London Month of the Dead - Present, Present and Future, October 2017, A series on death curated by Antique Beat and A Curious Invitation supporting Brompton and Kensal Green cemeteries
A history from the Knights Templar to the Freemasons with David V. Barrett and Father Alan Walker
Saturday 28th April 2018 from 1:00 pm

Throughout history there have been secret societies: some criminal, some political, some religious, some social. Of all these, Freemasonry is probably the best known. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, with its supposed links to the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians or the mediaeval stonemasons -- but why did it become organised in London 300 years ago? David V Barrett examines both the myths and the real history behind the birth of the United Grand Lodge of England, and explores the allure of esoteric beliefs and hidden knowledge in secret societies.

In 1934 Elliott O'Donnell, the world-famed prince of ghost hunters published a book on the Strange Cults and Secret Societies of Modern London. His book strange stories behind many covert organisations including the Thirteen society, the Black brothers, Chinese secret societies and black magic, the Mafia, the Tree cults, the Suicide Society and the Cult of Cruelty. In his talk, Alan Walker revisits O’Donnell’s classic book in the light of modern thinking about religious cults, moral panics and enthusiasm for the esoteric. Is O’Donnell’s work fiction masquerading as fact, or should it be read more critically as a picture of contemporary fears and social experiments?

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

David V. Barrett
is the author of The New Believers, A Brief History of Secret Societies, A Brief Guide to Secret Religions and The Fragmentation of a Sect, and  edited the SF alternative history anthology Tales from the Vatican Vaults. He regularly contributes to Fortean Times magazine, amongst others.

Reverend Alan Walker
Father Alan Walker has been the vicar of St Jude’s Church in Hampstead Garden suburb for nearly twenty years. He is also a teacher, writer and researcher.
The Venue - Bromptoon Cemetery