyway. I made note of anything that synchronicity seemed to throw my way. I took note of the sources Nicholas de Vere did mention, and studied them. They were mostly references to other texts that most serious occultists would recommend reading anyway: Austin Osman Spare, the venerable but oft-disparaged Margaret Murray, Kenneth Grant, Jack Parsons, and Aleister Crowley. And as critical of Crowley as de Vere was in his writings, he seems to have been a fan of his practices. He describes corresponding with Kenneth Grant directly in The Origin Of The Dragon Lords Of The Rings. Other references led me to Andrew D. Chumbley, Anthony Testa, and Joel Biroco.
After Nicholas de Vere died, Tracy Twyman eulogized him on the podcast Night Visions, but kind of ended up dragging him instead. One of the things she said was that he was "trying to be both Saint George and The Dragon at the same time."
Weirdly, this accusation reminds me of the fictional lore of the Elder Scrolls video games franchise: in particular, the Lorkhan-Auriel or Talos-Akatosh dichotomy, introduced into the game series's plot by Gnostic game designer Michael Kirkbride. But irl, Tracy was probably referring to Nick's proccupation with chivalric orders like The Order Of The Garter andThe Order Of The Dragon" the latter having been established by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1408. Nick tried to claim that these (but particularly the Order Of The Dragon) were connected with an "original" Dragon Court established by Pharaohs Amenemhat III and Sobekneferu of the 12th Dynasty in Egypt, whom he claims were descendant of the Anunnaki. Actually, what he said was that Sigismund of Luxembourg falsified his geneology to try and claim that connection, but yeah. As of right now, there is nothing but Nick’s claims connecting the two.
There was some debate over this on the Dragon Court forum: Nick claimed that Sigismund of Luxembourg fully intended it to be a kind of misappropriated re-establishment of an original Court dating from ancient Egypt, but their actual charter does not bear this out. Books with the original charter of the 1408 Court used to be harder to come by; as Dragoncourt Dot Org forum user MadeInPoland related in a dragoncourt dot org forum post, which was later archived on the alternate dragoncourt dot net site, before being posted to LiveJournal:
"MadeInPoland", 2nd November, 2002
"ardri, you say that nick knew all along that zsig's dragon order's purpose was to destroy the dragon and that he gallantly sought to reverse this historical hiccup... but i had a long and surreal email exchange with nick (which i still have in my files) where he defends his erroneous claims using a "rare" book from the "royal archives" as a reference, not realizing that i not only actually owned a copy of this book myself and could therefore read the references in the original, but that this exercize caused me to realize in turn that nick actually DIDN'T have this book in his possession at all and was merely quoting from doctored notes, as his assertions contained the same altered quotes that were published in the original dragoncourt brochure. anyone who didn't have the research materials to hand, as i did, wouldn't have been able to see through nick's attempts to cover up, but nick was unlucky with me. had he owned up that he knew that he knew full well that he was doctoring history, but that he believed that his motives were admirable, i probably would have had a bit more respect for him, but that's not what he said."
I don’t know exactly what book they’re referring to, but "zsig’s" charter clearly states:
"in company with the prelates, barons, and magnates of our kingdom, whom we invite to participate with us in this party, by reason of the sign and effigy of our pure inclination and intention to crush the pernicious deeds of the same perfidious Enemy, and of the followers of the ancient Dragon, and (as one would expect) of the pagan knights, schismatics, and other nations of the Orthodox faith, and those envious of the Cross of Christ, and of our kingdoms, and of his holy and saving religion of faith, under the banner of the triumphant Cross of Christ…"
But who are the “followers of the “Ancient Dragon?” Who is the “Ancient Dragon?
The original archetypal "Ancient Dragon," is Tiamat, the Sumerian sea goddess.
[Justified And Ancient.]
But Occam’s Razor suggests that Sigismund and his Dragon Order probably meant Satan and The followers of Satan. The thing to remember here is, the idea of "Satan" was developed from the "Adversary" figure from Hebrew lore (who is not an evil "anti-God" but an Angel who works directly for God to test the resolve of mankind) and several other "enemy gods" of peoples who were living around the Hebrews, or gods that Hebrews used to worship, like Baal.
Mainstream Christianity (as it has been since The First Council Of Nicaea) runs on the idea of an apocalyptic struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness. It's a death cult based on the old Roman Imperial Cult (because THE EMPIRE NEVER ENDED) and they needed a Baddie for their paradigm to work. Or, if Nicholas de Vere is to be believed, Enlil (who Nick says was a real person at one point) literally demonized his brother Enki in a bid to seize power. Either way, a whole lot of early Mesopotamian and Levantine Godforms and symbols got misappropriated (or "mythapropriated," LOL) and recontextualized or combined - and the figure of "Satan" was the result.
The Lucifer of European Witchcraft is part of a dyad with his sister Ishtar or Diana or Belisama: some of his other names being Shamash or Apollo or Janus/Dianus or Bel. Which makes sense because then you have the Solar God/Lunar Goddess dichotomy. Aradia or Herodia(s) is their daughter.
However: in his essay From the Order Of The Dragon To Dracula, Constantin Rezachevici explains who "The Ancient Dragon" is supposed to be in the context of the Holy Roman Imperial Dragon Court:
"Over five millennia of the dragon’s universal existence, it went through many transformations until the fifteenth century and it was known as a fabulous creature, sometimes with the head of a vulture, other times like the animal represented on the Order of the Dragon, with the body of a snake and the wings of a bat. The European Dragon had a lot of sources: Greek mythology (dracon), Roman_Greek tradition, Celtic mythology, the Bible, the Apocalypse, the lives of saints and Oriental influences. During preChristian times, the dragon often had a beneficial meaning (often connected with fecundity) and perpetuated in folklore until the late Middle Ages. However, in literature, culture and clerical Christianity, starting from Bibical text, it takes on a different role, and in the fifth century it becomes a symbol of Satan -- “draco iste significat diabolum” (Le Goff 58). This dragon, identified with Satan, was defeated and was dominated by spiritual forces but was not killed; rather, according to the symbolism of Celtic folklore, at some extent, “they even became allied with it” (Le Goff 45), by numerous saints and bishops of the Occident. In the art of Roman influence, the crutch of the bishop often has a defeated and twisted dragon at its tip. Both St. Michael and St. George, whose cult began to spread from the Bizant during the eighth and throughout the tenth, and respectively eleventh centuries, defeated the dragon physically in a fight."
Anyway: the point that forum user MadeInPoland was trying to make in that post quoted above was that Nick's insistance that Sigismund of Luxemborg's Order Of The Dragon was some kind of gnostic or esoteric tradition hiding in plain sight of the Church was incorrect. They were out to destroy any remnants of the pre-Christian or Gnostic traditions that still remained in Europe at that time.
Who were "the Followers of the Ancient Dragon" according to them? Mostly the Ottoman Turks and the Bogomils (another Gnostic sect related to the Cathars) according to the Holy Roman Empire Association, who claim descent from Sigismund of Luxrmbourg's Dragon Court, and claim "exclusive ownership and protection" of the same. Or as they put it:
"Motto and Mission of the Order of the Dragon
Orders Motto: + "O Quam Misericors est Deus, Pius et Justus" (O how merciful is God, faithful and just) +
Mission of the Order: + Defend the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ, Fight the Enemies of Christianity and Protect Christendom from the Anatolian Hordes and their Ungodly Faith +"
They wouldn't have been part of an initiative to preserve pre-Christian practices and esoteric learning. They weren't connected with an occult or esoteric "Dragon Court," no matter how much Nicholas de Vere might have wished the were or wanted them to be. I mean, I understand the temptation; here is a "Dragon Order" which clearly did exist, connected to Vlad Dracula of all people. (Well, his Father Vlad II, but yeah.) How cool would that be? But no.
I mean, I'm sure there were people who were actually descended from the "Dragon Bloodlines" in their ranks, maybe even Big D himself. It's probably not a coincidence that their emblem was a Dragon branded with the Cross and strangling itself.
I'm not just trying to dunk on Nick here. Really, I'm not. But if the "Dragon" or "Derkesthai" mythos is based on a surviving Faerie tradition, it does seem like Nick was just inserting his own biases and stuff he liked or believed in personally. There were certain things in his original essays that resonated with me back then. If they hadn't, I wouldn't be here writing this now.
But over the past 20 years, I've had a chance to compare notes with the works of others who have written on the subject of Faerie-descended peoples. I kept looking for any sign that something like a real occult "Dragon Order" had actually existed. Then one day I picked up a book called Spiral Dance, by Starhawk. Friends had recommended it, but to me it sounded like the same kind of fluffy bunny new age stuff that I’d been warned to steer clear of - which was a huge mistake as it turns out. Because lo and behold:
(LOL. "So much for the divine right of kings!")
I owe Starhawk a huge thank you, and a huge apology.
I read Spiral Dance, and from there I embarked on a more in-depth study of the Feri Witchcraft Tradition, which was a big influence on the Reclaiming Tradition. And to me it just feels like the missing "other half" of Nicholas de Vere's Derkesthai mythos, if that makes sense. Nick might have been writing it from the standpoint of the Tuatha De Dannan, who definitely would have been Proto Indo European-descended types. (Maybe the "Danaans" were Mycenaean Greeks fleeing the cataclysm of the Bronze Age Collapse?) But I gravitated more towards the "Before-People." Paul Huson's "Prytani." E.W. Liddell's "Old Race."
Anyway, I searched for more info about whatever this “megalithic dragon cult” was. There are references to articles written by an Andrew Rothovius in the publication East - West Magazine in May and August of 1977. The titles of the articles are - get ready for it - "The Adams Family and the Grail Tradition", and "The Dragon Tradition on the New World."
Unfortunately though, I haven’t been able to find either of these articles online. I'm thinking I'm going to need to hit up my local libraries and used bookstores for this. But! There are a few references that I have been able to find elsewhere:
From The Black Knights, by Stephen J. Ash, we have:
This excerpt brings up the De Vere's supposed connections to the Merovingians; and hints at the idea that the "Elf King and Queen" roles were maybe remnants of the pre-Church belief system which were retained within early medieval Christianity in some regions to form a kind of "Celtic Christianity" which was later persecuted along with Catharism by the Church. The "Elves" and "Dragons" being a "pre-celtic" people (Paul Huson's "Prytani") whose practices had survived and were preserved as Nicholas de Vere's "Dragon" tradition.
(Also, LOOOOOOOOOL, look who is still being dragged for his ties to white supremacists.)
From The Children of Cain, by Michael Howard:
"In 1630 Adams was living in the Glastonbury area of Somerset in England and he fled religious persecution to live in America. Although his family claimed they were High Anglicans, it has been alleged that they were members of a secret cult called the Dragon Society. This esoteric group was dedicated to reviving the ancient wisdom of the megalithic culture and worked with telluric or earth energies at ancient monuments in the West Country. Other notables allegedly associated with the Dragon Order were the royal astrologer and magician Doctor John Dee and the buccanner Sr. Walter Raleigh, who also ran his own secret society called the School Of Night that was suspected of practicing witchcraft. (Rothovius, May and August 1977.)"
From Secret Societies: Their Influence and Power from Antiquity to the Present Day, also by Michael Howard:
"In 1823, President John Adams ordered a tombstone to be erected to mark the grave of his ancestor Henry Adams, who had emigrated to the colonies from the southwest of England in the early 1600s. The gravestone records that Adams fled from the “Dragon Persecution” in Somerset and founded a colony at Mount Walliston, which had been renamed Merrymount by neo-pagan Thomas Morton.
It is claimed by American writer Andrew E. Rothovius that Adams was not, as is generally assumed, a Puritan fleeing religious persecution, but the leader of a secret society called the Dragons whose members attempted to revive the old pagan religion in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. The Dragon title was a reference to the mysterious earth energy at sacred power centers and ley lines that link a network of ancient megalithic sites, such as standing stones and stone circles, across the British landscape."
This is the hardest, most concrete evidence that anything like an Occult "Dragon Order" ever existed.
This 17th century Dragon Order predates the "Masonic Neo-Druid" revival movements that started springing up later during the 18th century. And it's the best lead I have so far.
Ironically, Nick’s scathing anti “New Age Witchcraft” rhetoric and his attempts at misdirection had discouraged me from looking in the places I’d be most likely to find any evidence that the Dragon Court as he described it had ever existed, outside of accounts from ancient Egypt or the Holy Roman Empire.
From the November-December issue of The Pyramid Guide:
But, one more time: what, or who is “The Ancient Dragon?”
In The Pickingill Papers E.W. Liddell proposes that Witchcraft originally came from an “Old Race” who built the great megaliths, and later mixed with the Proto-Indo European or pre-Celtic invaders (Nicholas de Vere’s "Proto-Scythians") in order to ensure their culture and practices survived.
I understand some people's reservations regarding E.W. Liddell and his claims. But here was something pointing to the importance of megaliths and telluric energy or "Earth Energies" to the "Dragons." The megaliths were built at places where several channels of telluric energy, or "dragon lines" crossed, and any references I have been able to find about the 17th century "Megalithic Dragon Cult" claim that this was of primary importance to them.
It’s weird: the zone is flooded with bullshit (which I sometimes suspect was the actual goal of the whole early 2000s "Merovingian Mythos" and "Da Vinci Code" conspiracy theory fads) with only a few concrete references which are now out of print. I haven’t been able to locate either of Andrew Rothovius’s East - West Magazine articles at all, in digital or hardcopy form.
In my opinion, it seems like a lot of people who are attracted to Nicholas de Vere's message are still getting hung up on the aspect of "Royal Blood" or "Kingship" or "Sovereignty" without realizing what it actually means or entails or what is really involved. They want to be "sovereign" by the standards of modern Western Civilization, i.e. completely unfettered and above any responsibility or accountability - and completely outside of the context and obligations that such a role typically demanded in ancient times. But Freedom Is A Two-Edged Sword.
In many cases people just wanted an excuse to try and opt out of late-stage capitalism, which is certainly understandable. (Hey, same.) But even back in the early 2000s the message boards were swamped with prospective "Dragons" with pages and pages of geneaologies real and imagined to back up their claims, with egos to match. It feels contradictory to talk about "Personal Sovereignty" on one hand, while extolling the supposed virtues of a divine-right monarchy on the other. The two ideas seem diametrically opposed to one another. Instead of dwelling in an idealized past (which supposedly existed under absolute monarchy and the Proto Indo European caste system) it makes sense to go forward towards a world with "No gods, no masters."
On a personal note: genetic testing and genealogical study have confirmed my connection to what Nicholas de Vere, Laurence Gardner, and others have referred to as the Grail Bloodlines. It hasn't caused me to gain "The Dragon Consciousness" as Nick claimed it would - because I already had it. I had it back in 1993/1994. It's the impulse within me that rejected the consumer-capitalist-hierarchical (or "classist" if you like) indoctrination of the society I was brought up in, and everything about the commodification of sentient beings that fuels our current corporatist/capitalist system.
It seems to me that the Dragons are not here to be kings, but to be a vector to "The Kingdom" if that makes sense. A vector to the Otherworld. A reminder that magic (and magick) is real. In short, to continue the work of Prometheus, and the Serpent in the Garden. Not to be Overlords, but to remind the human race that "every man and woman (and everyone in between) is a star."
And finally: it seems that Tracy Twyman really believed for a while that putting the “Dragons” back in their "proper place" would cause everything else to magically fall back into the proper balance as well - that is, before she did a complete 180 right back into the Satanic Panic. And though Nick claimed he did not want to be King of the World, just Drakenberg, his statements in his essays reveal that he’d at least thought about it. But the real question is, what would Drakenberg look like if it existed?
To paraphrase George R.R. Martin, what would the tax code look like? But seriously - how would it function? Who would be included, and who would be excluded? Would it be a place where civil rights and personal freedoms are valued, or a place where people are commanded to bend the knee to the people above them in the hierarchy? Would the people above them in the hierarchy not care about this as long as they got what they needed out of it?
Bill Barckley answered this question on the old dragoncourt dot org site:
"The Dragon Court stands in direct opposition to all hierarchical structures of power, including world government. For all of recorded history society has been structured as a hierarchical system with a few elites at the top possessing all power. The effect of this pyramidal system of power has been that the bulk of humanity have been forced into ignorance, superstiton and slavery. The ignorance and superstition worked in the elites favor and propped up the system. Life was brutish, cruel, and short for most of history. This system of power remains in force and for most life remains brutish, cruel, and short.
The idea of an Earthly Paradise in which men should live together in a state of brotherhood, without laws and without brute labor, has haunted the human imagination for thousands of years. WIth the advent of the machine and technology the hopeless idea of an Earthly Paradise had finally become a possibility. To the elites at the top of the pyramid of power, human equality, justice, individual freedom - the fabled Earthly Paradise - was no longer an ideal to be striven after but a danger to be avoided at all costs. Why? The answer is simple, the elites would lose their power over others."
And a bunch of people who are obsessively comparing their genealogies in an attempt to prove who has the most ties to the House of Anjou and the Plantagenet Dynasty sure sounds like a bunch of people trying to create a hierarchical structure of power, doesn't it? But I think the obsession over bloodlines is a distraction - and it's one that's being used against us and others by the Conspiracy Theory Industrial Complex division of the current Satanic Panic, as the world continues to burn.
Here's what I believe about the Dragon Bloodlines:
In ancient times, people relied on shamans and witches and wizards to intercede between themselves and the spirit world. In some cases, that role became hereditary. Shamans and Witches developed a kinship with the spirits they communed with, and gave birth to dynasties of Priest-Kings and Priestess-Queens, or sects of people whose job it was to talk to the spirit world. The laypeople were content to leave them to it, being more concerned with the day-to-day struggle of living. Over time, the idea that it was hereditary, that there were some people who were special or chosen due to bloodline descent, got baked into the narrative.
Then everything changed, and a new belief system which had been designed to liberate people from tyranny and teach people to establish a direct relationship with the divine all on their own ended up being hijacked and weaponized against them, thanks to the Roman Church and the Nicene Council. Centuries of progroms, inquisitions, genocides, and witch hunts followed.
Now, after a millenium and a half of Churchianity's misrule, people are waking up. They're becoming Witches and Wizards and Shamans again - and they're not asking for permission to change their world, or waiting for approval from the people who believe that only people with "Witch Blood" or "the Dragon bloodlines" should be able to do it. Because this first step is how the Witch Blood eventually develops. We're essentially back at square one.
People are rediscovering and hashing out and divining the secrets and mysteries and magic that the ancients knew. We're starting to interface with the spirit world again. Some of us are starting to remember who we are. Others may just be discovering or becoming who they are for the very first time. We're getting to a point in the world now where we have to decide if we're going to remain laypeople; or realize our true selves, seize the means of production in a spiritual sense, and throw off the chains that have bound us all for so long.
As the character Mr. Lylesburg says in Clive Barker's film Nightbreed: "The Tribes Of The Moon Embrace You."
And last but not least: