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Occultism, child trafficking and Harry Houdini’s personal fight against both


Harry Houdini, noted for his sensational escape acts and possibly the most famous magician of all time, is also one of the least appreciated heroes of recent history.

Not only did he use his personal secret service for the cause of debunking fraudulent mediums but also for exposing child trafficking operations operating between London and the USA.

And considering the many death threats Houdini received from powerful spiritualists from England to the USA and considering his powerful disruption of a desired new occult revival in the USA, it is likely that the story of Houdini’s accidental death at the age of 52 is more myth than reality.

In the following essay, Matthew Ehret details the not-so-public life and times of Harry Houdini.


The Occult Tesla Part 11

By Matthew Ehret

In the last chapter of the series ‘Occult Tesla’, you were introduced to the figure of Sir William Crookes, Tesla’s mentor, Rosicrucian high priest and populariser of occultism who rose to the ranks of most powerful scientist of the British Empire when he was elected President of the British Royal Society in 1913.

In that location, the peculiar relationship between science and a global occult revival was examined and coordinated by the British Society for Psychical Research, which Crookes also led as President. Not only did this occult revival drive a re-organisation of the decaying British Empire, but aspired to establish a new world religion premised on demonology, spirit channelling, and a hybrid of Western gnosticism/hermeticism fused with Eastern mysticism as outlined by the Theosophist movement.

In this instalment, we will be introduced to the efforts to expose this new false world religion by analysing the life and efforts of one of the least appreciated heroes of recent history … Harry Houdini.

Who was the Real Houdini?

Born in Hungary in 1874, Erich Weiss and his family moved to the USA when he was only four years old and soon found himself inspired by the craft of stage magic, studying everything he could get his hands on. Erich and his brother showed immense skill at the craft and quickly rose in popularity, getting their first big break performing at the 1893 World Fair in Chicago.

Harry Houdini and his wife Bess

By this time, he had changed his stage name to ‘Harry Houdini’ as a homage to a famous French illusionist named Robert Houdin whose work inspired Weiss.

In the groundbreaking 2006 biography ‘The Secret Life of Houdini’, which will be cited extensively throughout this essay, researchers William Kalush and Larry Sloman demonstrate that Houdini was recruited to the US Secret Service in around 1899 as he began touring the world with invitations to perform for presidents, royals and diplomats in courts across Europe and Russia.

In 1900, Houdini met with London spymaster William Melville (then head of Scotland Yard) who would become the co-founder of Britain’s MI6 in 1909. Starting at this time, Houdini began working with police, military leaders and detectives across the USA giving seminars on escaping from handcuffs, lock picking and other tricks used by criminals, and intelligence agents alike.

Magicians and Intelligence Operations

We know that magicians have wielded great influence since ancient times, and often through the use of scientific knowledge kept secret, these magi, priests and hierophants have managed to wield vast influence over superstitious elites and masses alike. This shouldn’t surprise any informed reader, as the art of managing perceptions – making the false appear true – has been the master key to all power dynamics in all times, so why should our “scientific” modern age be any different?

In Elizabethan England, John Dee – using the moniker agent “007″ – carried out espionage alongside his channeler Edward Kelley and set the stage for the Rosicrucian transformation of England from a nation to a global empire. Followers of Dee and occultist Sir Francis Bacon had established the British Royal Society which dealt principally in black magic rituals and alchemy even while Sir Isaac Newton played with numerology on behalf of ‘the Invisible College’ of sorcerers (see Part 1 of this series).

As we saw in Part 2 of this series, even the British Satanist Aleister Crowley worked for British intelligence and believed himself to be the reincarnation of John Dee’s skryer Edward Kelley – a demonologist, necromancer and alchemist. During World War 1, Crowley worked closely with William Wiseman, British Chief of the New York branch of MI5, as well as George Sylvester Viereck, Tesla’s friend and human vampire.

During World War II, Crowley worked closely with MI6’s own Sir Ian Fleming (whose James Bond was a composite of John Dee, and British occultist Sidney Reilley). Fleming’s character M (Bond’s handler) was modelled on the same William Melville who collaborated with Houdini after 1900.

In his 1917 book ‘Moonchild’, Crowley noted the fusion of intelligence operations and magic stating: “Investigation of spiritualism makes a capital training ground for secret service work, one soon gets up to all the tricks.”

Crowley and Houdini Go to the Movies

In 1917, as both Houdini and Crowley were operating in New York, we even find strange parallels as both men were creating film serials with the same director on the topic of magic. Of course, the treatment of the topic of magic was very different with Crowley promoting supernatural occultism in The ‘Mysteries of Myra’, while Houdini was exposing international conspiracies to suppress new inventions in The Master Mystery’ series. [1]

In Houdini’s Master Mystery, a Justice Department agent named Quentin Locke (played by Houdini) infiltrates a corporation called ‘International Patents Inc’ run by powerful industrialists who use their vast fortunes to purchase inventions to keep them off the market and keep society locked into a dependency on out-dated (and monopolised) technologies. Within this 1918 film, Houdini created the first demonstration of an automaton robot used by villains.

The Master Mystery films were such a hit that Houdini was inspired to create his own production company called ‘The Houdini Picture Corporation’ in 1921 where he produced the 1921 film ‘The Man From the Beyond and the 1923 film Haldane of the Secret Service.

In Haldane of the Secret Service, Houdini created a composite character based on the very real Viscount Richard Burdon Haldane (1856-1928), a leading figure of the British Empire, Secretary of State under Lord Balfour’s government and the co-founder of Britain’s MI5 and MI6 in 1909 (along with William Melville). The main character of the film (played by Houdini) was a secret agent who infiltrates an organisation which murdered his father leading him to a satanic criminal headquarters masquerading as a Catholic monastery in the South of France.

Viscount Richard Burdon Haldane

Describing one of the main characters representing “the chief of the secret government police” for the film ‘The Marvelous Adventures of Harry Houdini’ (unfortunately never made), Houdini wrote: “such a man as would be selected by the brain force of a great nation, to have complete control of the secret service, in fact, a prototype of Flynn-suave, polished, a gentleman and silent as the Sphinx.” [2]

William James Flynn and the Patriotic Tradition of US Intelligence

Here Houdini was referring to the figure of William James Flynn (1867-1928), chief of New York’s Secret Service from 1912-1917, and director of the young Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) from 1917-1919 who led the anti-corruption purge of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) detective bureau from 1910-1911. [2.5]

William James Flynn

In 1915, Flynn was responsible for locating the German agents operating in the USA around the figures of Crowley and Viereck, and it was Flynn who followed German diplomat Dr. Heinrich Albert and George Sylvester Viereck and acquired the evidence of Germany’s $25 million spent buying up spy networks across the USA during the war.

Historian Helibert von Felitzer notes of this sting operation:

As noted in Part 2 of this series, Viereck’s pro-German propaganda magazine ‘The Fatherland’ was edited by none other than Aleister Crowley.

Flowing from the success of this operation, Flynn tracked down the wireless radio communications station based in Long Island that had been transmitting signals to German intelligence – such as information leading to the sinking of the Lucitannia in 1915. Flynn’s interception of messages to the German high command provided the legal justification for the US government’s seizure and destruction of Tesla’s Long Island towers – both the Wardenclyff tower and the Telefunken Wireless Station in Sayville, Long Island, NY – during the war (see Part 2 for that story).

When Flynn’s operatives, working alongside Franklin Roosevelt’s agents in US Naval Intelligence dismantled this Anglo-German network in New York, Tesla’s funding dried up and the wizard was forced into a short-term bankruptcy, although he continued living in five-star hotels without any trouble until his death.

The Sleepy Hollow Club

As Richard B. Spence notes in ‘Secret Agent 666’, one of Crowley’s leading contacts and paymasters in New York was a figure named John Quinn, an Anglo-American agent of a new private intelligence agency centred in the elite Sleepy Hollow Club of New York. The Sleepy Hollow Club was owned by William Rockefeller and featured the upper crust of America’s Brahmin families including the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Cabots, Lodges and Lowells, to name a few.

Senator Nelson Aldrich (father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller) was another leading member, as was President Wilson’s handler Edward Mandel House- both of whom played a key role in setting up both the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in 1913.

The Club’s permanent resident was a British agent named Claude Dansey who was tasked with establishing this parallel security agency outside of the influence of the US government.

As Anton Chaitkin points out in ‘Hoover’s FBI and Anglo-American Dictatorship’, Dansey ran the agency from 1911-1914 from the Sleepy Hollow Club and Claude Dansey’s protege Ralph van Deman set up a shadowy military intelligence agency called ‘The Black Chamber’ in 1918 (which later became known as ‘The National Security Agency’ in 1930).

After World War I, Van Deman recommended Dansey for a Distinguished Service Medal “for guiding, planning and implementation of an American intelligence service.”

In 1909, Dansey, who had risen to prominence in the Boer War (working closely with Lord Milner and Churchill), became a founding deputy director of Britain’s new spy agency MI5 alongside Viscount Richard Burdon Haldane and William Melville.

The fact that Dansey created at least two American secret intelligence agencies while also serving as Deputy Director of the new British Secret Service (later to be known as MI5) should cause any thinking person to question who exactly has been running the USA over the past century.

During World War II, Dansey would be assigned to create another secretive agency dubbed “The Z organisation” that interfaced between British occult intelligence, Nazi occult networks, and once again included both Crowley and George Sylvester Viereck as active members. In the 1988 book ‘All the King’s Men’ historian Robert Marshall demonstrated that Dansey’s pseudo-private intelligence apparatus was behind the sabotage of several networks of French and Dutch anti-Nazi resistance fighters who believed they could trust British intelligence contacts.

The manager of the Sleepy Hollow Club was a powerful financier named Thomas Fortune Ryan who joined J.P. Morgan in financing Nikola Tesla’s towers before the war was launched.

Crowley, Viereck, Wardenclyffe Tower and Nikola Tesla

It is interesting to note that William J. Flynn took the position of Director of the fledgling FBI from 1917-1919, where he found himself at odds with Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s tyrannical crackdown on civil liberties dubbed “the Palmer Raids.”

By 1920, Flynn, who had worked with Houdini on numerous occasions, was forced into early retirement, whereby the intelligence chief became a film producer of movies that exposed fraudulent mediums!


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